Sunday, December 30, 2007

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!!!Ana opening presents on Christmas day.

Star, one of my main leaders enjoying the house. She is getting a bit spoiled!

We had a great Christmas this year. We went downstate a couple of weeks ago to visit all my relatives, went to my parent's on Christmas day and went to Larry's family's yesterday. It was so great seeing everyone. Ana had a blast and got a TON of toys!! It took Larry 3 hours this morning to put together her new kitchen that she got from Larry's family. Ana, of course, is playing with the box that the kitchen came in after all that work!
We had a warm spell here last weekend and got a lot of rain that almost ruined our trails. They were pretty icy and we could not run from the yard. We gave them 4 days off after a 31 mile run due to conditions, then last Wednesday trucked them down the road and ran a 15 mile run on the only trail that was still holding up well. It is a very boring, straight snowmobile trail, but that is all we had. We got a couple of inches of snow on Thursday night, and by Friday we could do our long run we had planned for Christmas eve, but had to cancel it because of all the ice. When we left the yard, we had about 2 inches of fresh snow and the conditions were great. Then, it was an all out blizzard! We could not see a thing out there, since we went out at night. I ran 8 dogs and Larry 10. My dad followed us with the snowmachine. He had to lead the way a lot because we had to break a ton of trail. At times we didn't even know where we were or if we were going up or down a hill. The snow was blinding. Then, after about 16 miles Larry had to bag Jersey. She was just tired. At this time, my team was really pulling away from him, we waited a lot. So, we decided that I would go ahead and my dad would stay back with Larry's team since me and my dad know the trail the best. I was rethinking doing the whole 40 a lot since we couldn't see and there was so much new snow. The dogs had to work very hard. When I got off the snowmo trail, there was absolutely NO trail to speak of, so for the next 6.5 miles of HUGE hills I was breaking trail alone. It was pretty desolate where we were, a couple of times Star tried to turn me down the wrong trail. I was thinking there is no way Larry was doing the whole run and he probably turned early to head home, as I didn't see or hear a team behind me in over an hour. It was absolutely brutal out there and I was very much regretting not turning home early. FINALLY, we got off that trail and turned onto the county road to head towards home, only 14 miles left. Then, behind me, here comes Larry! I was so glad to see SOMEONE out there finally!!! He ended up putting Jersey back in the team after about 4 miles of her in the bag, which really helped the team be able to run that difficult trail. We then told my dad he could leave since the run was taking so long. We just followed each other the rest of the way home. We didn't get back in the yard till midnight!! That run took us 6 hours to slog around in all that snow!! We were so tired and more importantly, VERY glad that the run was over. The dogs finished surprisingly strong though, even though most of the run was breaking trail. Next weekend is our first race at Tahquamenon. We will both run the 8 dog, 43 mile class. I can't wait to see how the dogs do. Hopefully, they aren't too flat after running that long run only 8 days before their big day. The weekend after we race White Oak, a 6 dog 60 mile race, so we had to put one long run on them before that race. That is a long way this early in the season. Well, have a wonderful New years!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas is Coming!!! Ana and Santa at my sister's house. She wasn't all that excited to meet Santa. She said "I don't like him" and wouldn't sit on his lap. Oh well, she still got her present.
Ana in my new sled. Her dogs "mama Tefa", "Baby Tefa" and "Barney" are in the pocket behind her.

