Earlier in the season, it looked like we had 13 dogs on the “A” team. These are the dogs that we hope will be ready for very long runs, and who are (or will be) in prime condition.
But Decker has a sprained wrist, and has been off training for over two weeks. We’ll ease her in again next week. She’s a champion lead dog, and seems rather depressed to not be running.
Simba got pulled off the “A” team last season, due to a persistent shoulder injury. So, we eased him in this year, and included lots of stretching and massage. But no luck: the injury is still there.
Roo is good for training, but only pulls for 20 miles or so. After that, she can keep up, but doesn’t work. Definitely more of a sprint dog.
I was worried about Asa (he’s getting older, and had a persistent resistance to running with me, last year), but he and brother Higgs are still pulling strong and true.
The most recent loss is Luke. We are not sure what’s going on, but he did poorly on Saturday, then on Sunday simply wouldn’t pull (he was getting tugged by his neckline). He is sort of limpy, and sort of looks constipated, and we are not sure what’s up. We’ll let him keep resting for a few more days before visiting the vet (we have not had a week without at least two vet trips in 5 or 6 weeks!).
So the current “A” team (in the typical pairs we run them in):
Ahab, Rocket (who I’m not that sure about…he seems to overheat)
Roo (good spunkiness, but limited miles)
Spike (used to run with Luke)
We might get Phanty trained up. He’s only a yearling, and really doesn’t have much of a clue about anything, but seems to have potential. Also, I hope Decker will get back into training again. Bottom line is that today, we have 10 “A” team dogs, and maybe three others (Decker, Phanty, Luke) who might get back onto the “A” team.