Sunday, December 13, 2009
Chalking up more miles on the clankity cart in the cold, wet night
I cannot wait to run the dogs on snow. They are such good dogs and are doing super despite added mileage. We've had a couple tests lately. Saturday, there were, for some unknown reason, several people out at the trails where we train. They were milling around, and as we went by, they "ooo"ed and "ah"ed at us. The dogs didn't flinch. They just kept right on chuggin'.
We pass one lone house on our training run route. Sure enough, on the same day, a huge chocolate lab came bounding toward the team from that one lone house. Perplexed, the dogs couldn't resist a look and slow a bit.
I called, "Ahead!" and they kept moving...but dang it, wouldn't you know that hulking chocolate lab caught up to the team! This stopped them, the urge to investigate this intruder too tempting.
"Sorry," his owner called and came running up from the lone house. After a few interested sniffs and tail wags, I called the team up and we were on our way.
"Alright guys, let's go!" Wind kicked up. Drizzling rain and mud splashed in my face. Big Brown shook in her harness.
Tonight, Sophie went with me. We rigged her bike up to the back of my training cart with a few carabiners and a heavy duty rope, and away we went!
I have logged so many hours with my guys this fall, I finally know what it's like to make something you love a job. Most days I am excited to run dogs; some days, not so much. Like today. It was raining a steady drizzle all day. It was cold. The beautiful ice pockets in the trail had melted into muddy puddles of murky muck. And, try as I might to avoid those puddles, finishing tonight's training run found me covered with sandy mud from head to toe.
I finally know what it feels like to know my dogs through and through. And though I will never think I know my dogs' every move before they make it, I feel pretty comfortable saying I know my guys really well. I've watched them grow this fall from totally green, inexperienced and gawky yearlings (Ruffian and Big Brown) to graceful, beautiful athletes.
27 days until our first race. I can't wait to see them blossom in the glistening snow that is their birthright.