My friend Janece and I took the team on a training run yesterday, but I think it was one of the least productive sled runs I've ever done. We trucked over to Lynn Orbison's place for this one, though I did recently break out my feeder trail so we can start running out of the house.
Several of my dogs were obviously off of their game. Torus did fine, as did Sheenjek and Gump. Two dogs belonging to Lynn, Polar and Jethro, did a great job for us. The younger dogs just didn't have it together. Rose was in lead beside Torus, with Nels in swing right behind her. Those two wanted to run in the deep snow beside the trail. As a result we cut the first corner way too sharp which caused the sled to run up on the berm and overturn. That caused me to overetend a muscle in my groin that is now surprisingly painful and debilitating.
Nels, who ate a full breakfast with his typical voracious appetite, developed blow-out diarrhea At one point during the run he let loose and poor little Polar, a snow white little dog, had to literally leap and dodge in mid air to prevent being coated in liquid feces. Nels refused his treat after the run, and refused his supper last night as well. Meanwhile, several other of the younger dogs also have diarrhea, though not to the extent of Nels.
Torus seems to be off his gate, not running as comfortably as we've come to expect. He's also been nibbling and licking at his front paws, as though they itch. That leads me to suspect a chiropractic issue in his neck or spine, so he has an appointment to be seen and probably adjusted by Dr. Olson on Wednesday.
We cut our training short and from the looks of things we'll be off for at least a few days while these dogs regain their health and vigor. I think for the next few days we'll be focusing our attention on introducing the puppies to the "game", letting them play while the big dogs have a chance to recover.