1 November 2014 1.00 PM 15 F Clear and sunny
With all of the excitements of the winter ahead, with the plans we have to race and explore with our sled dogs, I thought it would be a good time to let you see some of the main running dogs.
We started training in September with a group of 30, which includes just about everybody in consideration for a spot on the “big team”. In early training, it’s so much easier to get multiple teams out with the distances being that much shorter. As we progress, the runs get longer and everything takes much more time to accomplish. Additionally, being an old fogey, there are only so many hours in a day I can cope with bending, harnessing and riding on an atv without my back grumbling to a greater or lesser degree. (and it’s usually greater)
So, the solution is to whittle down the team numbers. Sometimes, that’s quite easy – a few of the older dogs are more than happy to step aside when we start going further. Queen’s pups, at 18 months old have been doing a fantastic job, but are too young to be pushed and will benefit from continuing to work, but at a reduced level. So, the young and the old are sorted, the marginals are the hardest group to assess. Most of those, we know from previous years, like going out and doing a bit of work, but seem to be missing that willingness to push themselves – may be they are the smart ones! A few others just need a bit of additional time and effort to feel more relaxed and become part of the team.
Both of the races that we’re entered in, in late December and early January are 10 dog teams. With that in mind, I’ve decided to go with a main training pool of 14. It’s big enough that it gives me a bit of a cushion, and it’s also about the maximum number of dogs I’m comfortable running on a 4 wheeler.
Meet the Fabulous 14