Friday, October 24, 2008

Shaw's Training Weekend The yearlings finally resting after their run

The two year olds resting after their run

Boston, one of our most promising 2 year olds. He ran on my Midnight Run team last year as a yearling

Zoey (left) in lead with her son Boston

Liddell (left), one of our yearlings, next to Jackson, one of our other super 2 year olds

Odessa (left) and Star

Georgie (left), another yearling and Duelly

Cowgirl (left) and Zoey, two of my main leaders

Star & Tefa leading the team
Last weekend we went up to Bob & Jan Shaw's for our annual training weekend. We had so much fun!!!! Ana stayed home with Grandpa and Grandma and Larry and I headed up with 22 dogs. It was so nice seeing everyone and having a great doggy weekend. The trails were awesome, the weather crisp and cold. Perfect for running dogs! This weekend is esential for our young dogs. There are tons of teams, so we always get lots of passing practice in. This is very important to train before our upcoming races. We are happy to report that every young dog did super passing!! We even had 3 of our two year olds in lead: Eddie, Boston & Jersey. They did excellent and passed other teams like pros. What a wonderful weekend. Only thing, it is NEVER long enough! It sure was nice getting home and picking Ana up though. We always miss her, so maybe next time she will come with us and camp out. It is nice to get away, but soooo nice to come back home. In other news, training is going well. We are a bit ahead of schedule, so that is always nice. More to come later..........

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

First Day of School, Training etc......
Ana, her cousin Maddy and their friend Landon on the first day of Preschool.

Ana helping daddy dig the trench for our new wood boiler

digging the trench

The team on Gas Plant Trail on a 7 mile training run last week. Look how beautiful the colors are!!

The team at the bottom of the "big" hill. I know, we are real creative with our names. We have the "big" hill and the "huge" hill. The big hill is a steady incline and is almost a mile long. It is a great workout for the dogs in early fall while we are building muscle.

Memphis (left) and Star in lead

Ana playing with Cigar, one of the Odessa/Mike Lee pups in the background
Well, we are busy as usual at the Fortier house. Ana started school a few weeks ago. She LOVES it. She has to put her back pack on like a big girl when going into the school. She has so much fun there that she wants to go every day. Thankfully for me it is only 2 days per week of getting up super early. We are also getting a wood boiler. For those that don't know, it is a giant woodstove that is outside your house, making it safer. You pipe it into your furnace and burn wood instead of using propane (which is HUGELY expensive in these parts). This will more than cut our heating bill for the winter in half. Needless to say, I've never been so excited to get a wood boiler as I am now. Just turning my thermostat up is going to be exciting!!! We spent one weekend cutting and stacking wood (very hard work) and the rest of our wood is coming from a loggers train we are slitting with our friends. This will be enough wood for over a year!! Our training is going very well. We are ahead of schedule this year, which is a great place to be. We are running 8 miles and ready to move up the distance, but some warm temps later in the week might delay that till next week. Everyone is looking awesome. We have a lot of leaders we are rotating. Star, Odessa, Zoey, Tefa, Cowgirl are our veteran leaders. We also have a lot of the 2 year olds like Eddie, Jersey, Memphis, Fender, Boston, Jackson and a few others. George, Dana and Serra are our best yearling leaders. Windows, our 9 year old super leader, started the season with us to help sharpen the skills of our younger dogs in lead. Sadly she has about reached her limit with our young team at 8 miles and will be dropped from training soon. She has so much drive and has been such an awesome dog for us. It will be hard seeing her sit on the sidelines for the first time in her life. She will resume training when we harness break the Odessa/Mike Lee pups, who are now 5 months old. We will do that in December. Well, that is all for now. Next weekend we go to our super fun training weekend in the U.P. at Bob & Jan Shaw's. I will post more pictures and another entry after we get back.