Monday, October 24, 2011

Work Like a Dog!

Friday afternoon Jim and I drove up to Indiana to pick up a used Motorhome.  It is a 1988 Mallard Sprinter, 28', and not too large, but big enough for us and the dogs.  The engine was well cared for (though the rest of it was in less than pristine condition), and ran incredibly well, transmission and brakes seemed to be in order, so we paid the man for the vehicle and title.  I drove it back while Jim drove my truck back.  It was an interesting, and a bit of a harrowing experience.  I hadn't driven a motorhome for quite a few years, and this one was power-assist brakes, so rough on stopping power.  It also has a floppy right mirror, so I had little view out the right side (passing was nerve wracking, but hard not to when folks go down the highway at 60 mph in a 70 zone).  But being cautious and extending lead and reaction times, we made it home without incident (a bit rough driving on the narrow mountain roads, but by then I'd gotten used to the handling of the beast).

Saturday early, I harnessed up the race team, woke Jim and James, and grabbed the hd vid camera.  My intention was to vid my run, but the camera had other plans.  We hooked the dogs in, I hopped on and released the catch.  The first few seconds of the run are always frantic holding on and minimal braking, but once stablized, I fumbled with the camera one-handed as we approached the bridge.  I was able to turn it on and press the button, as we careened around the corner and up the hill.  we passed the trailer, flew around the railroad corner, and stormed up to the barn as the walkie fell out of my pocket.  Oops.  When we got level with the barn, Freya simply halted and turned around without being asked.  ???

I got up, and pulled her back towards the donkey farm, but as soon as I went back to the seat, she had pulled the team around again.  I pulled her back to the proper direction again, and went back to the seat, and she again pulled the team around, only this time, she went between Bucky and Yukon and really balled up the team.  Exasperated, but trying not to show the team my frustration, I ended up having to unhook Bucky who was hopelessly tangled in tugs and gangline while holding on to the leaders neckline to keep them from injuring him.  He was so badly wrapped up, that if they had lined out, they might have broken a leg.  Having straightened out that mess, I weighed the decision to keep going or to return to the house.  Not wanting to deal with another ball up.  I let Freya keep her homeward direction and started up again.  When we got level with the walkie, I scooped it back up and we continued on home. 

Jim and I then washed up and did our weekly shopping.  When we got back and everything put away, it was time to start work on the motorhome.  I had thought I would simply have to wash down the roof then begin re-caulking and sealing.  When I got on top, however, my initial glance had not done justice to 23 years worth of dirt and neglect.  There were lichens growing on the paint!  The soot and oxidation was very thick, so I had my son bring up a scrub brush.  For six hours, I scoured the top of the motorhome from front to back.  It was late by the time I was finished, so I let it dry overnight.

Sunday I got up and harnessed up Moony, Ace and Bandit.  I then tried for over an hour to convince Demon that he wanted to get harnessed and run with us to no avail.  With a sigh, I woke Jim and James, and got the three dogs out to the cart.  When Bandit was hooked up next to Ace and she saw him whining and leaping to go, she panicked and tried to back out of her harness.  She put on that scared stubborn face I knew meant that she was not going to run.  I asked James to remove her, and took off with just Moony and Bandit.  They did excellent considering the weight they were pulling, so at the .5 mile mark, I turned them around and let them run home for a full mile. 

After taking care of them and putting everything away, I checked the top of the motorhome only to find it was still wet in some places and damp in others.  So I waited a couple hours for the sun to dry it out while I vaccumed and steam vac'd the inside.  I checked the roof again, but it wasn't drying fast enough.  Armed with towels, sealant, sealant paper, scraper, screwdriver, brush and determination, I scaled the ladder and started to work on the rear most vent.  It took nearly four hours to scrape, wash, sand, wipe, paper and seal the vent with three coatings of sealant, but I think it was pretty well protected by the time clouds began to roll in.  I painted sealant on some other spots that needed it and hoped it would dry enough that rain would not wash it away.

With the brush as clean as I could get it, I went out back of our house to pick up walnuts out of the yard.  Two more hours and I had 22 bags of walnuts that I hauled up the hill and had my son take from the back porch and put them on the front patio.  Around 5 pm I washed up and started up a boiler of crab legs for my birthday dinner.  My favorite meal has always been snow crab since I first learned their taste.  More succulent than king, far smoother than lobster, they are a delicacy that delights my palate.  So I enjoyed every morsel before settling down with an ice cream sandwich and cuddle up with Bucky, Princess, Moony and Samantha to watch a bit of TV.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Race Team is Looking Good!

