Working Dogs

Necklines and Tangles

Yesterday was a long day for the kids; they got up and rode in the dog van to Anchorage. I stopped and let them go potty but there was no exploring or anything remotely fun for them so I knew these babies needed to explore and to get some exercise.

At first I was going to run them on the ski loop but I hadn’t ever hooked them all up as a team to pull anything other than me on foot. So I decided to stay close and hitch them up at the house. My friend told me about this killer trail and how to get there so I decided what the hell! First time running as a team, first time on a new trail… what could go wrong?

We hitched up and we were off… but then Phoebe tangled up, we untangled her from her neckline and we were off for another 100 feet, then Phoebe somehow got tangled again. When I untangled her Caly got tangled. Once everyone was lined out we were off! Saturn and Caly in the lead, Titan and Phoebe at Wheel. We hit a HA turn in no time and were running solid as a team, until Caly seen the river then she was all hey I want to play!

I managed to get them lined out and keep them running forward but then a tree branch in the middle of the road snagged on Caly’s neckline, I thought it would come off but she somehow wrapped it up. So we stopped, de-treed the neckline and Phoebe got tangled up… untangled her and it was Caly’s turn again.

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Once we lined out again we were headed into the unknown blazing down the trail everyone running in sync with one another. Saturn especially was all happy and jacked up! It was great, the wind and mud on my face, the smell of fresh air and the feeling of freedom; it is hard to put into words.

We hopped over a tree that had fallen across the trail, and then with the slowdown Caly and Saturn got tangled up. I went to untangle her from Saturn and Titan decided he needed a break. He laid down right there, and stayed there until he was ready and everyone else decided to pull him along. Back at it again we were hitting mud holes and doing the best we could to dodge the deep ones. Phoebe was having none of that!

She will go to the farthest extent of her ability to avoid anything that splashes up on her. It is quite hilarious because Titan is the same way. They actually stopped dead run to avoid a puddle and I had to put my feet down to stay up right. I laughed as the mud crept half way up my leg! Crazy dogs GET UP HIKE HIKE…!

At some point the rear derailleur went screwy, then it launched up towards the wheel. Caught in the spoke and bam 💥 the tire ceased up, derailleur snapped and the sucker broke right off… The chain was hanging, the team was pulling, Saturn jumping 3 feet off the ground, let’s go mom lets go. I decided screw it, let it drag. So we were off again. For about ten feet because Phoebe was tangled… AGAIN!!!!! I untangled her picked up the bike and realized Caly was also tangled. When I went up front they pulled the bike and apparently my handle bars flipped around.

Did I notice? Hell no! Not until the tire was jacking up my balance and the brakes SHIT where are the breaks? At this point I am trying to operate the brakes with my thumbs and the cables are stretched out because the bars are backwards leading to no brakes and no balance! I yelled WHOA, WHOA, WHOA but they didn’t because I had NO brakes and crash! Woman down!!!

Luckily the dogs are accustom to me crashing and realized right away they needed to stop for a second after the crash. But they were right back at it. In fact, I didn’t even have time to think about the cracking of my spine and neck, and the smacking of my dome slightly after my shoulder imprinted a new crater in the ground… but it was soft ground so there is that.

The rest of the run ended about like it started, TANGLED. I removed the necklines and we walked about a half mile home, because they apparently have decided to strike against pavement running and I don’t want to hurt their paws and legs, so we walked.

Overall even with the crashes, tangles and busted bike we had a great time! Came home covered in mud and a big grin on everyone’s faces!

What can we improve upon? Neckline training and helping Phoebe with her confidence so she doesn’t feel like she constantly needs to spin back to me.

Design and build of a dryland wheeler has commenced and since we now have two busted bikes, I think we have some aluminum to work with… 😛

Thanks for reading! We will be posting more crazy Tales from four Tails as soon as this headache subsides…

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