Friday, October 19, 2012

The Best and the Worst of Training Runs

I swear to kind Providence above that these darned dogs are in cahoots. At the very least they are on a mission to keep me as confused, as confounded, and as insane as possible. Or, maybe they are just trying out for their own reality TV show - or just want to entertain you. We did two runs today, each with puppies in the team. As I was preparing for the first run I realized there was a complication that I feared would lead to some difficulties. 11 month old Animosh is coming into her very first estrus season (aka "heat"), and like an adolescent girl, she doesn't have a clue what is happening or why every dog in the yard, intact or neutered, is so intently interested in her. In any event, I made sure there were a pair of neutered dogs between her and Aumaruq, the intact male running in wheel, Trish and I hooked up the team, fired up the four-wheeler and figured we would deal with whatever mayhem might occur. Y'know what happened? Nothing at all unusual. It was a close to perfect an early season training run with puppies that one could even dream of. In retrospect, I think that first team was trying to lull us into a sense of complacency, and it very nearly worked. We put the first team of dogs back in their various places, making sure that Animosh was well separated from everyone except Seamus, who was neutered as a very young puppy and very tolerant of canine capers, and went to work getting the second team ready.

Y'know what happened next? We had ourselves a moving friggin' trainwreck for the first half of the run.  Orion was being a wild child, Nels' brains fell out of his head, the puppies were being puppies and Amazing Grace, bless her little heart, was the most well behaved dog on the team.  I think she was just hanging back and watching the show unfold.

This team consisted of Orion and Rose in lead, Chetan (11 mo. old) and Nels in swing, Beau and Vladimir (10 mo. old) in team and Amazing Grace running in single wheel.

We had nearly a dozen tangles before we ever left the stinkin' dog yard, and it just kept coming and coming and coming for the first half of the run. With one 11 month old and a 10 month old in the team, we had to be careful to keep things as much fun and as calm as possible - and that was no easy task. I caught the whole thing on video, but given that it took us over 15 minutes to travel about 3/4 of a mile, I decided to speed up the action a bit. In their defense, when Orion and Rose missed the "straight ahead" cue to cross the driveway, they corrected on their own very quickly. They really are 'getting it', I just have to remind myself of that from time to time.

1 comment:

  1. Just past the 4 minute mark I wondered how many times that dog had got his legs tangled in the lines! Poor guys - at first, it just wasn't working for them :-)