Saturday it was 52 degrees out so I thought it might be a good time to introduce Cat to the harness. He was very patient and still as I put on his harness, but after I put the harness on Freya he started to catch on that something exciting was about to happen. Freya started whining and jumping, almost howling to get out and get hooked up. Cat began to get worked up as I put a collar on him and took him out on a leash. Jim followed me with Freya, and held both as I got the second tug line on the bike and the neckline from the shed. Freya whined and howled as I hooked up her tug, and Cat began to whine too, but he was so excited, he kept spinning in circles, tangling both himself and Freya. It took a couple of minutes for him to realize he was holding up the show as we untangled him for the second time. He kept facing forward just long enough for me to hop on and give Freya the "Let's Go!" command and off she leapt, nearly pulling the bike out from under me! Overjoyed, Cat realized we were headed off at a dead run and he was more than happy to stretch his long legs!
I had to lean on the brakes to keep Freya slow enough for Cat to get used to running, which didn't make her very happy at first. She soon realized, though that she was training her son to pull, and she slowed down on her own and kept to his pace. What an amazing dog she is! We went about 1.75 miles total, and on the last .2 miles Cat began to tire somewhat, so we took it easy up the hill, and I pedaled most of the way. Cat is a natural runner, the narrower chest, long legs and long body, and he loved every minute of it, especially the frozen meat patty reward. No sore feet, but he was sleepy most of the rest of the day. Sunday he kept whining at the front door to go running again, even though it was rainy all day. He'd make a great sled dog, but that would be one too many. :( Ah well, I think if I train him up and take him to a couple races in the fall, he'll find a great mushing home.
Also Saturday, I ended up taking in little Buck as his stitches had worked their way to the surface and caused an infection. The vet snipped the offending stitches and gave him a course of anti-biotics, and I took him home. He was feeling a little punky all day Saturday and Sunday, but was perking up Sunday evening. Last night, he woke me up at 12:35am to show me the baby squirrel he caught... um, thanks Buck.