Well, we've been busy, busy, busy!!! December is crunch time at Coyote Run Kennel. Not only do we have multiple Christmas's and gifts to buy etc. etc., but dog training is at it's peak. Our trails couldn't be more perfect. I just can't believe we have all this wonderful snow. I'm still waiting for it all to go away, it is too good to be true!! The dogs are looking great and are running hard. I am running 10 in my team: Otter, Star, Duelly, Cowboy, Cowgirl, Odessa, Zoey, Fender (yearling), Jackson (yearling) & Eddie (yearling). Larry's team is: Windows, Tefa, & Lilly as veterans and the rest are yearlings: Tak, Peavey, Gibson, Boston, Jersey & Memphis. All the dogs have 450+ miles, mine closer to 500. We have done four 20+ mile runs also. One of my best runs was 23.4 miles and we averaged 13.24 mph. That was with 9 stops, so I wonder how much faster we could have ran with less stops. Last week we ran 15.6 miles and the B team beat me!!! Larry's team averaged 14.62 and mine averaged 13.56. I had some leader issues though. Oh well, Larry was pretty proud that his team kicked my butt! The dogs are really looking nice. Our first race, Tahquamenon, is on January 5th, so that is not very far away. We will go 30 miles this weekend and again the day after Christmas, then it is shorter fun runs till the race. Next race after that is White Oak Classic in Deer River, MN. It is a 6 dog 60 mile race. It is the A team's off day today, but the B team will do a 24.5 mile run that I did last night. So, lots to do still today. Happy Holidays and enjoy all this marvelous snow!!!!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

More Snow!!!Otter & Star
Sunday night we got dumped on again. We have close to 2 feet of snow, great for cushioning the trails. It has been a bear breaking trail though. On Monday I got the snowmachine stuck 3 times breaking out a new trail only 2 miles long!! I am not a very good snowmachine driver! We are making a new trail that allows us to turn out of the driveway and run down our road (which is plowed) and run straight into our trail that will connect us with all our other trails. Every other year we had to run down our plowed road and make a sharp right turn. Well, I've lost a few teams doing this as they get going very fast on the plowed road before making the turn. It is very difficult!! The new trail will hopefully get better as it gets packed down. It is pretty slow going for the first 3 miles, plus the dogs have to learn NOT to go on our usual route we take when we sled down to the end of the road. This can be very difficult training dogs not to run a particular trail we've been running for 8 seasons. Windows was determined to turn Larry's team down the old trail a couple of days ago. Poor little Tefa wanted to listen, but just isn't big enough to turn her the right way. Ana and I were on the snowmachine infront of Larry and constantly had to stop and turn the leaders the correct way. It took FOREVER!!! I actually can't wait for the flatlanders to come up and groom our trails with their snowmachines this weekend! That is a lot of work!!! We usually never have to groom much of our trails, but this year I think many are not traveling due to the high gas prices. Both teams have a 20 mile run under us now and we will go another 20-25 tomarrow. Both teams averaged just over 11 mph on the run, which isn't fast, but pretty good considering 8 miles of trail was very soft and newly broken out with the snowmacine. Well, enjoy all the wonderful snow this weekend, I know we will be!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

snow!!!!!!!! Larry with Cowgirl & Tefa

Larry's team

We now have two sled runs on the dogs. We ran two 6 dog teams on Saturday to get our "sled legs" for the season. It was so fun! We just ran a short fun run, 8 miles. My 6 dog team did the run in 28 minutes, averaging 17.14 mph!! That was with two short stops and going up the huge hill and the big hill. We went up the big hill at 11 mph. The dogs were cruisin'! Saturday night we got a huge snow storm that dropped an additional 10" of wet dense snow that had a crust on top from the freezing drizzle. On Sunday we were to run 14-17 miles with two teams. My dad broke trail with the snowmachine and I took out 8 dogs and Larry took 10. We were swimming in snow! My leaders kept pushing against each other so each one could run on the newly broken trail. It was very difficult going and we had to stop for numerous tangles. Needless to say, we shortened our runs and ran the 8 mile trail. I was exhausted from all the slauging around in the snow on the trail to fix tangles. There was NO trail out there to speak of except for the one snowmachine track my dad had made. So, today is an off day for the dogs and we will break out our trails for tomarrow's run. Tomarrow we will hopefully do our 17 mile run. Saturday will be longer at 25 miles. We are getting even more snow today and the rest of the week- yes!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ana playing on my new sled. She was saying "C'mon girls, straight ahead, straight ahead!" She had her stuffed dogs infront of the sled.

