Thursday, December 22, 2011

What THREE BLUE EYES taught me today

These days, it feels lately like I'm meeting myself coming and going. 

I'm definitely coming to understand my limitations. Especially around time. Training in the middle of the week is intense. I'm up, driving, hooking up 6 fast sled dogs, running the 4-wheeler in sub-freezing temps, unhooking them, giving them water, hauling buckets of their "stew" around and feeding them, scooping up their living spaces, making tomorrow's stew, and driving 75 minutes back to Minneapolis -- all before I start my regular work day.

It's humbling how tired this routine makes a person. By early evening, I'm pretty well spent. But do I get myself to bed? Er, um, well, there's this GREAT book series I'm reading (The Hunger Games), so, well, I guess the answer is clear enough. I've been under the weather more this fall than is typical for me. And I know I need to take better care of myself and get more rest.

And hence, the less-frequent blog posts.

But, my pups taught me a thing or two today, and I wanted to make sure I recorded it. 

The trail we run has several hills, not big huge ones, but hills nonetheless. One has been particularly challenging for the team. And I though I try to be a tough gal and make them work up that hill, usually I cave and give the 4-wheeler a little gas to help them out.

But not today.

I gave myself a stern talking-to this morning on the drive north and committed to helping the pups get in shape to do at least one serious hill (during CopperDog 35 in March) without help from me. So up up up we went on our training hill, and they gradually slowed down to a complete stop some 30 yards from the top of the hill.

I told them to "get up" but they merely peered over their shoulders at me with a look like, "What, you're gonna be lazy and not help us out."

Yep, that's exactly what I'm going to do.

And as it turns out, I had completely underestimated their abilities. Within two seconds, myshygirl Greyling was doing her levitating act, and next to her, sweetness Elias, was screaming at the top of her canine lungs to get moving. Yep, honest to goodness cheerleaders.

And guess what happened? Bigboy Colt seemed to remember his strength and pulled hard, along with gotogirl Penya, and before you know, we crested that hill! All on pure canine power (and thanks to some genuine restraint on my part). I just felt so proud I could have popped!

It was a little tool chilly to take off my gloves so my bare fingers could make contact with the iPhone screen. But yesterday I managed to catch a few priceless moments.

Hope you enjoy them here in this short video:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shoes-ie-Q, I love you . . .

So, we hosted the lovely eurohound sprinter, Shoes, last weekend. Claire tells me that there's something about the mix of the pointer breed into the Alaskan Husky mix that makes for incredibly sweet (and FAST) dogs. I've definitely found that to be the case. We spent time with Chinook (from Maggie Heilmann's kennel) who was also part pointer. And she was a complete love-bug.

Funny thing about Shoes is that she's had many many names in her short life. She's been a Prancer, Charlie, Socks, and now Shoes. We found ourselves calling her Boots (she has cute little white "boots" on her legs. And she was training with the very fast sprint musher Jan Bootz-Dittmar's team. We thought we'd better ease her into that name so we called her ShoosBoots for a while.

But once I started to make this little video, it was clear that she was Shoes-ie-Q. She'll undoubedly have a new name in her new life with Claire. But she'll always be Shoes-ie-Q to me now.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy Birthday to my friend and mentor!

I have so much more to say, but in the meantime . . .

Happy birthday, Claire~

A couple other sizes of the video, in case the one above is too big:

And one more: