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Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall Clean Up and Zodiak

Lexy has overtaken McKenzie's dog house

Hailey pulls the straw out of the far reaches of the dog house/play structure

This year, to our amazement, the leaves all fell before the snow came! And, at the same time, we had a wonderful, relatively warm, sunny Autumn day to work outside. This beautiful day was spent raking leaves and old straw out of the dog kennels. We had hoped to run the dogs, however the high was expected to be above 50 degrees. Thankfully, we got a nice night run in the evening before, our trail illuminated by the almost full moon.

Hailey visited the kennel for the weekend and Rich came out to run with McKenzie and Sweet Pea and brought his young daughter along to spend some time with the dogs. Lexy helped rake straw from dog houses and helped keep the other dogs occupied while her dad did a couple runs around the lake.

Rich had been taking Zodiak out for runs but that quickly ended when Zodiak, the strong-willed teenager, became confused about who the boss was and began to act up during a run with the team when Rich was present. This naughty youngster actually thought it was alright to grab me from behind when my back was turned after having just corrected him for biting the line and going bonkers at hook up. We don't do either and the grabbing of the musher from behind is most certainly a BIG "No, No".

As a part of his retraining, Zodiak no longer gets anything for "free". In order for him to get a thing, be it his food, a bone, to run in the team or to be let out of his kennel, he's got to give me something first. Right now, this thing is a sit and a stay until I say otherwise or he gets nothing. At hook-up, we heel to the line and every time he pulls on the leash, I stop. This is taking us a lot more time to do the smallest tasks but it's working and Zodiak's last run was almost flawless. He was a complete gentleman and remained the awesome puller that he is. Until Zodiak proves he can remember that I am his boss, he won't be allowed any special outings with others. He's grounded.

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