Saturday I took out the race team, and they are really shaping up and working really good together.  It was a fine fall morning at about 47 degrees F.  The leaves have begun turning colors in earnest, those that haven't already fallen that is.  The smell of them lining the street with fresh dew on them is the essence of the season, an aroma that will always be one of my favorites.  Bucky was acting up again this morning, more than eager to get moving, having missed his chance to work during the week.  My bad shoulder still ached in the cool air, but it was much too nice a morning to stay indoors. 

All four dogs were whining and jumping, and letting me know that they were more than ready.  Seeing their energy and level of drive, I decided I'd extend their mileage a bit.  The routine is getting easier for my son and husband, and despite my injured shoulder, we were able to be ready to rock in less than 5 minutes.  As soon as I released Freya and Princess' leashes, I ran back to the cart as Jim unhooked Bucky and Yukon's.  All four dogs lunged into their tugs as I hit the quick release and we were off!

The sprint down to the bridge was incredibly fast, and equally fast up the hill as I pedal assisted, but they were so fast I wasn't really much help.  We were around the bend and down to the turn off to the mini-railroad in record time.  Freya slowed a bit when we approached the barn, waiting to hear my commands, and I told her "On By" and "Hike Up!"  With glee she threw herself in to the run again, the primal wolf within her glorying in the pace. 

Up the small hills and down, then to the donkey farm, I finally called the halt and "Come Around".  All four dogs still looked great and eager.  Freya executed a good come around, but Bucky stepped over the gangline and caught his right front leg between the gang and neck lines, so I had to tell Freya to "Wait" (several times as I held on to the gangline for dear life and hope to keep Bucky from getting injured.  They were still incredibly strong and eager even after the two mile almost flat run to get to where we were.  It took all I had to keep them from taking off while I untangled Bucky's leg even with the brakes set.  When he was free, I couldn't hold them, and slowly let them forward as I held the gangline and let it slip until I could grab the cart. 

As fast as possible, I half leapt, half fell into the seat of the cart, swung my leg over as we started off despite the brakes still dragging the back tires.  I let off the brake and we were off as fast as when we started.  They were eager, strong, and elated, but I held a little pressure on the brakes on the downhill so they wouldn't trip.  They ran swiftly all the way back, even up the hill to the house, even in to the yard and only halted after I called the halt in the front yard.  What a ride!  They were incredible, and still looking strong and eager while being unhooked and taken in to the house for their snacks.  I think this team is going to do great! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Enthusiasm is Contagious

Well, she finally did it.  Princess managed to get even the stoic Yukon all riled up on a bikejor.  Monday I decided to switch up her and Bucky partnering so that she ran with Yukon and Bucky would run with Freya.  Well, that was a mistake I will probably not make twice.  When I hooked her in, immediately she and Yukon began pulling hard.  I had to hold them back, and well, Yukon when he pulls is as strong as an ox!  Consequently I had an uncontrolled start, a sharp jerk on the gangline, and off into the left side ditch I went.  This time on my right side, which has always been a bit less graceful.  My shoulder impacted the pavement and I managed my first more than superficial injury.  Had to go to the Dr. and get xrays.  It still hurts, but the swelling is finally going down, and I should be able to manage a cart ride by this weekend.  I'm thinking a bit of training is in order for Princess.  I love her motivational power, but her uncontrolled starts will be the death of me if I don't get her to hold back until I'm ready.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Shaping Up and Moving Out!

As you can see in this pic, Yukon really leans in to his tug on the team.  Not sure why he doesn't take bikejoring seriously, but he is sure a good team wheel dog.  Maybe he knows I need to pedal more to be in shape?  Hehe clever boy.  It was 44 degrees this morning and I didn't want to take the chance it would get too much warmer, so took off just before dawn. 

Fall is just beginning to give color to the maples and oaks, the sycamores and walnut trees simply turn yellow then brown and drop their leaves, fall's spoilsports.  Above the trees is a deep royal purple tinged with blue as the sun begins to paint the sky to the east.  The road is a barely visible gray line, so I put the collar lights on Freya and Princess.  Princess loves the little light, and is excited when I turn it on.  Hooking Bucky and Yukon in wheel, James brings out Freya and Princess behind me, so I quickly get them hooked in.  Princess, Freya and Bucky are screaming to go, Yukon quivers in excitement.  I jump quickly in the seat, and hit the release with an "Okay!" and they are off flying down the road. 

