Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Riff has been asked to join a team for the HauteTracs USDAA trial, coming up in April. He'll be the (significantly) youngest team member, with the (decidedly) oldest handler. Our fellow team members are apparently not desperate to qualify. They just want to get some practice in, and have some fun. KK said our team name might be "Release the Krakens!"

So I had to google KRAKEN.

Krakens have been "in the news" since a few 12th century sailors became curious about what was causing big whirlpools off the coast of Norway. Their stories painted a creature so huge it was often mistaken for islands, or even a series of islands. One historian wrote, in 1752, that the kraken had a width of one-and-a-half miles. (!!) [Note: the dogs on our team are all in good weight, and between 20.5 and 22" tall. Not especially big. So "kraken," as a team name, is about something other than size...]

Basically, a kraken is a giant squid x 100. More or less. Anyone who watched the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" is familiar with this monster. I saw that movie! I must've been distracted by Johnny Depp, because I don't remember exactly what the monster looked like. Maybe I covered my eyes during that part.

Kraken is a great word. There is a lively on-line debate regarding how to pronounce it. Apparently it used to be "kraw-ken" and has sometimes been "cray-kin"....but we like "crack'in." Most of the movie people did, too.

There are many artistic interpretations:

This smiley kraken-with-red-hair-and-big-teeth, for instance. [Note: all three dogs on the team have red fur. And canine teeth.]

One movie version plays down the whole many-armed-big-eyed-octopus thingy in favor of a slightly more intimidating look:

Does this poster embody the whole idea behind the team name? "Release the Krakens!" is a famous line - I'm pretty sure it's from this movie. Kraken - as in uncontrollable monsters?
[Note: Our three dogs enjoy running. Sometimes they are barely controlled. Heh heh.]

This "kraken button" is way too cute, but it is red.

[Note: Our dogs are often super-cute, like this button. They smile!]

There's a roller coaster in SeaWorld, Orlando, named Kraken. [Note: Running Riff sometimes feels like being on a roller coaster. Some sublime moments...and some scary ones.]
There's a bottle of rum. Which is probably in liquor stores everywhere.

Bottom line: I like the name "Release the Krakens," even though it shivers me timbers....

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