Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Dog Day of August

Unlike the dog days of August in the Lower-48 right now, last night the temperature dropped to nearly freezing and this morning it remained cool enough, long enough to take a small team out for their first training run of the season.  I had planned on running two teams today, but it warmed up too early for me to get the second team out on the trail.

Today's team included Just and Capella in lead, Amazing Grace in single swing, Midnight's Son and Beau in wheel.  The goal was just to have a fun first run, to help the dogs start thinking about their jobs again, and to check out Midnight's Son, who I haven't run before.

I wasn't surprised when my leaders missed directional cues, but I was pleased by how quickly they corrected their errors.  In both directions they ran directly past Ted and Clare's dog yard without any hesitation at all.  Although Midnight was a bit nervous about the machine following him, he kept a tight tugline and after a while he settled into the rhythm of the game quite nicely.

Here is a video showing the most 'active' five minutes or so of the run, including all of the cued directional changes and behaviors.

Happy Birthday, Selene
Our cute, furry little bi-eyed Selene turned two years old today.  Since she is in season she didn't get out to play much with the other dogs, but she got special treats and lots of hugs, pets and butt-rubs.  She adores all of those things and was basking in the extra attention.

This afternoon I combined some errands in town with a visit to the Yukon Quest first day of signups for the 2012 race.  There are going to be some GREAT teams out on the trail in February, the our little community of Two Rivers is very well represented.  

From Two Rivers, signing up today were;
Abbie West - the fastest woman on the trail.
Judy Courier - I am surprised she is a rookie in the Quest, as she's run the I'Rod several times.
Mike Ellis - the fasted pure-bred Siberian husky musher on the trail.
Sonny Lindner - he's done this a time or two before
Allen Moore - running the SP Kennel team.
Jason Weitzel - he's a rookie in the Quest, but he's been building up to it for a long time.  

Lance Mackey signed up to run the race again, which I think is very cool.  Lance was looking healthy and happy today.  The Wild and Free Mushing kennel will be represented by two mushers next year, Brent Sass and Kyla Durham. 

You can see the full list, at least from the Alaskan side, on the Yukon Quest website.  There are some nice photos taken from today's sign-ups on the YQ Flikr site.

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