I had the worst run yesterday. And it was with the puppies! So in case I've failed to mention, this summer Rich's dog Sadie had six pups. They're about seven or eight months now and we've been taking them on short, fun runs with some of the older dogs. Usually, I run them while Rich is doing longer runs and will take out two teams to divide the chaos in half. Yesterday I was feeling brave and took out an eight-dog team with all six pups and two leaders (Jack and Hitchcock). (The pups names are Mr. Lahey, Bubbles, Garcon, Obby, Maude and Wayne.) Even though these pups have been out on a dozen or more runs, hook-up is still a nightmare. Rich helped me yesterday and there was no shortage of flailing, chewing, biting, and general puppy antics. (The reason I've taken over with the pups is because, believe or not, I have a little more patience when it comes to the scratching, biting, fighting routine.) So right before we took off, Obby wiggled out of his harness and was loose, running around with Roy, who is impossible to catch when he knows you want to catch him. Fine, I thought, Obby can just run loose with the team. We finally took off and I realized that Maude has twisted herself up and was necklining. We were on the road at this point, so there was no stopping. As soon as we turned onto the NorthSouth trail, I stopped and unhooked her neckline. We were off again with Obby and Roy darting in and out of the team causing all the dogs to get distracted and thus, tangled. After several stops and lots of yelling at Roy, Jack, an old leader who has finished two Iditarods, had had enough. He made a quick haw (left turn) off the trail and into the knee-deep powder. I went with it, because I had had enough by this point also. I tried to get the team back on the trail, but Jack wasn't having it. He led us through the deep stuff for a while and then I saw Wayne trip and get tangled in his harness. I stopped quickly but couldn't set a hook because we were in powder, so I just grabbed him and took his harness off, setting him free. I finally got the team lined out and back on the hard-packed trail home. Now Wayne, Obby and Roy were running through the team causing everyone to get fed up. Bubbles reached out and grabbed Wayne, who was running loose beside her, by the ear. By the time I got back up onto the road and into the yard, I was sweating and hoarse from yelling. Jack was utterly fed up, but the pups were still wound up. It was a bad idea on my part to take them all at once. With two teams, I can have each pup beside an older dog and they don't act up nearly as much. Well, live and learn and hope that I didn't do too much damage.
No babies from Summer yet, but we're thinking in the next week or so. I moved her to a house right beside our cabin, so she can have a little peace and quiet.
Rich's 120-mile race starts tomorrow at 1 p.m. They generally don't update during this race because it's lesser known so I'll try to let you know how he's doing. His race team is: Ku, Rohn, Stanley, Steve, Jerry, Bully, Capiche, Crush, Drake, Omar, Sipsi and Pete. We'll see how they do this weekend and decide who will be on my Taiga 300 team. The Taiga starts on April 1st, at Wolverine Lodge.
I got a logo done and have ordered T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats to send to sponsors. I also ordered bumper stickers for sponsors, so if you sent me money, expect something soon besides my undying gratitude.