This time I brought the camera to document our run, and we are down to the bridge in a flash.  We round the corner and run up the hill while I pedal assist.
Up ahead is the curve before the gutted trailer.  The sign is just on the apex of the curve.
Rounding the bend, we come almost level with the trailer when a pickup truck was coming the other way.  I pull the team to the side, so he can pass, and he stops to tell me I have beautiful dogs.  I thank him and he passes.  Freya tries to follow, but I say no, and "leave it" and she immediately turns back forward.  What a great leader she is.

The road curves around the property of the gutted trailer.  To the right you can see the rock retainer wall that used to be decorated with fancy grass, bushes and flowers.  When we first moved in there was a guy there that abused dogs.  He has been gone now for over a year.  A family lived there for a short while, two or three months, but they too moved out.  Makes you wonder.  The owners of the property have not been back since the roof fell in, but the deer love to congregate there and eat the lush grass.
There is a cautionary sign regarding possible flooding up ahead.  This is on the inside of the curve where the road branches left and right.  The left going to the railroad and the right towards the donkey farm.  This is just over half a mile.
Getting ready to make the turn.
Past the turn there is a peak of the purple sky overhead.  On the right is the old barn and something very odd.  I did not notice it when we were running but looking at this pic I see what looks like a flying red turtle.  There is nothing reflective on the old barn, and also the thing is in front of the trees and not behind.  I'm stumped.  Going to hike down there later today and see if I can find something reflective.
The break in the trees leads up to the donkey farm and is almost the two mile mark.  One more hill and we turn around for two miles back.
Turned around and on the way back to the barn.
There is a reflective property marker on this tree, but this is obviously a reflective tape.  One reason I want to hike down and check the area of the old barn.
Dawn is turning the eastern sky orange and beginning to show the colors of the trees.  The little drive ahead and to the left is the old barn.
I wonder if that white dot is the same something we saw earlier?  We are just level with the old barn again, it is off to the left this time.

Up ahead is the turn off to the mini railroad and the street sign.
Heading back to the gutted trailer.  The road is beginning to lighten up with the sun peaking over the rim of the world.

You can see some of the fall colors as we pass the drive to the trailer.  The numbers still shine on the mailbox.  Wonder how long it will remain there?
You can see a little color on the trees with the sun doing its best to imitate in the east.

Back in to the tunnel of trees and heading towards the bridge.

Bracing for the sharp curve!  We excellerate downhill and I have to hold on tight!

Up the hill towards home.

Riding off into the sunrise.
Time for snacks, rub downs and lots of praise!  This team is really coming together well.  Princess and Bucky make a dynamic motivational duo and Freya lends brains and muscle while Yukon is a good worker when in the team, and does his job in wheel very well.  Overall I'm very pleased with them.

Monday, October 3, 2011


This morning the dogs seemed almost inclined to let me sleep in.  Only Bandit softly howled his deep low howl to let me know he was anxious to run.  At 5:07 it was 35 degrees, perfect weather after two days of running dogs on the weekend.  The dogs were playful, but not overly anxious to run except Princess and Samantha who constantly bugged me as I got dressed and put my socks and shoes on.  I got the bike out and ready, then went back in to harness up Bucky and Yukon (having already made my choice last night).   Escorting the rest of the dogs out back before shutting the door, I put the leashes on them and got the rest of my cold weather gear on. (Balaclava, thick lined jacket and gloves) 

The morning was crisp, the air still and stars shone brightly.  The cloudy pattern of the milky way stretched across the sky, and I saw a meteor streak on the horizen to the west.  

I walked Bucky and Yukon out to the bike and Bucky whined and quivered, but didn't pull excessively.  Yukon is Yukon, a stoic philosopher, and though he gets excited, he keeps good control of himself, which is why he makes an excellent partner for Bucky doing Bikejor.  I quickly hooked up Bucky's tug, and he sat politely!  Was that Bucky?  He whined and quivered, excitement oozing off him, but he kept seated while I hooked in Yukon!  I praised him highly as I turned on the collar light, and hooked up their neckline, releasing their leashes, and Bucky still sat there!!!!

