Friday, January 21, 2011

Bad Musher! No Biscuit!

So yesterday it started snowing heavily around 1pm, and since I had to work late, I decided I would head home and work from there. If everything went as planned, I'd end work, grab the sled and get in some sledding before it got too dark to see.

All went well, and I was able to complete our cut-over by 17:30 hours. Ecstatic, I harnessed up Bandit and Princess, mainly because this would be my first time with dogs attached to the sled and in case they got away with or without the sled, they have the best recall as well as being good pullers.

From the start I knew I was in for it when I tried to get Bandit to go down the hill and into the field/side yard from my house. The idea was that we would make a couple of loops around the yard and come back to the house. Bandit, however, had other plans. He was in harness with his favorite running partner and he'd be damned if he was going to only run around on our 3 acres! As soon as I gave the "Hike" command, he made a bee-line for the road. "Gee! Gee!" I yelled, and Bandit was having none of that.

Well to keep from looking like an idiot, I shut up and hung on as we hopped the ditch and went up on to the road. For a few hair raising moments, I was sliding a rail on the edge of the road headed for the speed limit sign, but managed to pop the runners up over the edge at the last moment. I let Bandit run down to the bridge before I rode the brake, telling him "Whoah!" He was not amused, and turned around to give me the plaintive look of a dog who has had their toy taken away. "Gee!" I said to try to get him to go into the field.

"Hunh?" I could see the gears spinning in his eyes. I carefully got off the sled, keeping a hold and reached for the gangline to keep constant pressure on it. I then crowded him and Princess off the road, and they got it. "Gee!" I said happily and the light bulb came on. They both took off into the field as I frantically grabbed the handlebar of the sled and jumped on before they left me behind. The ran along the creek back towards the house when I slowed them again and told Bandit "Gee". He turned around, and trotted back past me... ah well, I let them help yank the sled around, but I didn't do as graceful and ended up eating some snow. I finally managed to get the sled upright again and we proceeded back towards the far end of the field by the bridge. "Haw!" This time Bandit went left! I was so proud, but then he got into the thick weeds, so I jumped off the runners and helped push, only to find that without my weight to slow them down, they were much faster than I was.

I tried to get both feet on the runners, but missed, and ended up eating snow again, hands firmly wrapped around the handlebar. Something snapped, and I ended up with a rounded piece of nylon in my hands while watching the dogs tear off down the field with my sled and no me.

"Jim!" I yelled to my husband who had his back to me and his head down, so I was really yelling to his butt. "Get the dogs! Bandit! Haw!" I yelled, and obediently he turned left towards the house into Jim.

Disappointed I knew it would be a while before I could go sledding again. My first day on the runners with dogs and I broke the sled... Bad me...

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