"Minnie" - Winterstarz Ursa Minor, WPD, RA

Istari's Procyon Winterstar, ROMWD X Black Ice's Flaming Sirius, WTD, ROMWD

Minnie packing on the scenic Temperance River in northern Minnesota, 2009         Minnie, sturdy hard working pack dog!        Minnie on the move at WinterStar Farm, January 2009

Born October 22, 2003 in the first litter at WinterStar Farm, Minnie was the smallest puppy in the litter and we joked she was a mini-Malamute.  When we decided to keep her we named her Ursa Minor - which means "the little bear" - also known as the Little Dipper.  Although smaller than our other dogs, Minnie is within the breed standards for Malamutes and is well proportioned and very athletic. 

Minnie has completed Beginner and Intermediate Obedience and some Rally training and really enjoys these activities.   She earned her Rally Novice title in three trials in 2010 with scores of 96, 96 and 99/100, placing first twice and second once.  She earned her Rally Advanced title in July 2010, again with good scores, placing 2nd twice and 3rd once.  Minnie was ranked the #2 Malamute in Rally Novice in 2010, and the #6 Malamute in Rally Advanced in 2010, by the Alaskan Malamute Club of America. 
View video of Minnie competing in Rally below.

Minnie is also the first dog we seriously hiked with, the goal being a working pack dog title.  A qualifying hike is at least 10 miles with Minnie carrying a backpack that weighs 30% of her body weight at the start of the hike; four qualifying hikes are required to earn the title.  We enjoyed these hikes with her so much that we have decided to train several of our dogs for packing!  Minnie is a strong packing dog and was awarded her WPD (Working Pack Dog) title in December 2009.  

In 2011, Karina finally agreed to accompany a very good and persistent friend on a skijoring run.  Minnie was one of the dogs she tried it with, and we found our paces made a great match.  Minnie and Karina started going out nearly every day, and by the end of winter they were doing 10 mile trips!  Minnie now has earned two of the four legs she needs for a Working Team Dog title and we hope to continue skijoring in the winter of 2011-12.   

Minnie RN 1st leg, 96, 1st place, Minneapolis, MN

Minnie RN 2nd leg, 96, 2nd place, Minneapolis, MN

Minnie RN 3rd leg, 99, 1st place, Fond du Lac, WI

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