I couldn't believe my eyes!  It was such a good start to the morning!  As soon as I let go of his collar and grabbed the gangline though, he lunged forward, but stopped when I said "Wait!"  Whining and screaming he eased off his tug even, and waited for me to say "Okay!"  and off he went!  Who is this dog?  Certainly not Bucky the Wild Man!  He was so well mannered this morning I may have to give him a new nickname!

Once he took off, though, he was off!  He flew down the road practically dragging Yukon behind him, and Yukon is a very fast dog!  I had to brake back so Yukon could keep up, and once we hit the corner and the first hill, Yukon was able to gain his momentum and they both pulled together.  Over the hill and Bucky again stretched out, pulling Yukon, so I braked again to ensure Yukon pulled on his tug.  Another meteor streaked in the night sky as we broke through the cover of overhanging trees by the remains of the mobile home on the right. 

The roof had collapsed straight down on the base after the people took the metal roof off and rain made the insulation heavy.  It was now a sad silent lump of metal and wood that we quickly left behind for the living tunnel of trees on the other side.  Up the slight rise, down and around the bend where the road went right and a side road for the mini-railroad butted in to the left.  Bucky didn't need the "Gee" command, but it was a reinforcement of direction.  With the slight downhill, he was leaving Yukon behind again, so I had to brake to hold him back again.  On the up hill, both dogs were on their tugs, and we passed the old barn.  At the 1.5 mile mark I called the halt "Whoah!" and "Come Around".  Yukon lead the turn this time surprisingly enough, and executed a good come around gee! 

"Easy!"  and the boys simply trotted to tighten the gangline.  "Okay!" and they took off!  It was awesome to have them beginning to learn to slow down at the "Easy" command!  We lit off back towards the house.  Yukon was leaning in to his tug up until the hill past the turn, then he started slacking off again on the downhill, unable to keep up with Bucky.  So I applied the brakes to slow Bucky so that Yukon could keep up, but he still slacked on his tug.  I'll have to check him thuroughly and have the vet check him out to be sure there is nothing wrong.  If Bandit continues to perform well and not have any seizures, I may substitute Bandit for Yukon in the team.

Bucky and Yukon sprinted up the last hill, even though the neighbor dogs were running by us barking their fool heads off.  With a "Leave It" they paid them no mind, and ran all the way up to our mailbox when I said "Easy".  But instead of trotting on, they stopped, Bucky intent on trying to socialize with the neighbor dogs.  I had to pull their tugs to get them to follow me in to our yard.  Disappointed, Bucky finally got it and trotted ahead of me as I picked up the leashes.

Yukon loves to run, but he seems to be slowing down this season. He'll pull if the pace is slow enough, but Bucky is a bit fast for him. I may have to trade Yukon out of the race team for Bandit should he continue to do well.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

This Week at Wyrd Kennels

Monday it was 70 degrees and rainy at 5am, so I simply read a book until it was time to give Bandit his medicin.

‎Tuesday it was 42 degrees. Took Moony and Bandit out for a 2 mile bikejor. I was almost afraid that he would stand around again, not knowing what to do, but he trotted out to the bike with a purpose.  He waited patiently by the bike, so I thought his initial bravado was simply echoing Moony's excitement.  I got her hooked in then Bandit.  Moony kept nipping at Bandit as if to say it was his fault we weren't moving yet, and I had to tap her nose to get her to stop.  I let out the gangline and grabbed the bike.  Moony was frantic to run, but Bandit waited until I got a foot on the pedal and said "Okay!"  Bandit got it! He tore off pulling hard, and his long legs had Moony scrambling to keep up. We were down and across the bridge in no time.  It was awesome to see him in action again and I almost cried remembering his glory in harness.  He remembered! 

I had to hold him back so as not to discourage Moony, and he loped as the incredibly fast powerhouse he is.  Nearly solo he pulled me, mostly because Moony was having trouble keeping up, and he was going so fast I could hardly have helped pedaling.  Going to have to choose a different partner for him next time. Bandit almost seemed his old self, sure of what he wanted and where he needed to go. The thought of being able to put him back on the team made me smile.  The real test would be if he made it through 48 hours without a seizure afterwards.  Trying not to get my hopes up, I waited through the day.

During the night, both Yukon and Bucky curled up on the bed by me, as if they knew it was their turn to run. Wednesday it was 55, so I hooked up Bucky and Yukon. Overall they made a good team though Bucky worked more than Yukon, at least I could hold them back ok. Yukon stayed pretty much tight on his tug until we turned around at the 1.5 mile mark. Then he slacked up a bit, but after I had to stop and let a truck go by us, he leaned into his tug again. Overall he seems to be getting his stamina back.

