Friday, January 05, 2007

Maybe I Should Enter the Iditarod

Yesterday it seemed like the snow was finally melted down to a halfway reasonable level then I woke up this morning to 4-5" on my driveway and another 4-5" predicted to fall throughout the day. In the 16 years I've lived in Boulder I've never seen anything like this. More back-breaking shovelling before work to make sure I'm able to get into the garage tonight and back out for the trial tomorrow morning. I need to figure out a way to hook up a plow to Strummer and let him do the work. All that wonderful energy and it was wasted chasing a watering can around the yard this morning. The snow makes the dogs exponentially more hyper than they normally are and walking all 3 of them at the same time in the snow/ice is proving to be draining. Lola is still on leash walks and it's too hard to do double shifts first thing in the morning.

The start of the trial is being delayed by an hour so I'll have some extra time to make the 1 1/4 hour drive to Castle Rock tomorrow morning. It's mostly on major highways so I'm hoping by early tomorrow they'll be plowed but who knows. Driving through Denver is not going to be fun I imagine. Maybe I should forget the whole thing and go with my friend to the skijoring clinic near Winter Park.

Lola's therapy swimming went well, sort of. She did great in the tank as far as the swimming went but her eyes were as big as saucers and I could tell she was pretty freaked out. She was breathing very hard but it's hard to say how much of that was due to stress vs exertion. Antke took her out after 7 minutes and the poor dog looked trashed. I'm going to take her once a week and try to increase the length of time she swims. Hopefully her fear will decrease the more she does it. Maybe by Feb. she'll be ready to join me at masters.

I made it to Biscuit Eaters with Cody yesterday and the area we had shoveled was soggy with puddles in places but o.k. for the most part, just a little muddy. Cody was popping out at that 10th pole if I was a certain lateral distance away from him. If I stayed behind and close in laterally he was fine. We need to work on this but it's hard with such an old dog that's had shoulder surgery. I can't do the necessary number of repetitions to proof the behavior without putting too much stress on his shoulder. Contacts were better but still not good enough. He was stopping but still releasing himself sometimes. Again, I can't drill him too much because of his shoulder so at this point I'll have to take what I can get. I wish I'd know what I was doing when I started out with him and trained it right the first time when he was young and could handle the physical stress better.

It's out into the white stuff again for me for Lola's mid-day walk. After that I'm spending the rest of my lunch hour pricing dog sleds. Or maybe condos in Hawaii.

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