As those of you that have followed these
entries for a while may know, July 1 is the date each year I
roll back the dog’s mileage to zero and ‘officially’ begin
the new training season. Well, yesterday morning was cool
and clear – perfect to kick things off!
Because I brought a nasty viral infection
of my mastoiditis bone (somewhere in the inner ear) home
from Alaska and am on a heavy course of antibiotics and
painkillers, I rounded up not only Ronny, but also Mark to
In no time flat we had 14 ecstatic
fuzzballs slamming into their harnesses and eager to go.
Zipping through the damp and chilly woods it was hard not to
dream about the months ahead and this seasons races. There
is no way to tell whether this will be the year of our
dreams or not, but I choose to think positive. We have the
dogs, the motivation and the desire for it to be a great
year – so let’s get it started!
I’ll start the diary entries for this
season as I always do – with introductions to the ‘pool’.
As usual – let’s begin with the veterans.
With 42 dogs in this year’s training
pool, my most senior veterans are going to have to work hard
to maintain their spots. I think a number of them are up to
Honestly, I think if any
of these guys make the team this year, it
will be Loks and Odes, but I’ve been
surprised many times before.
Next up is the group I
expect the bulk of the main string to be
made up of. A solid 19 strong dogs –
I think any of those 18
are capable of going to Nome. Watch for
Charge, Q, Boom, Watt and Jr to become
serious forces in the kennel!
Spider, Jinx, Tess, and
Holly are all on the verge of being
considered top-notch leaders
The next group is a
small one – but 3 individuals. They are
my experienced rookies - dogs that have
multiple seasons of good training, but
haven’t made my main string.
Togo should be almost
a shoe in for the main string – very
talented dog (who raced some with Kim
and Kelly Berg last season). Who knows
what Newt is going to do!
there is the unbound less energy of the 16
I believe I have all
sorts of stars in the wings in this rookie
group. Dogs that jump to mind are Runner,
who I have no doubt will be not only a
fabulous, hard driving team dog this year,
but I’m certain will be doing a lot of
X and Bongo have got to
be two of my favorite 2 year olds; although
I’d be hard pressed to rate them as higher
then dogs like Wolvie and Irving!
Nitro is a dog that I’m
not tremendously fond of in the dog lot, but
he continues to challenge me to really
dislike him by putting remarkable
performances in in harness. He may grow on
Joining the fray for the
first couple months of the season will be
the yearlings –
Not much to say about
the ‘kids’ yet. I try not to judge
yearlings, just let ‘em run and have
fun. No youngster is ever considered for
a spot on my main string until they are
a solid 2 years of age.
Well, that is it – the
main string for 07/08. I think they are a
tremendous bunch of athletes and I’m proud
of them already – but I can’t wait to see
them all develop and turn into a team. Makes
me smile to think about it!