An unexpected research reboot!

It was supposed to be a nifty twenty-fifth wedding anniversary trip…with a wee little research itinerary woven in. Since Papa Bear is a huge Alaska fan, and I happen to be writing a book for the Love Inspired Suspense Alaska K-9 continuity series, what would be more perfect than a trip to visit, among other things, a reindeer ranch in Palmer, Alaska! We’d been to Alaska before and fell in love with the wide open spaces, the independent spirit of the locals and the gorgeous landscapes. This time we’d see reindeer in Palmer, and enjoy a riverboat cruise and visit a mining operation in Fairbanks. But then…well, you already know the rest of the story. The virus, whose name I refuse to type, put the kibosh on that whole adventure. 

Deadlines, however, do not wait for anything, including viruses, so I had to go to plan B…armchair research. Thank goodness for the internet! I am now typing away about this fictional adventure and Katie’s reindeer ranch in Palmer Alaska is taking shape on the page. I thought it would be fun to share some of the zany facts I’ve learned about reindeer through my armchair travels. So here we go! The top five facts about reindeer! 

  1. Reindeer and caribou are the same animal.
  1.  Their hooves actually make a “clicking” noise (hence the old song, up on the housetop click, click, click…”) I have read that this adaptation makes it easier for them to stay together in a blizzard, not just on rooftops! Ha!
  1. Reindeer are excellent swimmers, thanks to their hollow fur which traps air to help with buoyancy. 
  1. Reindeer are not designed to eat carrots. They have no incisor teeth on their upper jaws which makes it hard for them to tackle carrots. They eat lichen in the winter which they dig up with their antlers and various leaves and other plant materials. 
  1.  Reindeer are the only species of deer where both the males and females grow antlers!

The virus, whose name I refuse to type, put the kibosh on that whole adventure. 

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