Yvonne Redstone, the founder of Washagami Kennels began her adventure in 1987 with the purchase of a small female siberian from Lekiga Kennel, a racing kennel in Listowel Ontario. Originally thinking of getting into malamutes, with hopes of operating a touring business on the families camp "Landing Point Lodge" located on Washagami Lake, a Siberian was a more ideal fit.
Bandit being the smallest of the litter, made up for her lack of size with her intelligence and strong work ethic. Being our foundation she produced other great dogs in our kennel, after 16 years of age her linage was carried on.
10 years had past before we attempted another litter, by this time it was too late, the dogs had aged and we were unsuccessful.....
Several years had past, Michelle now much older and able to work with the dogs showed a passion for working with them. At 15 years of age Michelle took over the kennel full time and began to bring in some new dogs to replenish our kennel of retirees. Rescue Sibes from pounds, Alaskans retired from touring and a few other sled dogs in need of a home quickly filled the yard. In 2005 Michelle competed in her first race with two 8 year old Siberians and two 10 year old Alaskans, although not very fast she had a perfect run even with head on passing both ways.
Michelle was bit by the racing bug, the dogs just loved being out on a new trail with other teams, and she loved the thrill of the race. Michelle then sought after dogs that had some of the old working lines, a few more dogs were brought in and the rest is history in the making.
Washagami Kennels is now run by myself and my supportive other half. We have between 15-20 Siberian Huskies and usually an Alaskan or two that just needed a home. We participate in as many recreational activities and races as time and work schedules allow us. This is the lifestyle we have chosen, our schedule and day to day life revolves around our dogs.
We train hard after work and on weekends, to prepare for the races we attend. Never compromising our dogs health and well being, if our dogs aren't happy, they don't run well and usually something is up. Some nights they don't feel like going the distance, other nights I have to argue with them to turn in on the trail home. It has only been over the past few years we have decided to take up racing, our dogs were and still are our kids first.
We run sprint races, usually just the 4-6 mile runs. After doing some longer runs this past season we are aiming for a longer race next season. The dogs just seem to enjoy a longer slower paced run opposed to a 20 minute sprint, their more satisfied and run better the longer they go. I have also recently had a more flexible working schedule to actually train for a longer race. Now we just need some snow for the new year!!