Bucky had a bit of wear on his nails, but not endangering the quick. Yukon had little wear, and both felt good. They got two pieces of fish each and a rubdown. Bucky is getting the leadership commands down pretty good, except he still thinks it is social hour when we get back by the neighbor's house and his dogs try to keep up with mine. We'll see how he progresses, but in a pinch I think he will do good as a leader.

Thursday was Princess and Freya's turn. What can I say, but these two girls are awesome! Princess was frantic and jumping to go, but Freya held her back when I told her to wait. What an awesome leader she turned in to, and every day, I'm glad that we were able to get her out of that stall and take her home. Her strength is incredible, and her muscular back end has earned her the nickname "Arnie Butt". Princess is even faster than Freya, not quite as strong, but getting there. She is beautiful and a joy to see in full stride. She pours her heart and soul in to everything she does, and her intelligence is pretty much unmatched. What a fantastic little girl! Our bond is very close, and we understand each other like you can only imagine. She knows what I'm thinking and I know what she is thinking. We are connected, mind and soul. The only other dog I've shared such a rapport with was Susie.

The other dogs are still very close to me, and we share in the pack mind. Sometimes I can feel them run as much as watch, and it is these times that we seem one being, wild and free, running for the joy of it and for the reward of good fresh meat. During the time we aren't running, I share my life with them, and they with me. I walk with them, and they play around me, occasionally involving me in their games. They lay around me at rest, and look to me for reassurance before eating. Sometimes they won't take bones from me out of difference, and wait until I place them on the ground and walk away. It is these times I know how much they respect and love me and I let them feel how much I love and respect them as I care for their needs, watch over them, and help them when they are sick or injured. It is a reciprocating love and life, and I feel at peace in their midst.
Freya and Princess made record time for the three miles. I really need to time these runs, but I'm pretty sure that with the exception of when I had Princess and Bucky out, that we were faster than the Bucky-Yukon team, and probably faster than the Bandit-Freya team of last year. Bandit, my heart still aches for the old Bandit. I look in to his eyes and I don't see the depth of soul there used to be, even though his intelligence seems to be fairly close to what it was. The gentle old soul that used to be in his eyes is gone. If I could have one wish in life, it would to have that spark, that sense of the old Bandit back.

After I gave fish to Freya and Princess, checked their paws and joints, rubbed them down and hung up harnesses and leashes, I gave bones to the rest of the dogs. I gave Bandit his pills and was getting ready to make his breakfast so I could administer his Kbr in his food. Someone dropped a bone in the middle of the dining room, and Bucky went for it after finishing his. Moony took acception to this and they got in to an argument over whose bone it was. My yell of "Hey Quit!" had no effect, and the "No!" didn't seem to phase them either, nor did getting smacked over the head with the food scooper. Dropping both the scoop and the bowl I waited for the right opening and snatched both collars and yanked them apart while still yelling "No! Down!" Immediately Moony rolled on her back in submission, and Bucky sat.
The commotion woke Jim and I handed a still growling Moony to him and he shut her in his room. I checked Bucky over very carefully, but fortunately there were no punctures. After fixing Bandit's breakfast and feeding him, I checked Moony over, and though she had saliva on her, she too had no punctures. I didn't think they were that serious, but it could have easily escalated if I hadn't stopped them. Those two had been butting heads over treats for some time, but they usually listen to me when I yell and immediately separate. This time I had to physically intervene, and Moony was still growly after 20 minutes stand down. They are normally good pals and play together a lot, but this time it took a bit more time for them to make up. I cautioned Jim about leaving them together when he takes James to school.
Thursday night around midnight, I woke to the neighbor dogs throwing a fit very close to my house. I would have gotten up to investigate, but I could hear Jim and James still up. Their turn to deal with it, but long before they even decided to check things out, our dogs joined in the ruckus, and Yukon came tearing in to my room (like he does in his extremely playful moods), jumped on the bed and cuddled up to me. One whiff of him told me what the ruckus was all about. Someone got skunked and Yukon must have been pretty close to them. My entire room smelled like the ass end of a polecat. Thanks Yukon!
So I ended up grabbing the air freshener and spritzing the room, and shooing Yukon out. After lying back down and letting the adrenaline slowly fade from my system, I just began to dream when a loud banging and thumping came from the bathroom. Awake like a shot, I could only imagine it was Bandit going in to a grand-mal seizure again. Heart racing I leaped into the bathroom somehow grabbing my robe on the way. When my hand hit the light switch, Bandit blinked up at me from where he was lying on his back with his four feet in the air. His puzzled expression told me he was not the source of the noise. Further in, Freya was frantically trying to get behind the toilet to get a mouse. By the time I was able to sleep again, it was 4 am. Of course the dogs decided it was time for me to get up at 5. They have no pity as a constant stream of cold noses, wet tongues and butting heads convinced me that sleeptime was over.
By the time I dragged myself out of bed, it was raining slightly, and I just really wasn't up to doing another run before work.