Larry running the team on a fun 8 miler

Star (black dog) and Cowgirl in lead

Another team out for a run with Larry

Otter & Odessa in lead
Our runs are still going well. We still have a total of 21 dogs in training for our two teams. We'd love to sell a couple of dogs, but it seems that every time we put one on the 4-sale list, they come off a few days later because everyone is STILL hanging in there. Otter and Star are really shining in lead. Otter is SUPER on commands and is only 3 years old, so I will have many more seasons with her leading my team. Larry broke the 8 mile record again last weekend, running it in 32 minutes with the ATV. The dogs were flyin'!! That was the team above with Cowgirl and Star leading. We are still running our 14.5 mile trail and the dogs are finishing strong. We will move them up to the 17.5 mile trail on Friday. I wish we'd get atleast a bit more snow to cushion the dog's feet some. The trails are getting slick and are a bit icy. We had some small cuts on some feet after last night's run. Looks like it is time to bootie some feet, yuck, booties can start getting expensive when we don't get snow soon enough. The trails get rock hard and that is not good on their feet. Hopefully we'll also be on sleds in the next week or so if we get the snow we are supposed to get. I always get worried about the transition to the sled though because our trip out of the driveway and down a plowed road before our 2nd turn can get a bit hairy. I've lost teams on that 2nd turn more times than I want to admit. My dad is usually following me on the snowmachine, thankfully, so we can catch the team as quick as possible. That turn to Larry is nothing. He goes out of the driveway with a 12 dog team like a piece of cake. It is so easy for him.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Deer Camp & Dog Trainin' Ana's 1st deer camp stay

