"I'm heading out the run the beasts!" I yell to my family as I hit the back deck.
When the dogs see me coming, they erupt into a chorus of excited yips, barks and howls. Next to dinner time, this is their favorite time of day: free run time.
I unhook the boys in front first, Miles, Perry, Tosh and Kerouac. Between the ages of 9 months and 2 years, they are the most pent up of the group and are eager to be free to run, full throttle around our "puppy paths" - the paths carved out along the perimeter of our seven acres where we run the dogs nightly. As the four wheeler roars to life, the boys are already zooming off around the puppy paths, and I have shifted into second gear by the time I catch them.
|Perry is turning into quite a great sled dog already|
Free running also keeps the dogs in shape during the off season. Sitting around in a kennel all summer is akin to creating doggy couch potatoes.
Finally, free running strengthens other muscles not used during pulling and running. For example, the dogs often chase each other at top speed, only to turn on a dime and dart off in the other direction. This helps keep them agile and to use all of those muscles and ligaments.
The dogs are enjoying these mild days of spring - cool enough for them to be comfortable yet warm enough for them to begin throwing their straw out of their houses.
|Yeti lounges in the sunshine of a cool April day|
|Freya never stops moving, even in the off season|
Happy Easter from the Ranch, and as always...