Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fall Training 2016 Begins!

    It's been cool enough to start running and we've been taking advantage of it. This years team has some major changes, as the younger generation takes over for dogs like Mambo, Legolas and Urchin. I'll also be running the three yearlings: Moondrop, Tuck and Marian. After about 100 miles over the summer, it's exciting to see them go a bit further (6 miles so far) and see what they're made of. They've been rockstars so far!
    Another change this year is Tobasco (you may remember he spent some time here last summer) and his son Auggie are here for the winter from my friend Hannah at Hazard Kennels. Tobasco may not make the main team, due to his age, or he may surprise me.
    Auggie is a 4yr old who is super friendly and enthusiastic. I'm looking forward to seeing him mature as the season goes along...if he makes the race roster, it'll be his first races. He and Eagle are two peas in a pod, so I'm pretty confident he'll be a huge contributor this year...although probably not a lead dog. I've not tried him up there yet, because he can be a bit of a goofball.
    Along with the boys, an old friend is here: Athena! While it might seem like a "step back," Hannah and I are looking forward to some Tobasco X Athena pups later this winter. Something I learned from Urchin and Saxon is not to overlook Siberians and Siberian crosses. You might recall from old posts that I had two litters of Athena puppies here the spring/summer after I came back from Alaska - one to harness break and the other's as little pups. Coming back from running dogs with Aaron, I was still impressed with them and Athena's grand-pups are also nice...so I think she's proven herself quite well. Plus, Saxon and Athena's dad are related (a few generations) - so it might be a nice cross down the road. In any event, they'll be something to watch for!

    I'll be introducing each dog more thoroughly as the fall progresses, but here's a sneak peek of the dogs in training:
  • Sweetwater - female leader, 5 years old.
  • Bella - female leader, 5 years old, sister to Sweetwater.
  • Rowdy - female leader, 6yrs old. Iditarod finisher.
  • Marian - Sweetwater X Peppermint puppy. Very driven, always the first to start harness-banging when we stop
  • Eagle - Rowdy pup. Leader, 2 years old male.
  • Moondrop - Summer X Razz's single female pup. Best puppy I've harness broken thus far - she acts like a pro.
  • Auggie - male team dog, 4 years old. Who knows what he'll do?
  • Saxon - male leader, 3 years old.
  • Jingle - male leader, 4 years old in December.
  • Owl - Eagle's brother. More of a team dog than leader but coming into himself.
  • Frost - male team/wheel dog. Jingle's brother.
  • Falcon - Eagle's brother. Fantastic leader, really driven.
  • Tobasco - The old boy, would love to see him race this year!
  • Summer - 7 years old now. She's not really a lead dog, but is great wherever she runs. She is bred to Tobasco, so may not be racing this year.
  • Razz - Rowdy's brother. Just an all-around great dog. Wish my entire team was as reliable as he is!
  • Tuck - Marian's brother. A big boy who lives up to his name because he absolutely LOVES his food and let's everyone know it!