Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dog of the Day - Dill

Dill did such a great job today, that I thought I should start a 'Dog of the Day' category. He was surrounded by two-year olds.... punks that don't really know anything and just get excited to go... and go anywhere and everywhere. Today we did a little 'gee-haw' training. Part of the run is going through a neighborhood with a grid of roads. Dogs can easily fall into a routine, just like me. But we've started incorporating figure eights and all sorts of unpredicatble turns in order to teach the dogs 'gee' (right), 'haw' (left) and 'straight on' or 'on by'. Dill was THE MAN today. He was flawless. He got almost every turn or straight away with a single command. He was confident, loping and and just digging the days drill. This is really important practice to both instill 'gee' and 'haw' in a leader, and to also teach the younger dogs directions so that I can rely on them when choices have to be made.

I bought Dill in the spring of 2008 from Aliy Zirkle and Allen Moore. Allen ran him in Iditarod 2008 and had to drop him about half to two thirds the way through because he just wouldn't eat well. I tried him out in my first 300 mile race, the Taiga 300 (2008). He did just great for me and I've relied heavily on him ever since. To put his name in context, he is one of the spice litter. His sibblings are Rose(mary), Spicy, Chilli, Garlic and Nutmeg. I generaly call him 'Dill Weed', unless he's being a hard-headed butt, in which case his name can be contorted into all sorts of things that probably shouldn't be printed in a blog.

Dill has led for me in the majority of over 1200 miles of racing last year. He IS the MAN! He's also a really nice guy. A bit stuborn, but I'm not one to fault him for that.

Dill in lead, looking at me for the 'hike!' command to get going again after a rest stop. He and Venus are wearing blinkers on their collars because it's dark when I start the run in the morning, and I make sure they are very noticable (we run quite a bit on the neighborhood roads).

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