I know y'all must be waiting with baited breath for the latest from my little world! My apologies for not having a moment to post sooner, but grammar and fur called.
Fur? Yes, fur. Fabulous Malamute and Siberian fur. All over the place. Blowing in the wind. Sticking to my fleece. Changing my black pants to grey. Glorious fur. Someone once said to me, "You know you've got huskies when you open a new jar of peanut butter and there's fur in it already." Happier, truer words have never been spoken!
This past weekend there was another fur fest in the region. And not just a hang-around-and-look-at-the-pretty-dogs kinda fur fest. It was a real watch-the-fur-work kinda fest. Yes, you guessed it. A proper dog sled competition. Of course, there's not enough snow (or no snow rather) so it was dogs with bikes and karts, pulling over a 6k course. It was fabulous.
It was good for us to head over and see all the various mushers and their teams getting ready, heading to the start, and actually running. There were a few of teams with fancy equipment and nice looking dogs. There were other teams with karts held to together by duct tape. There were Malamutes and Sibs and some huskies of questionable background. There was fur. Lots and lots of fur.
For most of the teams, be it 4 dogs or 6, the musher has other people helping them get organized at the start or moving around the staging aread. These people, handlers as they are called, are a common site. They know the dogs well and really try and keep things calm.
That being said, the one team that really impressed me was a team of 6 Malamutes and their musher who navigated the staging area and arrived at the start all by themselves. No handlers. The relationship between the musher and dogs was so good. Those dogs knew what he expected from them and them from him. While other teams would get insane with excitement and jump and pull at the harness at the start, this team of 6 calmly listened to their musher.
"Sit. Wait." That was all he said and they did exactly that. Calm. Controled. Alert. Ready. When it was time for them to go, only one word was said, "Allez!" Off they went. Fabulous. Beautiful. A team. A team.
This is how I want to be with my dogs. Of course, Tpyhon isn't exactly convinced. Y'all know how we have our little wobbles when out. He likes to stop and pee on everything and that gets Anouk frustrated and since he weighs more than me and her put together, eh, well...
The good news is that there were other teams out there just like us. Dogs who didn't want to go up the big hill. Dogs who wanted to take the short cut back to the staging area. Dogs who wanted to pee everywhere. Mushers falling off the bike. Mushers happy to have a handler or two around. Teams just like ours.
I'm going to try and remember that in my quest to be like Malamute Musher, the journey of a thousand dogs begins with a little fur flying in the wind and a little pee on the flowers.