Saturday morning it was 37 degrees, way too good to waste the opportunity to run the race team. I dressed quickly and got the cart out of the shed. Securing it to the truck, I stretched out the gangline and went inside to harness Freya, Princess, Yukon and Bucky. As soon as the harnesses went on, the excited howling began as Princess, Bucky and Freya kept jumping around while Yukon tried to keep his front paws on my shoulders. their antics always make me smile and they love it as much or even more so than I.
Jim and James dressed quickly and Jim went out to help hold the cart when I brought out the pairs. I brought out Yukon and Bucky for wheel and James followed shortly after with Freya and Princess. Once they were hooked in, off we flew! This team is really gelling together as a powerhouse team of incredibly fast dogs! We went out two miles, much to Freya and Princess' delight. Flawlessly Freya executed the come-around when asked and we were off back towards home.

We went so fast, it was hard to keep the cart from flipping around the sharp turn towards home, and my back wheels slid as I leaned hard into the curve. Without slowing we charged up the hill towards the house, and when they slowed a bit, "Time for Fish!" got them leaning back in to their tugs as hard as they could.

This morning (Sunday) it was 28 degrees when I got up, and the first frost of the year glittered across the ground. The sun was rising, casting a gold fiery hue to each blade of grass. I decided to let Jim and James sleep in a bit since it was going to be pretty cool out for a long time. So I waited until about 7:30 before going out and getting the cart ready. Ace stuck to me like glue, and was ecstatic when I put a harness on her. Samantha kept howling at me, but though she claims she wants to run with the team, I know better. She just wants to run around where SHE wants to go. Once I put the harness on Bandit, he began to jump and whine, and Moony was howling for joy. It only remained to corral Demon and get him in to harness. Once he's harnessed, he's more than eager to go running, but getting him to stay still long enough to get a harness on is an experience...

I tried Ace up front with Moony, and she decided it would be more fun to run through the neighbor's yard and play with their dogs. She kept pulling back when I got her back on the road, so I quickly switched her out for Bandit in lead and her at her customary spot by Demon. This seemed to work out better all around. Ace just wasn't cut out for lead.

The team did pretty well, but I had to assist most of the way (good exercise for me). We went up to the 1 mile mark and I had to get off and gently lead Moony and Bandit in a come-around gee, but there were no tangles, which made me happy. We were off again towards the house. Demon did excellent as usual, he is a hard working dog even if he isn't fast and is the most shy dog I've ever had no matter how much socializing I try to give him or how much I work him in harness. He just seems to enjoy being out of contact with all humans save me, and almost makes a game of being shy. He's too smart and opinoinated to train him out of his shy game though I've done my best and had strangers feed him at every occasion... ah well.

Bandit is again becoming a swift powerhouse dog, and I may take him to run single dog bikejor at the race at the end of the month. (We've decided to hit Sinnemahoning since it is the same weekend as the cancelled EMW, and it is closer, so will be better all around. It is a crying shame that EMW lost sponsorship. I don't know what happened, but I'm sad they had to cancel the race.) Bandit knows the route and executed it with a will, and I had to ride the brake a lot to allow Ace to put in some muscle on her tug.
Moony did great again. She has a lot of heart and will, and if she didn't have that herniation on her stomach, I would work her harder and put her on the race team. But when she was being whelped, Samantha drug her across the blankets by her umbilical until I manged to snatch the cord and pup from her. I was able to keep her from being seriously impacted, but the umbilical was herniated. It hasn't caused her any problems in her live so far, but being scar tissue, it isn't as strong as the surrounding, so I'm careful about making her work too hard.

Tired dogs are happy dogs and I see four happy dogs.