|Bella and Ikey lead the team
|Later, big brother Ike trains Buster how to hold a tight
tugline in wheel.
|Leaning off the back of a moving rig: wheel dogs
are Smoke and Buster, point is Kita, lead is Ike
|Kim C. and Da' boys: Blaze and Mack
|Switching it up a bit: Smoke and Kita
lead, Bella in point, Ike and Buster in
|Stoic Kita (9yrs) next to happy
little puppy Buster (6 mos) on
a rest stop.
|Alright, back to work: Kita and Buster
ready to go.
|Kita, patiently waiting
|Kim, Blaze, & Mack
|Mom with Bella (5) and Ike (2.5),
swing dogs Kita (9) and Buster (6mos),
wheel dog Smoke (2.5).
|Smoke & Kita lead us home.
Another first for Smoke.
|Smoke has had NO sleddog training. Hooked him up and
instinctively the tugline went tight and stayed that way.
This was his first time in a sledding harness, first time on
a team. He took to it like he'd been doing it his whole life.
|Unless you're the lead dog, the scenery never changes!
|Another view: Smoke and Kita in lead, Bella in point, Buster and
Ike in wheel.
|Mack happy after his run.
|Buster on the drop chain
|Buster hanging out with his Momma, Bella, after the run.
|We tried something new.
Since Smoke is here I wanted to see how he would do in a team situation. He's never been in a sledding harness and had only had a couple short
sessions of pull training. We threw in Buster because he needs to get accustomed to the team environment. Ike normally doesn't run lead
because he lacked the maturity, focus, and wanted to pee on stuff, etc. He was best utilized in wheel due to power and close range for correcting
inattention with a snow ball. Kita normally slacks running but holds a tight tug on stops and was brought along as a spacer in case I had trouble
with the boys. Bella gets along with the boys and tolerates Kita (who tolerates her right back) so I brought her along to be the easy one.
And what a run. All of Bella's boys did a great job.
Ike has grown up and can focus on the task at hand. He obeyed commands well in lead. He was a good influence on Buster.
Buster was enthusiastic and did well given his age (6 mos) and training (this was his 2nd time).
Smoke wowed me, that tugline was tight and I could even let him lead. He would be a nice sleddog for somebody, even given the coat. He was
no more tired than anyone else. Normally a longcoat will overheat quicker than their standard coated counterparts. I think he worked hardest.
Ike and Smoke ignored each other, even when we had to turn the team. They've never met.
Kita mostly kept a tight tug (that's rare).
Bella just plain had fun and worked no matter where I put her--even next to Kita.
And we had an awesome pass of another team who was within reach if they'd wanted to get them but they flew right by.