Ana helping with the dogs

Well, we've been busy as usual around here, so I haven't been able to post another blog entry in awhile. We just got back from spending 3 nights out at deer camp for the opening weekend of the gun season. We had so much fun out there and Ana LOVED it and didn't want to leave today. We all saw some deer, but nobody saw anything big enough to take. There were a total of 4 spike horns that were seen, but we don't shoot spikes to let them get bigger. My dad got a big 10 point in Canada the week before that will score in the high 150's on the B&C scale, so he didn't mind not getting anything. We LOVE deer camp. It is so relaxing and the food is awesome!!! I'm so glad Ana liked it out there, which means we will stay more often now that she's a bit older.
I've been super busy training dogs lately with the longer miles. We ran 14.5 last week and followed that up with two fast, fun 8.1 mile runs. We finally broke our ATV record time this year for the 8.1 mile trail. Larry ran a 14 dog team with 8 yearlings in it on Saturday and did the run in 34 minutes, averaging 14.29 mph. I ran it the day before in 35, so of course Larry had to beat that with his team. He even changed leaders once during the run!! The dogs were cookin and came in so happy with tails just a waggin. Before that we broke our 11 mile trail record. Before it was 1:08, which I did about a month ago. Doesn't sound too fast, but last year we ran it in 1:14 and it is an extremely hilly/difficult trail. Well, about a week and a half ago I ran it in 1:03. The dogs came in not even looking like they ran, so we upped their mileage. My team this year is half yearlings, so I am very excited for next season when they will have a racing and training season under their belts. So, we've been pretty pleased with our training so far. We've had a couple flat runs, but most all our runs are going very well this year. Well, I will post more training pics after Turkey Day. So, HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Trouble on the TrailFender (grey dog) and her brother Jackson
Well, we have snow!!! It should be exciting, but really it kind of messes up training this time of year. The trails are a sloppy mess so you can't do as much speed stuff because there's not enough snow for sleds, there are trees down in the trail, and it makes kennel chores very annoying. We had a good 11 mile run this week. The dogs are ready to move up mileage, but we will finish out the week with our 8-11 mile runs. Last night I ran 14 dogs on our 8.1 mile trail. This was supposed to be fast and fun and I always try to beat my best time for this particular trail when running it if everything is going well. We have a record ATV time and sled time for this trail. Obviously the ATV time is slower than the sled time because the dogs are pulling me and a 500 lb ATV. Plus, there are TONS of HUGE hills here. For example, in the last 3 miles of this particular trail there is the "Huge" hill and the "Big" hill. I know, we are creative with the names! The "Huge" hill is about a 1/4 mile long, but very steep, like a ski hill. We live near an area that had a ski resort in the 70's. Then, after that we encounter the "Big" hill, which is less steep, but still big, hence the name, and it is .7 miles long. So, this trail isn't flat by any means. So, anyways the run was going awesome. I tried to stop the team a couple of times for a break, but they wanted none of it. They were nuts and wanted to keep going!! We were maintaining 15 mph pretty much the whole run, sometimes up to 16 mph. We made it up the "Huge" hill and at the bottom the team was again cruisin at about 15 mph. By this time we were at 26 minutes total and the record for this run with ATV is 36 min., 13.5 mph average. We only had about 2 miles to go, so we could easily do it! by the time we almost reached the "Big" hill, I saw a HUGE tree laying across the trail. Uh oh, I stopped the team and went up to investigate. It was too big to move, I tried. The trunk was 3/4 of the way across the trail and its branches extended all the way to a steep bank on the left side of the trail. The dogs were foaming at the mouth to go. I pulled Star and Cowgirl ontop of the bank and decided we'd try and go around it. I knew we'd have trouble getting the ATV up it though, but this is all we could do. Star and Cowgirl ran on the bank and went around the tree like good dogs, but when they dropped back onto the trail after the tree, the rest of the team followed and got drug into the tree. The team pulled all the dogs through its big branches, except Cowboy, who was running infont of wheel. His necline broke and he was spun around facing me and tangled in the tree branches. I stopped and went to untangle him, but the team was pulling forward and his tugline was still hooked up, so it was really putting pressure on Cowboy's body. His harness was completely wrapped around some of the branches. I tried to untangle him, as the team was pulling on him harder and harder. THEN the light bulb in my brain went off and I finally remembered why I've been carrying a leatherman all these years in my pocket. I cut his tugline loop and he was free and seemed ok, so I fixed his lines and put him back in the team. We finally made it home, but the record will have to wait till another run. We did do it in 42 minutes though, even after all that chaos. Cowboy was fine, but he had a scratch on his back from the tree. Thank goodness it wasn't anything more serious. Oh, incase you are wondering, our record with the sled is 28 minutes for this trail, averaging 17.35 mph.

Friday, November 2, 2007

November TrainingOtter & Fender (right)
The temps have been great here lately, so we've had some nice training runs. We did our first 11 mile run last night with 8 yearlings and 6 adults in the team. They did super! We ended up doing the run 7 minutes faster than a really good 11 miler that we ran last season. We even had lots of stops for various reasons, one being a tree down in the trail. Thankfully, there was a small opening and I just pulled the team around it and kept going. Last season, me and Jerry Papke ran that same trail and there were two HUGE trees in the trail. Going over the 2nd tree, my ATV tipped over on its side. It was after a really bad storm. That was a scary run there for a bit, but we both finished fine. We will continue to run 8-11 mile runs for the next week, with a fun run or two (shorter run) thrown in there every once in awhile, then we will go up to our 13-15 mile trails for most of November. I like to be up to 20 miles by the first of December for the racing we are doing- shorter mid-distance. Surprisingly, the yearlings are handling everything we are throwing at them speed & mileage wise. They finish every run with wagging tails and ALWAYS want to run. That is what I like about these guys. A number of them are also running a very good lead at this time: Fender (finished in lead last night), Jersey, Boston, Jackson, Gibson & Eddie to name a few. My main veteran leaders are shaping up to be Star & Otter for commands and speed and Zoey as a back up leader. Of course, we rotate different dogs into lead every training run so everyone gets a chance up there. Well, I hope this weather stays nice and cold this month so we have great training and we have snow by December 1st!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Our Tribute To Bailey
"Our faithful Buddy"

