Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I used to be an angel, now I'm just like everybody else

Fall training is going really well and we've got a lot of potential in the team this year. It's funny because Rich and I have such different styles of training dogs and we've done nearly every run together so far. Some days we're on the same page and some days I want to push him off the 4-wheeler and then run him over. Same with him, I'm sure. But the dogs are getting good miles on them, they're happy and we're running a lot of different dogs in different positions in the team. One thing we can agree is the loose dogs along our trail need some discipline. At first the gang of pet dogs (a big fluffy, black thing; a brown fat mutt and a pitbull mix) would run around the team as we passed by but as of late they're getting more brave and one of them tried to take a chunk out of Bully on the run last night. I swear to all that is holy, you touch my Bully, you get a whippin'. On the way back, I was armed with a stick but the loose dogs sensed something was different and kept their distance. We don't exactly want to start a hillbilly war by trying to approach the dogs' owners but instead really like the idea of catching one of them and spray-painting a bull's eye on the side of it. What? I wouldn't actually do it, but the owners need to know their dogs are wreaking havoc out on the road. But like some of my pro-musher friends have told me, these loose dogs will help us make leaders that will go on-by anything in their way. Bright side, bright side, bright side.
We're training every day, rotating our 18 race-eligible dogs (just the three pups and Capt' Roy are not running) so that they run two days in a row and then have a day off. It's working out really well and I'm excited with the progress thus far.
On a different note we're heading to Boston and New York for Thanksgiving!! (American Thanksgiving in November not Canadian Thanksgiving in October...I'll be spending that one crying quietly in the corner of our cabin...) Yahoo!! A holiday!! I can't wait to meet more of Richard's family and put some more pieces of the Savoyski/Taft puzzle into place. (Side note: his family calls him RJ for Richard John.)
OK, dogs are waiting for breakfast.

Mr. Lahey, right, lickin' her chops before a run. Capiche, left, has been an excellent teacher for the young leaders-in-training.

Bubbles, Lahey's sister, screaming to get going.

Rich hooking up the last dogs in our 12-dog string.

Heading home. This is the four-way where the loose dogs hang out. All clear on this run...

A couple who trains dogs together, stays together....wink....(or kills each other in the process, but we're both still alive and kickin')


Arvay said...

Love the howling shot! Sled dog enthusiasm is so cool! But I am glad my gentle retirees don't howl at me... :)

gpc said...

I have always liked the idea of the spray-painted-bullseye option when undisciplined dogs get into trouble because of their undisciplined owners. Of course I've never had the nerve, even in my 'hood, where nobody is openly armed and all are likely to be bad shots.

Ari said...

Mr. Lahey and Bubbles - that's awesome. Do you have members of the team named Ricky and Julian? I love reading your blog - it makes me want to pack up my dogs and drive northwest!

dogsled_stacie said...

I like that pushing him off the 4-wheeler isn't enough, you have to run him over too!