On Saturday we received about a foot of fresh powder. Since the dogs aren't conditioned to break trail, we opted to stay in. This kept me from abusing my shoulder and gave Mary another day to get over her wicked cold. That's another story.
We loaded up 18 dogs and off to trails. For those with good memories, you will note previous training runs had 16 dogs. Today Terra, our old retired girl, and Boreas the puppy were going. We like to use Terra when we harness break the puppies. She knows her commands and is alot slower. It helps bring down the stress for the puppy.
Marti and Greg met us at the trail with Rufus and Cherona. I won't begin to claim that I know how to spell her name.
The trail has a 1/4 mile puppy loop which is great to harness break puppies and teach beginners without having to worry about turns and getting lost.
Mary had Luna and Terra in lead, then Boreas and Bogey at wheel.
Then it was Marti's turn. I beleive this was her first time on the runners by herself. She ran Terra and Bear at lead and Rufus and Zia at wheel. I had to tell Marti about Bear's bad habits and he was true to form.
Meanwhile Greg was taking pictures and helping out, but he had that "I want to play in your reindeer games look". Greg ran Terra and Luna at lead and Cherona and Timber at wheel.
All pups and Cherona looked good for their first time.
Now it was my turn. I ran the first team of 8 with Bear and Mae in lead, Amizette and Cyphers at swing, Tolby and Alli at team and Lasar and Hawkeye at wheel. We went 8.5 mile and it took us 55 minutes. Considering the soft trail conditions and the warmer temps, I was very proud of these guys.
The next team consisted of Luna and Zia in lead, Bogey and Gabby at swing, Velma and Apollo at team and Timber and Thursby at wheel. At the 2 mile part Luna took the Gee that I called, but Zia wanted to Haw. Luna managed to pull Zia with her to the right and after the turn, Zia dove in the snow. Since we can'thave that, I replaced Zia with Bogey. This worked out until about the 3 ad 1/2 mile part when Luna and Bogey were running slower than Gabby and Zia. At one point I had a 4 dog lead dog fan. Once again, this won't work. Since Luna hasb een running lead for most of the season, I decided to move her to swing and put Gabby up with Bogey. It's good to give the leaders a break. This combination worked well. We ran the same 8 and 1/2 mile course in about an hour and ten minutes.