We got Bailey 11 years ago from the Allegan county "Hilltop Rescue" when we were going to college in Kalamazoo. He was all wet and sitting in the back of a pen filled with other dogs, looking pathetic. He was the one Larry wanted, so we took him home with us. Right from the start, he was a dog that NEVER left our sides for anything. He got into trouble a lot that first year as a pup (he was 4 months old when we got him). One time we came home to our blinds in our apartment ripped down, our Christmas tree knocked over, and Bailey sittin on the couch waiting for us. We thought we had been broken into, but Bailey had broken OUT of his kennel and destroyed our house! I was not very fond of him at first, but we quickly grew attached after he got over his puppy antics and became the BEST dog we had EVER had. He was pretty spoiled, slept on the bed with us and went with us everywhere, especially since we couldn't leave him in a kennel, he was the ultimate escape artist! Even after we got into sled dogs, he was still the only one that got to be in the house. He had kind of a snobby attitude with the sled dogs and would only associate with the females at certain times! He seemed to know he didn't belong outside with "working dogs". He was the king of the kennel and all the other dogs knew it. We never had to tie him up or keep him confined, he always stayed around the house and never caused any problems and lived a carefree, healthy life up until 8 months ago. We found a bump on his front leg and took him to the vet only to find out the worst news. He had Osteocarcoma and would only have a few months to live. We made him as comfortable as possible for the remainder of his life. He was on a pain pill every day and slept on his pillow. The last month he really started to go downhill and his tumor grew to the size of about two softballs. He exceeded his expected lifespan of 4 months and lived 8. On Thursday the 25th, we said our final good byes to him. Larry took him in and Dr. Greve made it very peaceful for Bailey. We are grateful for the 11 years we had the privledge of knowing him. There will never be another dog like Bailey.
Good Bye old friend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Shaw's Training WeekendThis is our trailer, finally finished. It has 26 individual dog boxes, but we can double box and haul as many as 52 dogs if we had to. Thankfully, we don't have that many!
This is Saturday at Shaw's. We kept the yearlings tied out all day. It was such good training for them just being there around all the other teams. They actually got used to all the comotion pretty quick and even relaxed some.

Memphis (left) and Peavey. Memphis DOES sit still, it is a miracle!

Tefa & Star (black dog) in lead on Sunday morning. Can you tell they were pumped?

Zoey & Windows leading one of our teams on Saturday morning.

Otter (brown dog) and Star leading the 2nd team on Saturday. Look at that doggie smile!
We had a great weekend at Shaw's. 7 of our 11 yearlings have never even been boxed in the dog trailer, so the experience was awesome for them. They got a TON of passing and head on passing all weekend. Saturday on the 8 mile trail, most of the Odessa yearlings were way out in the weeds with every pass. Eddie, Jersey, Memphis and Boston barely batted an eye at the other teams. What a difference a day makes. Sunday all the yearlings passed well, Tak & Fender were still cautious though, but not like the day before. Otter was the only leader that hesitated on some passes. We ran her with Windows on Sunday and Windows showed her the ropes. She will hopefully take after her mom when Windows retires. We had a great time talkin' dogs with all the mushers up there and eatin great food! Thanks to Bob & Jan for your wonderful hospitality as always.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Projects DONE!!! Ana outside helping with the dogs
Windows & Fender(right). Fender is only a yearling and is doing super in lead!

Gibson (left white dog) and his sister Peavey

Cowgirl (left) and Jersey. Jersey works so hard in the team I swear she is gonna keel over, but she never does. She always finishes with her tail waggin.

