New Route & the Cyclist

Tom & Singer, Bess & Brandi, Jazz & Rebel.  We started off normally and took a left at Antique Lane — Tom still not sure of his turns but he will come out the exact same way he went in without cues.  Went up the driveway, passed 2 houses.  Took a left on Heritage Trail, passed the house on the right, yelled at the 2 labs and they went away, and took a right into the woods.  This was fine until we hit the power lines.  

Tom refused the left turn and went straight across.  To be fair, it was hard to SEE the turn, it’s grown up, but he flat out didn’t listen.  He speeded up.  Insecurity, I think.  Got the team stopped about a 1000 yards later, went up front and turned the team in the middle of that narrow woods trail and lined them back out.  Every correction, even if I merely, physically put them where they should go and don’t verbally correct them, seems to ding his confidence.  

Back through the woods to the power line, around the 2 labs, now on their porch, and down the hill on Heritage.  This hill is too much for 6 dogs and my brakes.  Bess got spooked and started backing up, which got her drug.  The only thing I could do was steer and drive over the gangline — which stopped the momentum before I hit a dog at least.  Got everyone straightened out and we eased down the rest of the hill.  Will have to unhook some tug lines if we do that hill again.  Went back down Antique Lane and down the long gravel slope and made sure we did the turn onto the grassy shoulder of Hwy 27 instead of the bike path.  They did great, stayed in the grass, went “E-Z” over the ditches.  

I stopped them passed the Hodges and sat down in front with Tom & Sing.  Jazz figured it out first and he was the first to lay down.  Then Tom, then Rebel, then Brandi & Bess and last Singer.  I didn’t bring water today but they laid in the wet grass and got their belly’s cool.  I had the whole team in a down when a guy on a bicycle came buy — and the dogs stood up and he ran into a ditch.

They set up a clamor and I was trying not to laugh, but he was laughing because as he put it, “You don’t see that every day — a team of sleddogs jumping up out of the grass.”  

We did the rest of the Roddy Road/Firehall route and came back at a nice slow trot — which is what I was after all along.  Bring Water tomorrow.

Happy Trails!
SHS 10/12/02

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