The “everything has gone wrong” run
The “everything has gone wrong” run

The “everything has gone wrong” run

I decided to take two teams of ten for two short runs. The dogs have been crazy lately, so I wanted to make sure everyone got exercised. I hooked up my first team, with Decker and Chevy in lead, the crazy girls (Nicky and Roo) in point, then Rocket and Spike, Ahab and Luke, and Asa and Higgs.

We made it just out of the driveway when Decker decided she didn’t want to run and got tangled behind Roo. It’s almost impossible to stop the team after I’ve just taken off. I was wishing that I had that extra 40 pounds of dog food in the sled to slow us down a little bit. I still had two fifty pounds bags of sand and one 40 pound bag of food in the sled, but these guys are crazy when then are just getting going.

I had no choice. I had to stop the team. As soon as we got onto the trail I slammed on the break and pounded my snow hook into the snow. It didn’t work. The dogs pulled the snowhook out and were running down the hill. I tried again. Success (?). It was a bad place to stop because we were on the downward side of a hill. I ran up to untangle Decker and saw bright red blood all over the snow. I started examining Decker, thinking that there was something wrong with her and the reason that she didn’t want to lead. It turned out it was Rocket’s blood. He was bleeding from his mouth– no biggie. Either he bit his tongue or Spike bit his tongue. I switched Decker and Roo– put Roo in lead with Chevy and Decker with Nicky. I ran back to the sled and just as I got to the back of it they pulled the hook and I jumped on.

Two seconds later, I see Roo running down the trail with Chester. The leader line had broke. Chevy was attached to the gang line, but Roo was free and having a grand ‘ol time. Since I have such a difficult time stopping the team, and since Roo was having such a good time, I ran for around a mile until I stopped the dogs. Dang. I didn’t have another double leader line. I attached single tug line to the gang line and added a neckline for an extender. I put Chevy on the longer line and Roo on the shorter one. I ran back to the sled.

We ran for another couple of minutes and Rocket was all tangled with Spike and Spike was about to beat him up. I stopped the sled, switched Rocket with Ahab. Ran back, started again and noticed that Spike’s harness had unclipped. ARRRGGGGG. This was supposed to be a short and fast run. I pounded in the snow hook and fixed Spikes harness. When I ran back to the sled they had pulled the snow hook and I jumped on the moving sled, but the hook was caught under the runner. I tried to stop, but the dogs would have nothing to do with stopping. Somehow the snowhook hooked itself into the snow and stopped them for a second. Just as I was about to lift it up, the rope that the snow hook is tied to broke and the dogs took off with the hook embedded in the snow. Now I was really screwed because there was NO WAY that I would be able to stop to fix a tangle. When ever a dog, (especially Roo), straddled their tug line I stood on the break and told them they needed to get untangled themselves because I wasn’t able to get off of the sled. At one time I asked Chester to jump in the sled to see if his extra 80 pounds of weight would hold the team when I stepped off the sled, but it didn’t work.

Instead of going home, I took them in a loop and retrieved the snow hook.

We made it home. I took the second team out, (the B team) for a slow and uneventful run.

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