Baby Reindeer ……...the herd expands

Our last newsletter reported our reindeer herd had dwindled to one lonely reindeer, Crystal.  But, on April 2, 2001, Crystal didn’t come when we called her for breakfast.  We searched and found her lying on the hilltop under a spruce tree.  As we approached we noticed she was nestling a black ball of fur.  A tiny 6 lb. male reindeer had arrived two weeks premature.

  After bringing food and water to Crystal it was evident this baby reindeer was in trouble and unable to stand or nurse.  We finally bundled him in a towel and drove quickly to the local reindeer vet.  The vet mixed up some lambing replacement formula, gave us a lesson in tube feeding reindeer and outfitted us with the necessary supplies for bottle feeding

and antibiotic shots.  After several  unsuccessful bottle feeding attempts that afternoon, the calf was tube fed his evening meal with the assistance of our friend, Judy a small animal vet.  Luckily after two tube feedings he decided to give the bottle a try.  We then began the two hour bottle feeding schedule in freezing temperatures.  After each feeding, we propped the calf under Crystal trying to teach him how to nurse.  Following a couple of tiring days mother and calf finally got the knack of things and he no longer wanted the bottle…..and we could get some sleep.  Soon our baby reindeer was running up and down the hill with mother Crystal chasing him and barking discipline.   It was time to give this little guy his name…..Jade.

We had great fun watching Jade quickly grow.  He loves to be petted and follows us everywhere.  In line with our plans for reindeer pulling a sled, we began halter training Jade within days.  At times this was a challenge, but we soon worked out the bugs.  When Jade realized it was a treat to go outside the pen and search for mushrooms and dandelions, he began standing at the gate waiting for his halter.

Agate Inn Expansion
With Jade’s survival, we decided to be brave and acquire another bull reindeer.  We picked up one year old Silver from the Reindeer Farm in Palmer the second week of May, 2001.  There was quite a commotion in the reindeer pen when Silver joined Crystal and Jade.  Crystal made sure Silver knew who the boss was.  Jade just wanted to play with this new guy.  When they slept, we would find Jade lying in between Crystal and Silver. If reindeer have patience, Silver would be a prime example.  Getting Silver used to a halter and leading him along side Jade went

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Construction of the west wing addition to the Agate Guest House was completed during 2002.  The 1,800 s.f. Alaska Meeting Room provides an ideal spot for guests to hold retreats, reunions, seminars and business meetings.  The 1,200 s.f. Aurora King Suite offers a romantic setting for watching the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

  Remodeling of the Knik Building is in full swing with completion scheduled for

Agate Guest House Complex

summer 2003.  With the addition of two wheel-chair accessible suites and four mini-suites, the Agate Inn expansion will be last!