We wish you and yours a Merry Christmas!
Christmas Pictures, Or Physics Lessons
Subject: Christmas Picture Law, (5 sled dogs + 1 sled + open road) / distracted dog driver = Chaos Theory in Action. Experiment: Take 1 dog driver (of 5 dogs who have been training off the front end of your truck all Fall). Tell her she is going to harness the dogs in front of the sled and stand behind the sled. A photographer will take photographs of her in a Santy hat.
Supposition: 5 sled dogs do not have the energy required to move the mass of one itty bitty sled and one Amazon Woman across the vet’s parking lot at any significant speed. And A.W. could halt momentum any time she chose by applying weight of A.W. to braking system.
|The photographer taking Christmas pictures gets her shots in but yells, “Come back and let’s get another angle!”
|The A.W. riding the brake realizes with a sinking feeling that the dogs’ inertia wasn’t going to be overcome by the mass of A.W. applied to the brake before the whole mess, uh, mass, got to the end of the parking lot.
|The Speed of Sound is exceeded by the Speed of Siberians. Example — the lead dog was too far away and traveling at such a velocity that she wasn’t going to hear (pay attention — okay, folks, she wasn’t going to pay attention) to A.W.’s command to Woah! no matter how loud or desperate A.W. sounded. (Speed of lead dog multiplied by length of road in front of her multiplied by how much leeway she thinks she has with mom = canceling out of Speed of Sound.)
|The lead dog inexplicably took a left turn into the cemetery (irony or what?) instead of a right turn onto the Highway.
|And just when A.W. was thinking she would survive without one of those pretty headstones either: sunk into the front of her sled, or engraved with her name and the inscription “Rest in Peace, 5 dogs CAN pull a sled and driver on dry ground,” the well known Law of Physics, Murphy’s Law, appeared on the horizon in the form of “Dead End Lane” (Dead?).
|But Hope, the flip-side Law of Irony, springs forth when A.W. realizes it’s a driveway and there’s no place for the lead dog to lead.
|But then there’s the other well known Law called Thread-Needle-Through, that when a sled dog is in a dead run, the smallest opening looks sufficient to drive a 5-dog team, sled and yelling driver, through said opening.
|Too bad it was a garage with an open back door, which brings us to another lesser-known law called Big Eyeball Theory. (When quietly working on something on a bench and one looks up to see this demon dog team and a banshee on the tail end coming on, one’s eyes will get bigger in proportion to one’s likelihood of having a heart attack or your belief in an afterlife.)
|And final stage of our experiment was the lo-o-o-o-ong moment when A.W. realized the backyard was unfenced and led to the Highway and nowhere else. This is the Law of Looking into the Precipice. A.W.’s strength will expand in proportion to her Will to Live (with a lot of help from the suddenly very interesting Cows in the next pasture) and the applied force of drag co-efficient of said A.W..
Conclusion: No stitches, but some would argue the necessity. Need new jeans. Will probably walk with a limp from now on. Can’t type worth a darn because of bandaged fingers. Lost my Santy hat somewhere. Have learned a greater respect for any idiot who goes out with a 5-dog team.
A Very Mally Christmas Tale
Don’t worry, mom, I took care of everything. It started like this: I was sniffing around the yard minding my own business when I sniffed something new. All puppies know this sniff, even if they’ve never sniffed this sniff before. It was Reindeer Sniff!
Well, I knew exactly what to do, and let me tell you, mom, I chased those pesky reindeer right out of the yard. (But, mom, I didn’t mean to chase the big guy, but he just went along with the reindeer right over the fence. I told him I was sorry, but he didn’t wait around to listen.) He did leave this funny hat behind
There’s just one other little thing, mom, he also left all these pretty packages with the names on them. He must have been some kind of a delivery guy. But I can fix that. Come on, mom, load ’em up! If we start now we ought to be done by Christmas Eve or Christmas morning at the latest. Come ON, Mom! Let’s Go! Let’s Go! Let’s GO!
This is going to be a great Christmas,
Christmas Parade, 1997
We attended our local Christmas Parade today with the sled dog team. Okay, we only took Mark and Tosha (Sibes) and the pup Summer (Malamute) because we didn’t know how it would turn out 6 dogs at 1 m.p.h. and only me to stop them. We had a great time, the Sibes pulled the sled around the whole parade route, and we did laps around the float for the Humane Society. And we got to talk to a lot of people who wanted to know if Mark was the mother of Summer and I got to explain about Malamutes and Siberians and the fact that HE’S a neutered male and if you want of these working dogs as a pet you have to give them a job.
