Drummer goes home

Download the Drummer goes home document (.doc)

Johnny Horton’s song "North to Alaska"

Way up north, (North To Alaska.)
Way up north, (North To Alaska.)
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.

Big Sam left Seattle in the year of '92, With George Pratt, his partner, and brother, Billy, too. They crossed the Yukon River and found the bonanza gold. Below that old white mountain just a little south-east of Nome...

That is where Drummer now calls home, Unalakleet, Alaska--goggle it up--literally just a little south east of Nome and one of the towns on the Iditarod sled dog race route.

So how did an 8 week old Kleine / Small Munsterlander named Drummer end up in northwest Alaska?  Some things are probably meant to be.  Perry Corsetti contacted me one day early in 2010 inquiring if we were planning any litters for the coming year.  We had none planned but I knew Bobbe Carney (Castiron Kennel) was planning a litter for mid-summer.  So I directed him to Bobbe.  As a result of their correspondence Perry made a deposit for a male from this upcoming litter.  Eleven healthy pups were born July 17, 2010.  As the litter got older the question arose.  How do you get a pup from just north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin to North West Alaska?  It dawned on me one morning that Drummer would be 8 weeks old and able to fly as carryon the same time I would be leaving for Bethel, Alaska on a float hunt for moose.  A couple of emails later the plan was set.

Perry, a teacher in the Unalakleet school system would be attending a conference in Anchorage the same time I would be in Anchorage gathering supplies before flying out to Bethel for the moose hunt.  He would pick up Drummer after his conference. He and Drummer would fly home to Unalakleet and I would fly to Bethel.  Things could not have worked out any better if we had tried to plan all this.  "Some things are just supposed to happen!"

Early September Bobbe and Drummer left West Bend and traveled the 8 hours to my home in south east South Dakota.

Bobbe and Drummer at the airport
Bobbe and Drummer at the airport

The next morning Bobbe took Drummer and I to the airport in Sioux Falls, SD.  Bobbe wanted to be sure we got on the plane alright. No worries, Drummer and I went through security without a hitch.  We were headed for Anchorage with a plane switch and short layover in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

My wife Laurie, Bobbe
(L to R) My wife Laurie, Bobbe

At Minneapolis the arriving plane was delayed a couple hours.  You can see his reaction to the delay at the airport.

Drummer was a hit at the airports and on the planes.  The airlines allow me to put the kennel in my lap, while on the plane, and open it just enough to let Drummer’ head out.  Well that lasted about 5 minutes.  Before you know it Drummer was out and being passed from lap to lap. He made the flight (over 6 hours) enjoyable and faster for us all.

Drummer voicing his disapproval at the Minneapolis airport---we were delayed!
Drummer voicing his disapproval at the Minneapolis airport---we were delayed!

Finally twelve hours after leaving South Dakota we landed in Anchorage. The hostel I stay at in Anchorage was very accommodating. Joseph, the owner, picked Drummer and I up at the airport.

Where is that guy who is supposed to be picking us up?
Where is that guy who is supposed to be picking us up?

Drummer behaved himself at the hostel and did not wine or fuss. It was just his second night away from his litter mates.

Drummer making himself at home at the hostel

Since we had a couple days before Perry arrived for his conference Drummer and I had a chance to visit friends and pickup dehydrated food and a few odds and ends I would need to take with me to Bethel. Drummer and I met Perry the first evening Perry arrived in Anchorage, and Drummer spent the night with Perry.  Since Perry’s conference, scheduled for the next day, was an all day event I volunteered to take care of Drummer.

Mary Mundell and Kathy Campbell. Friends and Kleine / Small Munsterlander owners from the Anchorage area
(L to R) Mary Mundell and Kathy Campbell.
Friends and Kleine / Small Munsterlander owners from the Anchorage area

After his conference was over Drummer and I met Perry.  Perry suggested we take Drummer to a large park area.  Drummer got some exercise and allowed time for he and Perry to get better acquainted.

Drummer traveled and adjusted to new locations and people like a champ.  Where ever I put him down---he was home----!

Perry picking up Drummer
Perry picking up Drummer

Perry and Drummer getting acquainted
Perry and Drummer getting acquainted

Jim saying good bye
Jim saying good bye

Drummer left for the next leg of his trip home. 

The Corsetti family
The Corsetti family

Drummer with a Spruce Grouse
Drummer with a Spruce Grouse

About Christmas time I received an email from Perry containing recent pictures and an update on Drummer.  As you can see in the pictures below he was tracking some ptarmigan (look up and to the right of Drummer) and the all of a sudden he looked up.  What do you think is on his mind?

Drummer following ptarmigan tracks
Drummer following ptarmigan tracks

Whoa! What are those?
Whoa! What are those?

I think that is Perry under all those clothes? Drummer looks like he can handle the cold
I think that is Perry under all those clothes? Drummer looks like he can handle the cold

I would be willing to wager Drummer has the distinction of living the furtherest north of an any Kleine / Small Munsterlander.  At least one who was born in the USA.  He has a great family and a lot of adventure ahead of him!!!  I don’t know about you but I am envious!!

I tried to get directions from West Bend Wisconsin to Unalakleet, Alaska from google map to get an idea of the distance Drummer traveled to get home.  The reply was “we cannot calculate directions between these two locations.”  There you have it, it was too far to measure or there were no roads connecting them.:)

As a side note, while corresponding with Perry I located and reconnected with a college friend and traveling companion of mine.  He is now the principal of the high school in Nome, Alaska.  He and Perry have work together on various committees for the school district.  It truly is a small world!

How did the moose hunt go?  To find out google up Julson Kennel and look under Julson Family Hunting and Fishing Adventures----Alaska----Moose----2010 Float Hunt.

Jim Julson
Colman, SD