Every year around this time we start to venture further from home and begin to utilize the ditches of Highway 2 for training. The ditches are huge and wide. Throughout the summer the quaders tend to put in a nice trail, but it is mostly too close to the highway to be safe with a dog team - so we need to put in a proper trail further away from the road.
It's tough work to ask leaders to put in a new trail within sight of a (to them) perfectly good existing trail - especially when the mowers haven't been through in a number of months and the grass is well about their heads most of the time.
I suppose I could go through ahead of time with just an ATV and put the new trail in, but what fun would that be???
This is usually a job I do with my very best leaders, so while we left the yard this morning with Smartie and See in lead, right behind them were Jinx and Dasher, ready to step up when required.
In fact, this is what the team looked like at hookup
That's Smartie and See, Jinx and Dasher, Kelly and Grimmy, Meg and Boo, Astro and Barq, Hector and Charge, Roscoe and Runner, Utin and Snert.
The first three miles were great, with Smartie and See doing a great job.
We did the first mile of the ditch, which we have been traveling for the last week or so and then got into the 'hairy stuff'. Time for the pros to go up front.
Dasher and Jinx proceeded to put on about a half hour lesson on what being a lead dog is all about!! Forget 'Leading 101' this was 'Leading 901'.
Putting a trail like this is not even like finding a blown in trail in a snowstorm - there is no trail to find - well, at least not one I want them to use!
They must strictly listen to voice commands, while most of the time not even being able to see where they are going.
Last year I did this with our handler Mike riding along. "I didn't even know dogs could do something like that", was his comment.
I don't think Simone was any less impressed today.
Heck, I was impressed. How could you not be??
We stopped a couple times and I made sure to mention to both girls what ROCKSTARS they were. They just grinned and banged their harnesses to get going!
I hope Smartie, See and the rest of the team were paying attention. That will be their job one day down the road!
|Dasher and Jinx at the end of the run today!|
Big booties to fill!!