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Monday, December 21, 2009

Alright Tuloon, Enough.

The solicitous play paw out of nowhere while Blue was just walking by, minding his own business.

Action shot

Blueberry finally has enough and tries a tackle move. But, alas his 22lb frame is no match for such a big strong sled dog (affected by out-of-control hormones).

For some reason, Tuloon has been overly amorous during this heat cycle, to the point where she has had to be banished from the house for a few hours just to "cool down". Poor Blueberry has been her love target. He avoids and ignores her for the most part and lately has been more assertive, trying to fend her off. (Blueberry is fixed) Tuloon has apparently gotten over her crush on Copper who is also fixed. She has wanted him to sire a litter for the past several years, until now. No wonder he's been moping around the house lately. Poor guy, tossed to the wind when you get a little gray in the face. Hopefully we only have another day to put up with Miss Princess and her raging hormones.

Tuloon had to sit out on our run again today. Phoenix and McKenzie can't concentrate in the least when she is within scent range. Speaking of Phoenix - what an EXCELLENT job he did today! I had he and Journey leading in the front team today and Klaus and Zala in lead with Neil. The goal of today's run was to have the dogs begin from a different "chute" and go the opposite way around the lake. At first, Phoenix became a bit confused when he saw the other team on the other side of him rather than the side he was used to and headed, momentarily, for the other team. One quick "on by" command and back he went, straight towards the lake. Upon entering the lake, the dogs usually will cut the corner to the right rather sharply, sending the musher into the reeds, if not careful. This time, before we reached the reeds I gave a quiet "haw" command which would then bring us out the opposite way we typically have gone. He took it on a dime. The remainder of the run was the same, even with challenging commands with many different directions from which to choose. Spot on Phoenix! That is, until the very end when we were headed back home. I wanted him to take us back to the house by taking a "gee" but after several attempts, it became apparent that it wasn't going to happen. Not certain why but because there was no way to hook the sled down to remind him what "gee" means due to the snow conditions, off we went to make another loop around the small portion of the lake and take the approach at a different angle. Then he did just fine. Like people, sometimes dogs just have blank- out moments. We'll just add this to the training list.

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