Sunday, 2 December 2007

December 2, 2007 4 Wheeler Lesson By Hilda

Well, temperatures continue to toy with -30 and lower. I think the outdoor thermometer touched on -40 overnight last night, but 'nature boy' Mark went out this morning and declared that no way it was -40. I was too chicken to open the door and really look, but with a flashlight it sure looked to me like it was reading -40.

Things have warmed up to about -29 now, but still too cold to run a team with a 4 wheeler.

Speaking of the 4 wheeler, I was reminded of an important lesson yesterday -

Wheels up..handlebars down - oh, opps, it's wheels DOWN..handlebars up. Yeah, that's it.

Yes, for the first time in many years I managed to roll my 4 wheeler on a run yesterday (no fear Mom, I'm totally fine). I'm blaming the whole thing on Hilda, although she is completely unapologetic about it - she might have actually been laughing about the whole incident right after it happened.

Not much of a 'story' to tell with it, I'm afraid. Hilda just caught me off guard (my mistake) and headed down my neighbors' driveway after one of their dogs. This is the same dog she had decided to run after a week or so ago, so I should have been prepared (for the record we have passed Casey on more runs then I can count over the last 5 or 6 years and Hilda has never wanted to chase her or any other dog before).

Anyway, I set the brakes best I could and went up to pull the team off the driveway and back onto the road. They got the 4 wheeler moving and I leapt for it. It became quickly obvious that we weren't going to make it by the culvert and ditch in between the road and their gates, so I bailed off as the machine rolled down into the ditch.

Everyone was fine and the flipped machine held the dogs while I got them back where they belonged.

It took some grunting and groaning for me to get the machine upright, then I enlisted some canine power to drag it back up onto the road. My back is feeling it today, but much better then the embarrassment of waiting for and flagging down a passing car to help. Pride can be a painful thing.

The rest of the run was uneventful, but cold. I came home through the muskeg and the snow on all the trees was gorgeous! Sadly too cold for my camera!

All else is going pretty well here. Kathryn is settled in nicely and is pretty much just part of the family now. It is such a treat to have her help around the yard - I feel completely spoiled. The dogs all like her, especially little Mr. Bean, who has her wrapped around his little paw.

Kathryn has also discovered, much to her surprise that she likes cats - well, our cats anyway - especially Tic. I think I've seen those little brat cats sticking their tongues out at me as they enlist more and more people into the 'TIC AND BAIT FAN CLUB'. I'm not a charter member, as I seem to be the one they wake up, the one that has to clean up the cat puke and the one that has issue with Bait sitting on our kitchen counter. Kara sees through those pointy eared, whiskered little fuzzballs too. That's my girl!

Oh, forgot to mention that I did make a few more cuts to the team. These ones were made mostly because I wanted to get my numbers down a bit. They were dogs I figured weren't going to make the trip to Alaska this year, just too young, but that were still having good runs. Anyway, it was Flash and Isis. I'm not at all disappointed in them, in fact, I'm very proud of how they have done up to now in training and expect big things from them next year.

That leaves 30 in the 'Super Dogs' group. I'll probably hang onto that number for another month or so, as it is a good number to work with and everyone is looking very solid. There are still 4 two year olds in that gang - Wolvie, X, Irving and Bingo. All 4 are outstanding, as are race rookies, Runner, Togo, Newt, and Roary. So 22 veterans and 8 rookies - sweet!

That's it from chilly Alberta for today!


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