Monday, September 28, 2009

September 28th Cool Weather and Good Times!

Samantha is such a lovely and happy dog! The more I get to know her, the more I love her. As you can tell, she has quickly become the family favorite and it is easy to see why. Not the best puller, but easily the best all-around attitude. She watches out for the other dogs and for her people. Plus, she has such a pretty smile!

She is friendly towards other people and other dogs, which makes her a great companion. I'll say it again, I am so glad we picked up these dogs! I know I'm setting a bad example for her being on the couch and sleeping at the foot of my bed, but I've also taught her that being moved for people is acceptable. She may not like it, but endures it without complaint (even though she sulks afterwards).

Saturday it rained all day, but I did get some work done on my tool block. Leatherworking has always been a secondary hobby of mine since high school. The years I spent in the Army and since then, I made many things from wristbands to leather SCA armor, chair covers, moccasins, etc. I have an extensive collection of stamping, molding and custom shaping tools, some made from old dental shaping tools (some of my best carving and shaping tools are from the dental variety), and it will be great to finally have them all in convenient holders by my hobby workbench.

Sunday, it finally stopped raining and the temperature was in the fifties! YAY! Since the humidity was still above 50%, I did some solo work with Yukon, Samantha and Freya on the bike. Yukon was rearing to go, and took off like a shot! He is so amazingly fast and strong! We went about 1.5 miles before he spotted a whitetail crossing the road! I was so proud of him for passing the spot with the "Leave it!" command! He was so happy to go that far down the mountain road that though he wanted to chase the deer, he was more than happy to keep running. He did exceptionally well with commands this trip. I suppose the cooler weather has put him more in running mode. We went about three miles total.

Samantha trotted, but she kept the tug taught and pulled, albeit not very hard. She was getting the idea by the end though, that I did indeed want her to pull when she was harnessed to the bike. She is a great dog and will be good in a distance team, but a sprinter, she is not, and probably will never be. Which is good in some respects, as I can rely on her to keep a pace if we ever decide to distance mush. She too, was great with commands, and didn't fail to follow them until almost near the end when she stopped to pee. Ah well. We went about 1.75 miles total.

Freya is an amazing pup! 11 months and she is easily our most eager runner and puller. Not quite as fast or strong as Yukon, but she is a step above in attitude and heart. She too was flawless in her commands, even passing by her favorite turn off when told "Haw" instead of "Gee". This was the first time she did not attempt to go down that road when told otherwise! She was so eager to run, I had to hold her back a bit in the beginning, which made her whine a bit, but near the end of 2.3 miles she was tiring on the last uphill, so I jumped off the bike and ran beside for the last .2 miles and she trotted on home. When we went to put the bike away, she headed for the front door, but a quick "Haw" and she headed for the back gate. What a great pup! She will be an amazing leader!

I worked on "Gee" and "Haw" with all three, but also worked on "Stand" and "Line-out", which have been a bit tough for them. It must be the cold weather, but all three dogs did great, and were semi-tired out enough to group around me the rest of the day. In the afternoon, Freya got her second wind, and was chasing through the yard again after the elusive squirrels.

Jim and I went and picked up the bricks I need to put under the beginnings of our shed, and I put together the back wall and mounted it on the floor platform. It is starting to look like a building!

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