Monday afternoon on the lake! I love a frozen lake! Come May, I'll be impatiently waiting for the ice to disappear so I can get the kayaks back out, but right now, I love that ice!
It's probably been safe for weeks, but we made our first crossings on Monday afternoon. This team was Paxil-Sundin, Pacer-Franklin, Anvik-Chase.
We ran into one loose dog and for the third time this year, Franklin had a completely uneventful pass! Franklin is a bit of an "alligator", through no fault of his own. He got attacked a couple years ago by a loose dog and he's never forgotten that incident. Takes one lousy pass to mess a dog up and a hundred good ones to undo the damage! Every good pass Franklin get in is a bonus! I'm pretty proud of the little guy!
Team two on Monday was lead by the remarkable little Pingo. She really is little!
I never noticed just how tiny she is until I put Raven beside her. Raven is not a terribly large dog, but she makes Pingo look like a puppy!
But size is irrelavant to Pingo! She is the boss of this team, at least when she's in harness. She's a meek and mild mutt when she's not working! Pingo is a solid lead dog--reliable, happy and at over 9 years old, still in fine shape. Pingo's true gift though is not in her ability to tell "gee" from "haw" or willingness to train new dogs or in her ability to blow past distractions on the trail. Pingo's gift is her trail sense.
Notice in this picture, it almost looks like there is only one lead dog. I still haven't quite figured out how Pingo did this without causing a major tangle, but she let her tug line go slack and dropped behind Raven;
came up on the other side;(she is dominantly left pawed)
And dragged the entire team over to a different track across the lake, one that was more solid, faster and much more fun to run on! She absolutely always knows which trail will be best to run on, which turn will get us home and since she hates getting her paws wet, the fastest, safest way through overflow. She's truly a remarkable little creature!
Which is why when she's not hard at work, she has full couch privledges!