|Running Down the Road|
This was a training run, so I didn't care about speed (yeah, right!). We were practicing "on by" and "gee," though not too seriously. The main idea was to NOT turn right on the road we always turn right on and TO turn right into the driveway without going several feet beyond it and me getting off the sled to physically turn them.
As we approached the road I didn't want to turn on, I began calling on by, repeatedly, violating every obedience rule I know. Do you think it worked? Not a chance! The girls did as they always do and I had to stop them, set my snow hook, and turn them the way I wanted them to go. It's a good thing they are IRWSledders and not huskies, as the hook came loose as soon as the sled turned.
The girls happily took off in the direction I wanted to go, with Declan gamely pulling behind. I didn't want to be out very long, so after they managed to lope up a longish hill, I stopped them for some praise and to turn for home. Alright! An opportunity to work on "come about." I had moderately more success with this than with "on by," if only because we were stopped and the girls got tired of trying to figure out what I was trying to tell them.
The run home was fairly uneventful, stopping once to get the girls' inside front legs back on the proper side of their neckline and then waiting for a car to go by. I believe it was somewhere on the short stretch home that we hit our top speed of 17mph. It's a good thing speed didn't matter because our overall average speed of less than 10mph was pretty slow. Shaving the bottoms of the plastic runners and not running the sled on gravel would probably help a little. ;-)
I was toasty warm in my HotChilis base layer, fleece mid layer, and wind-resistant outer layer. Hand knit wool socks in my mukluks kept my feet from getting cold. I still couldn't feel the tips of my fingers as I unhooked the dogs, but they warmed up quickly once we got inside.
For a view of the road with snow, check out our latest YouTube video.