As I was putting my shoes on in the back porch tonight before going out to feed dogs, I watched a fly crawling his way up the window screen.
With temperatures hanging out in the -5 (22F) to 8 (48F) range lately, he was
moving very slowly. Each step seemed deliberate and difficult. I was sympathetic to his problem, but it certainly doesn’t mirror the situation here in our dog yard. The cold and imminent approach of winter doesn’t slow things down here; rather it seems to put everything into fast-forward.
Each day now teams barrel out of the yard on runs that are usually 15 – 20 miles long. Their enthusiasm has not at all diminished with the increased mileage but their strength has definitely picked up, making handling and hooking up the dogs a very physically demanding job.
By the time 14 dogs are brought up to the ready chain, harnessed and hooked into
the line, we are exhausted.
In a few months the insane edge will be off the critters and our own muscles
used to the tasks again, so everything will go a little easier, but right now we rely on our own enthusiasm for the approaching season to keep us moving!
I’m continuing to work my way through the young dogs, giving them each a taste for being a leader. Every single one has done an excellent job so far. The latest success stories are Watt and his brother, Charge. I still think their sister,
Tess, was the best out of the bunch, but all 3 are showing good promise.
Another young leader that I’m pretty giddy about is young Spidey. She is definitely the smallest dog in my main pool, but she is FAST, enthusiastic and thoroughly enjoying the work.
Super leaders! Spider and Dasher
Today, halfway through a 17-mile run, I stopped to show my leaders a turn they didn’t understand on a new piece of trail. I stepped to the side and whistled at Dasher and Spider to bring them around to me. Spider bolted at me full speed and leaped into my arms. Lucky she is little or she would have knocked me right off my feet! We shared a good laugh, I played with her and Dasher for a minute and off we went.
Olena and Nahanni
Jinx and Charm
Draco - they know we had a good run this morning!
Barq looking pleased with himself after our run
Eeek and Lingo
On the way home, a herd of about 20 horses came over and raced us along their fence line. I ‘gave the team a gear’ (reducing the resistance they are pulling the 4-wheeler against) and enjoyed the ride. For the record – we won!.
Boom relaxing after a run!
It was still only 1C (34F) when we pulled back into the yard around 11am. Ah fall – gotta' love it!
Friday was actually a bit warmer, so I took the opportunity to get the ‘puppy team’ out for a run. As they are only going 4 or 5 miles, I can squeak in a run on them before temperatures warm up too much, even on slightly warmer mornings.
Grover and Gus were thrilled with the opportunity to teach the youngsters a thing or two. You would just never know those boys are 10 years old!
Brothers Paxson and X (The
"Copper Basin" Litter)
Brothers Flash and Wolvie (The
"Super Heroes" Litter)
Flash and Wolvie
Irving (foreground) and Nitro
Nitro and Irving
After the yearlings were tucked back into the yard, it was time to free run some puppies!
Rocket, Comet and Powder have the routine down pat and I swear would do the run without me if I let them. I just basically follow them around the 1-½ mile loop on the 4-wheeler. They will run flat out almost the entire way. Rocket in particular takes her running seriously!
Nate is a little bit more of a goof and stops to chew on interesting looking things in the woods and to sniff this and that, but when he goes – he goes at a good clip.
Dew and Gator spend as much time wrestling, bumping and body slamming each other as they do moving forward, but when I can get in front of them, they will run flat out behind me.
New ‘NorthWapitites’ Trigger and Shooter took a couple minutes to figure out the whole ‘run with the 4-wheeler’ thing, but before the dog yard was even out of
sight, their ears were pinned back and they were barreling along with tongues lolling out the side of their mouths and huge grins on their faces. They remind me SO much of their Dad, Chester. Very cool!!
All for today – hope you are all enjoying fall as much as I am!
Draco on his house waiting for me to put his chain back on