Every day after my run I log into my computer and add the run into my fancy, father in law created, Access Database. It allows me to thoroughly track the mileage logged by each of the dogs, the position they ran, and much more. Then, as a precaution because I don't completely trust computers, I log the run in shorthand on the calendar in the kitchen. The only notations I put on the calendar are smiley and frowny faces on the occasion that the run was really great (most runs are great - but I'm talking about really great!) or really bad. On really rare occasions a double smiley face will appear next to the run - and then there are the really, really rare moments like this morning - a THREE smiley face run.
What makes it really remarkable is that not only was it a three smiley face run but five of the dogs on the team were yearlings (See, Meg, Beauty, Tie, and TopDog) and one (Turtle) was out for his very first run!! Now I had padded the rest of the team to counter the fact that I had so many youngsters in the group and put in real powerhouses Spider, Dasher, Charge, Watt, Wolvie, X, and Crunchie. Rounding out the 16 was Wonder, Comet and Roary.
Hookup took alittle longer then normal, as I was working alone and getting 6 rookies pointing forward on your own can sometimes take some doing. With alot of noise driven by the high level of excitement of the young dogs we launched out of the yard. We got maybe a hundred yards before Meg managed to get her leg hung up in See harness. She was sure she was dying, but Mom came running to the rescue and 'saved her life'. We were off again. Turtle did fabulous for about the first 3/4 of a mile and then he got thinking too much. I dropped the team down into 2nd gear and rode the brakes to allow him time to work through his worries. It worked wonderfully, he got back into his harness and back to work in a short amount of time. I kept the quad in 2nd gear to make sure we weren't going to stress him again though. About 2 miles into the run things started to seriously 'click'. Everyone's head was down and they were hard into their harnesses. So very nice to see with young dogs!!! I took numerous breaks and everytime within a minute or two the dogs were leaping and screaming to get going again.
It was especially rewarding to see See pounding her harness to get moving, as on her first run, she was doing an exceptional imitation of a possum when we started.
The dogs came back into the yard at a speed equal to the one they initially left the yard at. They had driven hard up every hill, pulled like demons on the flat and loped hard on the short stretches I asked them to. Spider and Dasher hit every corner with nothing more then one quiet command.
Tails wagged and tongues lolled as I petted and praised them all up. I unhooked Turtle and made a big fuss over him while taking off his harness and putting him away.
After everyone had a good drink and had caught their breath, I hopped back on the ATV and asked them to leave the yard for their 'go around loop'. They shot out like rockets and the engine on the machine whined as it tried to hold them back. As we rounded the last corner towards home, I relented and gave them an extra gear. They grabbed the gift and kicked it into overdrive. You could just feel the power vibrating in the gangline with each stride. Sweet.
As I put them away, they stood and complained that the run was too short - especially See!
This might be the most exciting group of yearlings I've ever had! :) :) :)