The team going fast again. They love this change from the slow hard pulling

Takin a break
Well, we are finally DONE with ALL projects, including and most important, the dog trailer!! It looks beautiful! I will post a picture on the next blog entry. Only thing that sucks is it will only stay nice looking until we use it, the dogs jump all over it, then it is covered in mud- oh well! The only thing we are waiting for is our ATV axle to arrive in the mail. Then, we can have our ATV back, I can't wait, I hope it gets here so we can have it fixed before this weekend. We go up to Bob & Jan Shaw's in Newberry this weekend for training and rabies shots for the dogs. I can't wait, it is so much fun up there and there are always TONS of teams, so all our youngsters will get a bunch of passing practice. Have a great week and weekend!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fast & Fun! This is the team running a bit faster, they LOVE it!
break time

Our training is back on track now that it is colder. We've had a couple of mishaps this week. Our 4wheeler brakes are fixed, but we needed a new right front axle. The guy fixing it said the wheel was about ready to fall off! could you imagine that with a bunch of dogs hooked to it?!! That would not have been too fun. The part was gonna cost $329 around here, but I found it on ebay for $149!! Thank goodness for ebay! So, for the meantime we are using my dad's smaller ATV until we get ours back. I also woke up on Wednesday with a scratched cornea from something in my eye the night before. So, I went to the doctor to get it checked out. When I got out of the office, Ana was waiting with my mom in the waiting room and said at the top of her lungs "Are ya all fixed momma?!!!" It was pretty funny, the things kids say. I can't wear my contact in that eye for a week, so I am pretty much going on my right eye till then. It sucks, but I'm getting used to it. I wore Larry's glasses to feed dogs yesterday morning and almost killed myself stepping into a hole Eddie dug. Glasses have no depth perception, now I know why I don't wear them!
We upped our mileage to 7.2 miles last night and I ran two 11 dog teams. They handled it with ease. I let them go faster, a nice lope for most of the run. They loved it and barked to go at every stop. We still worked hard up hills etc. and both teams finished strong. We will alternate between this 7.2 mile trail and our 8.1 mile trail till after next weekend when we go to Shaw's training session. Otter and Star lead one of the teams last night and just did a super job! Star has finally learned commands and Otter is going to be a super command leader like her mom Windows. She is only 3 so will be leading my team for a few more years. They got every turn on the new trail. I was so proud of them!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Relief 2!!!!!Woohoo!!!!! Finally, the temps are back to normal!!! I could've done cartwheels this morning when I woke up to a temp of 44 degrees, but I am getting old! It has been unbearably hot here since last Friday, in the high 80's and very humid. I can't ever remember an October like this. Our last run with the dogs was Thursday night, they've had 4 days off. Tonight we will finally get to run again!! Our 4wheeler is being fixed, we have some major brake problems that we can't figure out, so I will borrow my dad's and run tonight and hopefully we will have ours back tomarrow. I don't know if I will be used to a 4wheeler that actually has working brakes. So far this season, we've had to run no more than 11 dogs per team and park on a hill when we stop. I will finally be able to run a bigger team tomarrow, so that means training only one team per day, which will be nice not having to be outside till the wee hours of the night running both teams. We have also starting repairing our dog box doors. Nothing like waiting till the last minute, we need it done by next weekend to go to Shaw's. One of these years, it will actually be DONE and we won't have to spend all our time fixing it! We got new latches, hinges, ordering the expanded metal for the doors, and we will repaint it. I will post a picture when we finally finish it. Enjoy all the GREAT cold weather coming our way, I know I will be!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Zoey & her daughter Memphis (below). Don't they look alike?? The only real difference between them is Memphis is a little fluffier than her mom. Zoey is the mother to two litters of pups in our kennel. We have 3 really good yearlings out of her and seven 14 week old pups. Martin (white dog) and his sister Fender (the guitar litter). Fender is doing exceptionally well. Martin is kinda a knucklehead still, a bit distracted at times, but is still doing a good job. He is always running on his partner's side, which I hope he learns NOT to do by sled training. He really turns on the speed when asked.
Gibson (left) and his sister Taylor (more of the guitar litter). They are both doing awesome!! Gibson is running a pretty good lead so far. They both are very hard driving dogs! Gibson never once chased the 4wheeler like his siblings as pups when I free ran them. I had doubts about him, not anymore. He is exceeding all my expectations.

