My BM and I finally got enough snow (though most of it had blown away by today) and enough time off to take our dogs down to the rodeo grounds for a little time in front of a sled. BM used to live in Alaska and race sprint dogs, so she's been dying to do it, and I've been dying to do it because....well, hello. How bad ass is having a dog team?
|in their fancy sled dog harnesses, waiting to head out.|
BM's Aussie Burton knows the directional commands, so we were counting on him to be our fearless lead dog, and the brains behind the operation to show my pooches the ropes. Burton was not willing to comply. He was being a little bit lazy and a lot a bit distracted by his best lady friends.
|good lead dogs are not supposed to turn around to say hello.|
We started off with Burton in the lead and Darcy and Pig hooked up as wheel dogs. BM had me run behind the sled as she jogged alongside yelling out commands. Burton got us moving, but pretty much ignored the rest.
(they'd just gotten cookies which is why they look so alert.)
We played around a lot with the order they were tied in. Burton was definitely happiest as wheel dog (the one that does the most pulling), but my dogs were pretty much clueless about what they were supposed to be doing up front. I could get them to hike up, but I had no control over where they were going. There was a lot of stopping to manually turn the sled the direction we wanted.
|burton and pig head out|
Pig and Burton did alright, but Pig kept turning around to try to fight Darcy which distracted poor Burton and everyone ended up tangled. Darcy did great wherever she was put, whoever she was put with. I think she'd make a great lead dog once she learns the commands. She was very sensible about the entire thing, even refusing to rise to Pig's baiting.
|little dogs in the lead!|
We were out for almost an hour, so poor Burton was pretty pooped by the time we wrapped up. But we finished with him pulling up to the cars and keeping everything taut, so he got his cookies for a job well done.
|everyone wanted to be a wheel dog today.|
Unfortunately, it's supposed to warm up (okay, fortunately) so our snow will probably melt, but if we keep enough on the ground, we're definitely going out again. In the meantime, the hounds will be working on their "gee" and "haw".