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!