Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The day was slow for tours at Gunflint Lodge so I took this opportunity to take the Tuloon/Bazil puppies, who are now 5 months old, out on their third puppy run.
This time they each ran next to an adult, Klaus, Sweet Pea or Tuloon, and had a turn at each position during our very short one mile run. I began with Zala in lead with Klaus. She was quite something in lead. Once hooked up, she stood next to Klaus patiently waiting for take-off. When I gave the command, off she went, keeping the tug line tight. When I noticed her attention span dwindling, I stopped and moved her back to point and placed Zodiak in lead. He did just as well; tug tight and no looking back.
Finally it was Oken's turn so he went from wheel position where he ran next to Aunt Sweet Pea, to lead, next to Uncle Klaus. He was placed initially next to Sweet Pea based on the results of the last puppy run. He was the one who didn't seem to be able to stay on his own side of the gang line. I knew that Sweet Pea wouldn't allow this behavior and would give him a few gang line etiquette tips. She did just that because Oken stayed completely on his side while next to her. When he was put up in lead, he promptly went under Klaus' legs to get to the other side. After a brief lesson from me and a growl from Klaus, he stayed on his side and ran in lead on the return trip. He was a bit more distracted than the other two pups but, to me, this means very little at this age. We will just have to wait to see how they all progress as they mature. If anything, how they did today gives me a training direction for each of them.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
The "bug" that I and half of the Gunflint Lodge staff had been sick with for the past few weeks is now gone. I and the other Points Unknown mushers have spent the time since the PUWWA2008 with a booked schedule of adventures with lodge guests. President's Day weekend was a busy weekend and now after two days of rest for both mushers and dogs, Helen and I were on the lake today for our Gunflint Lake Experience with four guests.
The DNR Becoming and Outdoors Women Winter Event is scheduled for the first weekend in March. I will be attending this event while Helen and Erik run the Winter Tracks Festival dog mushing events at the lodge with the help of Don who will be returning with his dogs for the festivities. The following weekend, which is the second weekend in March, Gunflint Lodge will be hosting the PUWWA2008 (Points Unknown Women's Winter Adventure) at Gunflint Lodge. This puts us almost to the middle of March. Lets hope the snow and cold weather stick around until April 1st! It will be sad to see this dog mushing season end.