Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Run of the Innocents.

I left my resident "headcases" at home(Pumpkin and JJ) and just ran Ruger, Strider, Doppler and Jack. I call this the run of the innocents because they are all yearlings except for Ruger and bereft of psychological baggage. Even though Ruger is seven years old and has been around the block and run lots of races, he is not smart enough to have psychological problems. His life consists of eating, peeing, taking dumps and pulling. That's fine with me. I wouldn't mind having 4 more dogs just like him and Jack and then I would have the perfect team! I think some of these dogs think too much and that is the problem.
As I suspected, with the addition of a couple more dogs and the added speed and power, Doppler was a lot more motivated and focused in lead. We missed a couple turns but both he and Jack seem to be catching on. They both can at least get the team out of the dog yard and onto the trail.
It's really not that complicated. It was nice to only have to deal with problems caused by youth and inexperience as opposed to outright mutiny.
The sled was loaded with 80 lbs. of salt and with my weight on the sled each was pulling over 100 lbs. So with this 8 mile run they all got a serious workout. Despite this they did the first mile uphill at a lope. I am finally having fun again! It was nice to be out there having fun with dogs that are having fun. They all ran very well.
Strider had not been run in a few days and was eager to go. He did pull a lot better, especially in the up hills when things are going slow. He did slack off a little during the fast times, but I hit the break to slow things down enough for him to get his tug tight.
Doppler needs to learn that when he is up front he can't screw around at all and sniff things or sightsee, or else he will screw up the whole team, but he seems to be catcing on. He likes going fast and breaking into a lope whenever he can. He is learning how to dig down and pull also when he needs too.
Jack continues to shine in lead. He had a problem at the beginning when he would look back and growl at Ruger during the first mile but I scolded him and he stopped doing it. He always keeps his line tight and is more and more focused on every run.
I was really impressed with Ruger. He is such a little trooper. Always looking straight ahead and keeping his line tight. I think he was pulling more than his share the whole way.
I think I am going to stick with this bunch as my core group. With this low level of stress involved, I might be able to run them everyday with maybe one day off and rotate different dogs in the whell position where Strider ran today. I want to give Cruiser, the siberian, a chance. Now that things are working out better I don't look at these runds with trepidation. Now I am considering what new trails to go on and thinking of how far I can go.
As far as the headcases go, they are fired from their lead positions, but I will think of a way to work them back in again. Ideally, I will eventually run eight dogs, but right now four is enough for me. Tangles are easier to fix there is more control, and less power and speed.
Wether I am an "innocent" or a "headcase" I don't know probably both.

6 Comments:

Blogger MegC said...

"Innocent Headcase" I think accurately describes most of us the first couple seasons. :) Glad to hear you're finally having fun instead of stress.

January 5, 2005 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

Great, Ted! I'm glad to see that you are so happy with progress. No doubt there is a lot for all of you to learn. I envy you, I really do. I love dogs, but I live in the South. :(

BTW, I have my blog up and running. I put your link under "Writer's blogs." I had to move the page just a bit because of the program that I am using, so here is the link: http://myweb.poncacity.net/jenandew/weblog/index.php

It looks best if you use a Firefox browser. I haven't worked out the kinks for IE. :(

Annie

January 6, 2005 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Theo_musher said...

Meg,

Thank you! Glad you stopped by!

January 6, 2005 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Theo_musher said...

Annie,
That's great! I'll have to check out your new blog. I have Firefox so it'll probably look great to me.

You know if you are serious about sled dogs you could probably get a couple dogs to pull you on a scooter.
Meg here has pointers that love to work, so they don't even have to be huskies.

Take care

Ted

January 6, 2005 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

Not a bad idea. I did consider using my Great Danes for pack animals for backpacking. But that was years ago.

I think I'll post the pics of my own dogs on my blog, just for the fun of it. And, I'll post one of my favorite sled dog candidate, Mika. But my daughter probably wouldn't let me have him.

I took the busyness out of my blog. Hope you like it better now.

January 7, 2005 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Theo_musher said...

Annie,
I posted a big long coment about writing on your blog but it didn't make it through! Oh well. Anyway, keep up ther good work. Glad you have a new blog.

January 7, 2005 at 11:03 PM  

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