Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Family Member

Sunday I went to Prudhoe Bay (Deadhorse) in the evening. I started out by being picked up by helicopter from home for Spill Response Training (SRT). Rather then returning home by helicopter after the weekly 2-hour training (like usual), I just stayed on shore and got a ride over to the pad where I keep our truck parked. ConocoPhillips is very nice to let me leave the truck parked on one of their west Kuparuk production pads.

I drove to Kuparuk and spent several hours there getting errands done. I got the truck washed by friends in the KIC Wash Bay, and then visited friends at the Kuparuk Operations Center (KOC). I continued on to Deadhorse, and went straight to the store and Post Office to pick up some odd supplies we needed and our mail. There were two large fiber mail bags full of mail and boxes, plus two big bags of special dried dog food we had mail-ordered from the feed store in Fairbanks.

That night I stayed with friends at the Marsh Creek company. Getting to visit friends and work associates is always so enjoyable. I am truly blessed with many wonderful friends across the slope.

Monday morning, after coffee and more good visiting, I went and fueled the truck up and bought some cases of generator oil. Next stop was Alaska Airlines. This was the reason for the trip. Our new puppy was arriving on the morning flight from Fairbanks. She is a Great Pyrenees with 1/8th collie mixed in. She had come all the way from Nebraska two days earlier and had stayed with Jay and family in Fairbanks for a travel breather. Of course we had picked her out and had seen pictures of her, but I was very pleased to meet her in person. I was also pleasantly surprised that at 14 weeks old, she was still smaller then I realized she would be. She looked small and vulnerable in that #200 kennel, and was immediately loving and cuddly when I took her out of the kennel. I attached her leash and we went for a short walk outside in the snow – her first exposure to the white fluffy stuff. She had no fear of walking in the cold snow and seemed intrigued with it, sniffing, pushing her nose through the soft stuff, and quickly relieved herself.

I put the kennel in the front passenger seat and still had plenty of room to let her lie in the middle between seats with her head in my lap. I tried out her new name which Jim and I had finally decided on, Ruby. Of course she didn’t respond at all to words…that comes with training and repetition.

Before leaving Deadhorse I made several stops to visit friends and show off Ruby. A puppy around the oil field is pretty unique, so she got a lot of attention everywhere we went, and she was calm and sweet with everyone.

It began snowing and blowing hard as the day progressed, until we were pretty much in blizzard conditions. Jim had planned to come get us with the super cub when we got back to where we leave the truck, but weather had deteriorated to the point where flying the cub wasn’t an option. After waiting on weather to improve, Ruby and I finally got home by picking up my delayed return-home ride on the helicopter from SRT.

Arriving in snowstorm

We were soon warm in the kitchen and glad to be home.

Ruby curled up with rope toy home_10-19-09 005

Toby was less excited about the new arrival, but give him time and he’ll fall in love with her.


Ruby zonked out in middle of play Jim and Ruby played and she just zonked out asleep right in the middle of grabbing Jim’s shoe. It had been a long day for her.

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