Anyway, we put the 4-month-old Summer in the smallest pull harness that Cold Spot Feeds sells in adult sizes (47# Malamute bitch) just for looks, and we thought she’d walk alongside the sled with Ken on the other end of the leash. Well, Miss Summertime figured we had another thing coming. She dragged Ken over to Mark and Tosha and put herself right between the two and leaned into her baby harness and pulled her heart out. She figured out Woah, and Hike, and Easy, and On-by right off and she woo-woo’d at the judges when they called her a Siberian pup — we straightened them out.
It does a momma proud!
Christmas Morning Sled Trip
My 5 Sibes did their fastest first mile ever today. Took me that long to catch up with them. Pulled a stupid beginning-of-season stunt and didn’t have my arm hooked all the way through the handlebar of the sled when I unhooked from the truck. Sure enough, they were leaning into their harnesses like they should have, felt the line slacken, and took off.
Meanwhile, Misha somehow scraped up the bottoms of 3 of his feet. I doctored him on the tailgate (remember the thread last spring about first aid kits in backpacks hooked over the handlebars of our sleds?) and hooked him into the bed of the truck, loaded the sled, and ran the other 4 off the front of the truck.
Chief caught a rabbit on the fly and the four of them shredded the world’s dumbest rabbit before I could get to them. Then had to pry what was left out of their jaws. (Note: Sidney, remember to deworm them, rabbit was probably loaded with tape.)
Stopped for a break about 2 miles out and gave everyone a couple ounces of water. Headed back to the truck and….No Misha. Broken snap hook. Look for horses. Find Misha. He’s playing matedor with Big John a Perchon/Thouroughbred cross (and for those who don’t know he’s BIG). Big John hates dogs. Misha is taunting him, ignoring me. I strip out of my windsuit down to t-shirt and jeans and crawl through the barbed wire fence. FINALLY catch Misha (who apparently wasn’t feeling too much pain from his feet) by the harness and ducked just in time to avoid Big John’s charge. Okay, we are in his lot, but I really am not in the mood to deal with this attitude right now.
Spent a fun 15 minutes (felt like two hours) slopping through mud and horse poop (real good for open wounds, Misha!) and Big John caught Misha with his hind hooves (a glancing blow) and Misha went sailing. He hit the ground and didn’t move. I got their before the horse (levitated, for all I know) and Big John comes on and I got no where to go so I punched him in the nose. That horse gave me the crossest look “Why’d you have to do that, lady?” And I dragged Misha to the fence.
The only way to get out is the same way I got in, lay flat on my back, wiggle across the mud, etc., and drag the dog behind me. Misha wakes up, comes to, comes back from the dead for all I know, while I am halfway out and Big John is coming on and Misha decides he can take him, “Let me at him, mom!”
I am NOT going to be stomped to death by a horse. I shoved with my feet, yanked Misha with me and we slid under that fence as Big John barreled into it, snorting and screaming and acting tough (this is a big baby of a horse, but he does hate dogs).
Ripped Misha’s harness (small price to pay). My jeans will never be the same between barbed wire tears and mud, etc., (I should buy stock in Levis — see last week’s Physics Lesson to Beth). The other four muddy idiots are now in the cab of my newly-detailed-for-Christmas truck. What was left of the Christmas cookiees is LONG gone. (I could use a chocolate chip cookiee right now like you wouldn’t believe.) I have a headache the size of Alaska, and it’s 9 a.m. Christmas morning.
Stood Misha in a warm water bath for his feet, went over every inch and found no tenderness or swelling from the horse hooves, got him out, dried his feet, poured alcohol on the wounds (was out of isopropyl, decided to split the last few ounces of Jack Daniels with Misha) slathered his feet with salve, and decided to call it a day. After I went all the way back and got my windsuit jacket from the weeds where I had hurled it.
Misha is dancing in circles on his hind legs and whining and doing his normal routine when he wants to come in or go out or any other danged thing.
Now, someone tell me what idiot (besides me) would look forward to sledding tomorrow with 4 dogs (Misha is on injured reserves)? I mean, it has to get better, right?
Happy Christmas Trails!