First off the most exciting news - Joey (Alaskan's Georgio of Anadyr) whelped out 3 pups yesterday. Well, the first two on the 14th and the 3rd yesterday, but it all kind of blurs into one day to me! She was several days overdue and I had been hovering nervously over her for a few nights. The first two pups look a lot like their Dad, Grover and the third one is a very cool looking piebald - white with black spots. Joey is one of the most relaxed Mom's I seen and the pups are a content and quiet bunch.
Joey and her pups enjoy a meal!
Other then that, things are plugging along here. I managed to sprain my ankle in one of the 'human traps' that the dogs dig out in the yard. They are so pleased when you take a nosedive into one of their holes and instantly pounce upon you to cover you with kisses. It's an even bigger bonus if they get you while you are carrying bowls of food!! This was almost a week ago and the pain has now just turned into a dull throb. It better just go away, I have a dog show this weekend and need to be able to run. Ah well, learning to work through pain is always good training for Iditarod!
I had a tiring and trying run this morning. Cassie has been showing signs that she was going to really start seeing things my way. I let that lull me into a false sense of trust in her and hooked her up as my main leader this morning (she had Kaylinn with her, but Kaylinn has absolutely no clue about anything other then just running when up front). Behind them I had all the 2 year olds and then other 'A' team dogs scattered throughout. Cassie was awesome for the first few miles. Then we came to our watering spot and I wanted to go by it, do a small loop and then come back and then stop to water. Cassie failed to see the wisdom in that plan and went on strike. Man that dog can strike - she gets this disgusted look on her face and plants her feet firmly on the ground. As she sees me coming up the team, see throws me this look that clearly says "Talk to the paw - I don't care what YOU want to do.". I struggled through with her for another mile or so and then decided this wasn't in the best interest of the rest of the team. I got her working again and then stopped on a positive note and took her out of lead. Because I was still suffering sleep depravation, or because I hadn't had enough coffee this morning, I decided to stick Olena up front for the very first time. Now I had 2 leaders and 2 swing dogs that didn't know 'Gee' and "Haw'. Olena was a little STAR (as I figured she would be) - she never looked over her shoulder, just leaned into that harness and pulled like crazy. I had to stop and run up front to show them what I wanted on just about every corner, but Kaylinn even showed signs that she understood more then I thought about commands. She really, really tries hard to please!!
Things continued along great until we came into the yard. Now this is usually a time when the dogs are starting to think about their snacks and I'm thinking about that cup of coffee that isn't too far away. Distracted by visions of caffeine, I failed to see the problem brewing until we were wrapped around a kennel and tree at the edge of the dog yard - and then Fly came flying into the picture. Olena saw no reason she should go running with him and every time I got them straightened out and pointing the right direction - off she went, tangling us again. It actually turned into a great training tool for both Kaylinn and Olena - both finally got the idea and held the line tight while I ran back to the 4 wheeler, then pulled solidly and straight into the yard - despite the big 'Fly' buzzing around them! What good dogs!
Leaving the yard for our 'finishing loop' (I usually ask the dogs to leave the yard and do a small ½ mile loop before putting them away) was just as exciting, Olena dug into her harness when asked but then had some trouble understanding that this was not the time to chat with Dasher, Dancer, and the 'Race to the Sky' pups!
They finished strong though and did a really admirable job of coming into the yard the second time! Yeah Olena - the more I work with her, the more I'm excited about her potential! And YEAH for Kaylinn, she is really developing into a keen to please and responsible leader. As for Cassie….I guess it is back to the drawing board….*sigh*
Have a great day!