Off GridWorking Dogs

2017 Season Run 1

Saturn and Phoebe

YES! Finally, the weather is cooling down in the mornings and we are ready for a run! As excited as I am I know I need to check the lines for wear and the harnesses for fit, as it has been a while. I grab my bike, which is not the same set up as last year. It now has a rig to keep the line out of the wheel, with the bungie hooked directly to the frame. This bike is a bit heavier than last years but will give the dogs some extra weight to haul to get ready for the new sled.
I gave the setup a once over and rolled the bike out and hooked up the keeper. I figured Saturn and Phoebe are about the same speed so I took them first. They were wearing low impact Tiaga X back harnesses from Coldspot Feeds until we get their Zero DC’s from Sirius Sled Dogs.
Saturn at first was all about it, but then we had a mechanical failure. Yes that’s right, I forgot to check on my bike chain. Bad move number one. I messed with it for about a minute and decided they could just pull me and I didn’t need it.
So we were off again. These two running step for step for a few seconds but it didn’t last, Saturn needs some extra motivation. We went on for about a half mile, but Phoebe was pulling the whole load so I decided to Gee around and come home. I needed to fix the bike and reassess Saturn as he wasn’t pulling or running very consistently. Phoebe set a good pace for the run home and she kept checking back on Saturn, this is a great sign!
After arriving home, I got them a drink and checked him out. I think his nails are a bit too long so he got a trim and I am thinking it is just still too hot for him to pull. I fixed the bike and hooked up Titan and Caly.

Titan and Caly

Titan is wearing his Zero DC open back harness and Caly the low impact x back until she gets her Zero, or so I thought… I was excited and put Titan in the wrong one, he actually has on Saturn’s original Zero, and it’s a bit big for Titan but he still pulls just as hard in Saturn’s. I love the torque he has in this. We are getting Saturn a bigger size, as the original is too small for him. I am betting this helps his drive to pull as well as cooler temps.
Tearing off down the driveway and onto the trail is always a rush. I love the speed Caly and Titan have, they work very well together. Once on the trail we were speeding along, I would bet at 15~18 mph for a good quarter, maybe even half mile. I had to slow them down to help pace them.
Titan is pretty good at this but Caly is new to endurance. In fact, when I was running them on foot in the winter, Caly would jump off the trail and lay upside down in the snow. I need to help her learn to slow her roll and stretch out her energy.
The ‘new’ bike has a front disc brake that works relatively well but the back is all but gone. We definitely need a new back brake before heading out again, as I don’t want to go end over end again like I did down the bluff in Homer.
Once I got our pace under control, we almost got flattened by an eighteen wheeler, where the hell did that come from? That threw us off and it took me a while to get them back into running mode. Besides the truck, there were fish guts and whatnot from fisher people at the river so the dogs senses were out of control.
When we were finally back on track our trip back home was relatively uneventful and I felt like for our first run we didn’t have much to address but after watching the footage, I see we need a lot of command work. Saturn needs to have a little run every night to shed a little weight before he can keep up with the young kids but he will get there quickly. Phoebe needs to run with Titan, and Caly to lead Saturn getting them all up to the same speed. A neckline will also help and now that I can tie the bike up and hook up the team, this will be easier to accomplish.
As for me, I need to work on my communication skills and commands to help build their confidence, as always there is a lesson to be learned.
For our next adventure we will head off to some secluded trail, until then, thanks for reading and watching our video! If you’re interested in the Zero DC harness Titan is rocking, click here to learn more and order… Mush on, doIToutside! Four Tails and a Mom

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