Saturday was overcast, but a nice 42 degrees out, so I harnessed up the dogs, pumped up the tires (leaky valves) on the cart, pulled out the gangline, and woke my son to help me hook up. Since Samantha is my slowest dog, and since she is pregnant, I wanted her to set the pace so as not to overtax her. So, I put her up front with Yukon. Going out was spectacular. I kept the dogs to an easy lope since Samantha had a bit of trouble keeping up with Yukon, I had to slow him down. The dogs did great! They turned left with only one "Haw" at the junction by the bridge, and turned right with one "Gee" at the junction by the mini-railroad.
By the end of a mile, I could see Samantha was tiring, so I asked the team to "Come Around Gee". Yukon tried to turn around, but Samantha was having none of it. She didn't want to go home even if she was tiring. So, I ended up parking the cart, and gently pulling Yukon and Samantha around to point the other way. As soon as I let go, Samantha pulled the team back down facing the way we were going. This went on for about ten minutes with many tangles until I finally decided to switch her out with Freya. By this time, James had almost caught up with us.
I managed to get the switch done and told Freya "Line Out" and she pulled the team straight heading for home and waited this time. :) She did excellent and took a left at the mini-train when I said "Haw" once and right at the bridge when I said "Gee" once even though Yukon didn't want to go right, Freya shouldered him from the outside. With me pedaling we got 3/4 up the hill and I got out and pushed the cart the rest of the way. Freya and Yukon halted when I said "Whoah" and waited for me to unhook the gangline and then lead the way in to the gate.
It was our best run yet if you discount the turn around. Everything else went perfect, and the dogs were excellent!
We did some work cleaning out the barn, but it was apparent to me that unless we hired some help, it will not be ready in time for Samantha to whelp her pups in there. My job is to convince him that she will need to have them inside, and then we can move them to an outdoor enclosure once they open their eyes and are a bit mobile. Samantha will keep them clean up until that point. It will be doubly important to keep her and the pups away from Freya and the boys for a few days, as there will be fights for no other reason than Samantha defending her pups and we need to be sure none of the dogs or pups get hurt.
By Saturday evening, they had enough rest, and were full of playful energy again, running back and forth across the yard. I chased Demon around, much to his delight, and then we did a little obedience training, sit, lay down, stay, come, and then we did some fun tricks, like up and walk.
Sunday was beautiful, and we took the four-pack and G'kar for a long liesurely walk. It took a bit of convincing for Freya and Samantha to realize this wasn't a training run, but they got it, and started having fun, jumping around, sniffing, and digging, and trying to eat deer poop. Bleh!
Afterwards, I got to work on the shed, re-fitting the backwall and building the other side-wall. I was done before my husband and son returned from getting more leveling bricks, so did a bit of work on the stone walkway in back.
Again the dogs romped and played in the evening cool. Yukon raced from fence to fence, fast as lightning! I love to watch that dog run! It was funny though, that on one such run, Freya ran to play with him, and ended up body-checking him and sending him rolling. He looked annoyed at first, but quickly laughed it off and played with her and Demon.
Samantha has gotten very possessive of all treats, and this morning tried to take Freya's biscuit again. Freya was having none of that, and they got in a heated argument. I broke it up fortunately with nothing more than two wet egos and a lot of bad feelings towards each other. At least it was nothing more than an argument, as there were no serious bites, just a lot of flashy teeth, growling and shoving. Never-the-less, I separated them and checked them over to be sure. I kept them separated for more than an hour, then woke my son to watch them, as I had to head out to work.
Samantha has the opportunity to open-feed, so I know this is not her issue. It is all about the treats and she tries to steal them as often as she can. Being pregnant has only worsened her drive to take treats. Going to have to think about how I can train her not to do this.