Monday, February 20, 2012

Excellence

I discovered this quote today.

"Excellence is being willing to take risks. Perfectionism is being overly cautious and fearful."
-unknown

This sums up my holiday Monday perfectly.

 We were suppose to go into the mountains today and use a trail on Spray Lakes.  It is a 3 hour drive for us one way and would be so worth it to be able to run the dogs in front of the sled on snow for a change.
However I awoke to a fresh layer of snow blanketing my world this morning.

I began to weigh my options.

 On one Hand: It is beautiful scenery, and we would meet up with a musher friend, in the fresh crisp air.

On the other Hand: The school yard IS just down the road and we ARE only going to run 2 miles maximum anyway. We DID get a fresh layer of snow.  AND driving puppies that haven't driven longer than 45 minutes in a dog box for 6 hours seems harsh.

BUT on the other Hand: Did it snow enough? It looks like enough snow.

However: It IS beautiful scenery.
                                                                                                                                                                        Decision made, we thought it would be easier on everyone.. dogs and humans alike if we stuck close to home and ran the school field.
A few weeks back I used my skis and trekked out a path that gave us about 1.5 miles to run.. perfect for training the puppies on. Most of it follows a fence line.. so I figured I didn't need to trekk out a path with skis this time.

Being a cooler than normal morning we thought it would be best to wear our Cabela coats so we would not be cold at all and could concentrate on the dogs fully.
We also decided to harness the dogs at home so that they wouldn't be on the drop chains for any length of time keeping the howling and barking down to a minimum while hooking up.

For you keen observers out there let us look at the above comments and dissect them shall we?

#1."It looks like enough snow".... LOOKS and what is out there are two different terms when it comes to dog sledding.  Skijouring maybe, but sledding?   Perhaps if the ground was not frozen into a grass covered ice rink under said layer of snow.

#2. "I figured I didn't need to trekk out a path with skis" ... um... uh huh.

#3. "Most of it follows a fence line" ... key word here is Most.

#4. "decided to harness the dogs at home"  ...  Putting a harness on a puppy who has only run twice in one and then putting him into a box locked in with his sister even if it is for only 10 or 15 minutes is NOT a good idea.

I am not even sure how to proceed with the rest of this adventure.....

I can tell you that Rigby becomes a screaming maniac when he is put on line, he got out of his collar and his harness at the same time (thankfully hubby had ahold of him).
I can also tell you that Penny and Hubba Bubba do not know how to hold the line tight at all and after a couple times turning around I finally tied them to a bike rack so they could not move.
I will also further tell you that adding these two new Alaskan puppies to the mix adds a strength and speed that this team has never NEVER felt before.

So let us do the math now...
2 Ramped up puppies (because now Elly is pretty excited too) + 2 lead dogs who are wandering all over the place + Added super strength of Alaskans + frozen hard ground + skiff of snow to frozen hard ground = potential disaster.

Once we were on our way Hubby had to hold the leaders and direct them in the path we wanted to go.  We did a beauty Gee at the first corner which led to a gate opening, meaning Hubby had to then jump off the sled and show them the Haw we wanted them to do which was nowhere as exciting as the gate opening ahead.
If you will now look at #3, "Most of it follows fence line"....
Straight ahead is a county highway and NO fence which is where the dogs decided to go, which was where I discovered that my brakes, were completely useless on the hard frozen ground meaning I had to tip the sled and try using my body to bring the team to a stop. (look at #1)
Luckily Hubby made it to the front as they were slowing down and turned them Haw again  then hopped on the runners behind me to give his added weight to the sled.

After a couple changes which put Rocky and Penny in lead and Hubba Bubba in wheel with Elly we were off.
I had to run ahead or beside the dogs for the most part in order to give them direction. If I had just run the course with the skis this could have been a different story (see #2)
Also keep in mind that I had my good for -40 coat on, and was drenched by the time we got back to the truck.

Excellence is willing to take Risks...

Well we certainly did this today and I am pretty sure the pups all had fun.  We stopped many times to sort dogs and harnesses and lines out so there was plenty of time for praise and cuddles.. although Rigby screamed every time we stopped.



Not sure what Rocky is up to here.. he gave a little hop just as I took the picture.
And you can see Penny's tail in front of Rigby.














Working hard and 'hopefully' having fun.









Next time we will be heading to Spray Lakes for sure.  In the meantime... I have some sewing to do... sigh.
AND my camera is struggling.  I think when I tipped the sled the lens was damaged and it will no longer work on Automatic, yet will not focus on manual either... double sigh.

3 comments:

Mom said...

OMG - It all seems like too much work for my thoughts, I'll stick to walking around the dog park! I love the way you write - you're hilarious - you must have got it from Dad! xox

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