Eddie (brown yearling) and Odessa (mother to the guitar litter). Odessa always does well. Eddie is a super yearling!! So well behaved, works hard and runs lead like a natural. We are so glad we were able to buy him from the Curtice's. We really like him!

Duelly (black dog) and his sister Otter. Their mom is our almost retired super leader Windows. They are hopefully going to take after her. Both are running lead very well this year, focused and confident. Duelly was a knucklehead as a youngster, but had moments of greatness, so we hung onto him. Very glad we did, at races he really turns it on! He gets more and more confident every year. I really hope to have Otter as a main leader this year. She is very smart and is getting good at commands.

We are still running our 5.6 mile trail for the past week. It has been too warm most days to move the mileage up anymore. Last night was our first really cool night since last Fri. The dogs were on fire and really enjoyed the faster bursts of speed here and there during the run. I enjoyed it as well!! Going slow for over a month gets old after awhile. But, the dogs really need to build muscles going slower for awhile before we implement any speed. October is the time to start focusing on a race pace. We start by doing short bursts of speed till they are running their race pace most of the run by the end of the month.
We also have to get going on our dog box repairs before the 3rd weekend of this month when we go to Newberry, to Shaw's training weekend. It is so FUN!! We had to miss it last year since our new dog trailer wasn't done and there is nothing like waiting till the last minute this year to do some repairs on it before we go!! We ordered our new latches and hinges (ones that don't rust) and will begin fixing it this weekend.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Workin hard!Duelly (black dog below) and Jackson
The weather has been cooperating nicely for training lately. We have been running our 4.2 mile trail, going slow for the most part with a couple bursts of speed to get them ready for upcoming training. Tonight, we will move up to 6 miles with bursts of speed here and there and eventually will run more of a race pace in the next few weeks to get ready for sleds in December and racing in January. Duelly has really stepped up to the plate in lead this fall. He has been so focused, where in the past, he was always concerned about every noise behind him and getting distracted. Looks like he finally worked all that out. Jackson, who is only a yearling, is doing a great job in lead this fall. He will be challenging for positions on the main team this year in the shorter races. He is going to be a really good dog as far as I can see at this point. His littermates: Gibson, Martin, Tak, Taylor, Fender and Peavey look great as well!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Puppies, Training & Ana...The pups are now 12 weeks old. Tried to take a picture of them, but they aren't very good at standing still!!
Ana LOVES to help with the dogs. This is her stretching the line out before hookup. She is tough, doesn't care about getting dirty and LOVES the dogs, she will definetly be a musher someday!!

This is my team on the first mile of trail Saturday night. Razzle and Eddie are in wheel.

Otter (brown dog) and Cowgirl leading my team on Saturday. Otter is turning into a wonderful leader like her mom, Windows. She is always very happy and wagging her tail.

Duelly (black dog) and Boston after Sunday morning's run. Duelly is also doing very well in lead this year. He did a super job staying focused and keeping the line out with Boston in lead with him the last half of the run. Very important to pair your youngsters with good leaders so they don't learn any bad habits.

Jackson, one of the yearlings, after Sunday's run. He is going to be a super star!! He looks tired with his one eye closed, but you'd never know it on the trail.

Ana gettin' dirty playing in the mud while we were doing our dog chores. When she comes outside to help us train, she always says "It's gonna be Great"!! That is what Sponge Bob says, and Ana watches that ALL the time.
We had a nice weekend getting a few things done. Larry changed out our furnace to a 93% instead of 80% to save some $$ on propane this winter. I still have to spray out the freezers today and get them ready for our meat that I pick up this week (1,000 pounds). Aside from the warm weather and taking a few more days off than we wanted, the training is going very well. All the dogs are working hard, have excellent attitudes and are very responsive to our commands- even the yearlings, they learn quick!! We are still running our 4.2 mile trail, but will most likely be running 6 miles by next weekend. It is also supposed to get cooler again on Tuesday- yeah!! Well, I better get outside and get the rest of my stuff done so I can RELAX- yeah right!!!