Seppala Kennels Honours
A Superior Siberian Sleddog

Sepallop, Seppala Kennels' best male leader, a truly superior Siberian Sleddog

29 November 1991 -- 16 October 2005 (photo 5 October 2005)

O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom!
Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!

(2 Samuel 18:33)

SEPALLOP has left Seppala Kennels via the Rainbow Bridge. For a few precious weeks in October we had him still with us, mobile, affectionate, dignified as ever, but doomed. A month before his death he began coughing gently, showed pain on opening his mouth, and had trouble eating some kinds of food. He suddenly looked wasted and emaciated. Veterinary examination disclosed a large, ugly tumour covering the soft palate and the upper half of his throat. Llop stood like a defeated war chief in the examining room and never made a sound as the vet pried his mouth open and examined him; then marched out of there with an air of "well, that foolishness is finished now." He returned home to his usual life in Isa Boucher's cabin with his brothers 'Lleo and 'Llampo. Although he had a great deal of physical difficulty and pain eating, he continued to eat right up until the day that we made the hard decision that he really must be put down. Then he marched down with Isa to our burial place; Isa settled him down in the weak October sun, hopefully for a nap. As soon as she moved away, Lloppie got up, turned away and began quietly investigating his surroundings. He preferred to die on his feet, gritty and determined to the last.

O Absalom, my son, my son!

SEPALLOP was born in Catalunya in northern Spain, and given a Catalan name (meaning "wolf") like the rest of his LL-Litter. His sire was the redoubtable HERCULES OF SEPP-ALTA, probably the best Seppala sire of the entire post-Markovo period. His dam was our beloved foundation bitch, KARCAJOU'S DREAMA OF WINDIGO, bred by Deb Serbousek. The litter was born in our Catalan farmhouse "Masía Mauri" on the 29th of November in the year 1991.

An unassuming, nondescript little dog in the tradition of DITKO OF SEPPALA, Llop (pronounced "lyOPP") would never be the dog that anyone would pick out as "the best" in a brief look-over of the sixty dogs at Seppala Kennels. He was small, horse-faced and unimpressive in appearance. But he was the best male leader Seppala Kennels ever had, and a very fine stud dog although we recognised that far too late. Llop was fast, gutsy and driving in harness, truly a superior sleddog in every respect. His grit and determination also came out in a certain amount of stubborn bull-headedness, but we learned to put up with that happily. He started out running double lead for Isa Boucher with his late sister SEPALLUNA -- we called the two of them "Airhead and Bonehead" sometimes! Later on, he was co-opted to lead Jeffrey's eight-dog team, quite often with our female super-leader TONYA OF SEPPALA. (That was a front end to die for!)

At left: SEPALLOP's progeny: the "L" litter -- Lenin, Lev, Lizaveta and Lara.
At right: Strong, handsome LEV OF SEPPALA and his sire SEPALLOP.
At left: SEPALLOP and his leader-trainee daughter LARA OF SEPPALA.
At right: SEPALLOP and his superior leader daughter LIZAVETA OF SEPPALA.

As the above photos show, Lloppie threw his own type and appearance rather strongly in his progeny out of KOLYMA OF SEPPALA, the L-Litter born 2 November 2002 -- two fine female leaders and a sensational wheel pair of strong, tall males. We wish we had more of his progeny, but the kennel was pretty full and we recognised his value as a sire late in the game. He was mated to a young bitch last winter, but no litter resulted. I can tell the world: no amount of money could buy any of these four sleddogs -- unless someone should somehow manage to convince us that one of them would do more for the Seppala Siberian Sleddog breed in another kennel. (If anyone should dare to laugh at Lev's slightly tipped ears, I would like to predict that they'll laugh on the other side of their faces when they see the progeny that LEV OF SEPPALA will one day produce. He is truly a fine dog and the ears are a minor cosmetic defect of little importance to our breeding programme.)

The dying SEPALLOP flanked by his magnificent sons, LENIN OF SEPPALA
and LEV OF SEPPALA, held by his grieving Boss Jeffrey.

I find it hard to accept that SEPALLOP is gone, harder yet to accept that I had to help him on his way, and hardest of all to believe that I didn't recognise his value and breed five or six litters from him. He showed the world the true value of the Markovo-Seppala lineage in its pure strain. We are going to miss our Lloppie sorely, especially Jeffrey, who received utter adoration from this affectionate boy all through his life. Ave atque vale, Lloppie, old friend. I'll meet you on the Rainbow Bridge one day.

O Absalom, my son, my son!

Seppala Kennels - Mr. & Mrs. J. Jeffrey Bragg - Box 396 - Rossburn MB R0J 1V0 - Canada