First, a Photo for Aussie Alaskan
I shot this photo of Orion while he was waiting at the truck after our run this afternoon. Yeah, he's blowing coat a little bit. so is Chinook and a couple of other dogs in the team. I've noticed the same with other teams in the area, so I'm not too concerned about it.
A Good Day on the Trail
We trained with Stephanie and Robin again today, and had a really fun time. that proved the training pays off. Just was running in lead beside Amazing Grace, and didn't have nearly as much trouble when I asked him to run past his former home, at least not on the way out. Orion's behavior on hook up was excellent, and he ran the same route that tired him out the other day with no signs of difficulty at all. In fact, he still energy to play when we got back to the truck.
Here is a photo of the team as we come around the perimeter of Schoen's field. As you can see by the golden hue of the light, it was almost sunset even though only about 2:15 or so in the afternoon.
Since I had my camera handy, when we got home from our training run I also shot photos of the "other two" puppies. Unfortunately, Capella wouldn't stop moving long enough to get a good picture, but here is a shot of her sister Cassiopeia.
As Cassie's photo shows, I need to get out and feed the dogs and scoop the kennel. Meanwhile, here is the journal entry from today's training run:
30 December, 2009:
14.6 mph max
9.8 mph moving average
8.5 mph overall avg
Same trail as before
Just & Grace (lead)
Orion & Seamus (swing / team)
Nels & Rose (wheel)
My original plan was to run Rose next to Just in lead, and put Grace in wheel with Nels, but we though we had to change up our route a bit, and I wanted a stronger leader beside Just when asking him to run past his former home. With a power line crew working where the trail intersects P.V. Road, we planned to go straight down the CHSR trail to the store, then circle back to get on our route. It didn’t quite go as planned, ‘cause sometimes stuff happens.
Orion’s behavior on hook-up is WAY better than before. No harness chewing or spinning at all today. Grace scotched at Just on the way out, of course, but corrected with just a word or two. Orion ducked under the gang-line to run on the same side as Seamus, but they were working hard so I figured to let that go for a while. The team took the ‘gee’ on the CHSR trail that Just had balked at the other day. That’s about where I noticed that Rose’s neckline had come unfastened, but we were moving fast and with a fresh team I didn’t feel I could trust snow hooks to hold them, so figured I’d let her run without for a while.
When we reached a little power-line ROW section that forms heads over to P.V. Road, Just and Grace took the “straight ahead” cue just fine, but Rose tried to lead the team all the way back from wheel, and without a neck line to keep her close to the gang line, she actually succeeded. Since the power line crew was no longer working I decided we could live with that.
Just and Grace both wanted to take the drive-way feeder into Lynn O’s yard, but corrected with only a word, and we went dashing down P.V. Road. When we got into some better show at the bottom of P.V. Rd I hooked down and fixed Rose’s neckline, and moved Orion back to the right side of the gangline.
Once on baseline, Just kept looking back at the two teams that were following (Robin and Stephanie), and once stumbled and nearly fell. After that he was better about focusing on the trail ahead. I called a ‘whoa’ planning to move Seamus to the right side of the gang line so he wouldn’t be crowded by Orion, but he already had that idea in mind, and leapt over the younger dog.
There were two loose dogs in the middle of Schoen’s field, but my leaders paid them little heed and we went by with no problem at all. Robin and Stephanie were both running very small teams, so we stopped a couple of times as we went around the field so they could catch up.
Passing by Lynn’s on the return, Just and Grace wanted to take her feeder trail, but corrected quickly. When we reached her driveway trail they couldn’t stand it any longer, and dived onto that trail. They weren’t interested in coming back on their own, and I had no way to hook down. We waited for a bit and when Robin arrived I asked her to take over at the head of our ‘convoy’. She got her team past mine, and then Grace and Just figured out what I wanted, and followed with no problem. My team was hot on her heels, literally trying to stay off the ends of her runners, as we raced into the yard and took a nice “gee” to go back to the truck.
According to the forecast we have a cold snap coming, so we may be a few days before we run next.