Here’s Aliy’s wrap up of her CB300 team.
Chemo is a perfect dog for this team. He was happy and confident to be in lead and he would go fast when the trail allowed yet slow and steady pace when the trail got really challenging. He is not a high maintenance dog. Also, he was really good with Spark; he put up with Spark’s goofy antics and was Mr Cool the whole way.
I really wanted this to be Spark’s moment as a lead dog, his time to prove himself. He was “the man” but Chemo held his hand up there. Everyone loves Spark because he is sincere and happy. He is somewhat emotional, sometimes his tail is wagging and other times he doubts himself. He is much like his Uncle Beemer in that respect, where you have to be positive around him all the time or he starts to doubt himself.
I had two cheerleading swing dogs who were ready to spur team on. Lydia probably has the most drive on the team. She would bark and lunge in the air when we stopped - a cranky bark “hey whats going on!”
Amber is a little more physically powerful. She is usually a loper but she sure got down and ground into a trot into this race. Both talented leaders but didn't put them up these simply because of the snow conditions.
Violet and Nomex were together for much of the time. Violet is very vocal, she starts screaming, literally, when we either go too slow or up a hill - and there were some hills so there was some screaming going on. She's a tough little munchkin. She has lightly longer legs that her sisters and she was solid gold on this race.
Nomex has a nice looking butt! Great muscles. He has an ugly gait but he is always 100 percent. He’s a sweetheart: when putting booties on either him or his running mate he always tries to french kiss you, especially if cameras are taking pictures! It was good that he had a hard race and got to the finish line. It was neat to have a lot of the Fire litter on the team
Sissy and Scooter: Scooter, phew, 100 percent kicked butt! She has not lost any of her energy for eating, running and yelling and is pretty much the same dog as she was as a two year old. It is nice to see her physically holding together, because in the past, as she has so much excess energy, she doesn’t always look where she’s going and can hurt herself. She is enjoyable to have in the team except when she's yelling in your ear.
Sissy was just as strong except through musher error was carried for 25 miles. At beginning of the race with all the teams two minutes apart it is hard to stop because you will be in someones way. If you see you have a dog you think needs to be carried, often you put it into sled quickly so you don't mess up anyone else. Once Sissy was in sled I saw the problem was snow in the booty but I kept her in there just in case. At the checkpoint I got her out, she had a rest, and I walked her round to find nothing wrong. I gambled and decided to take her and she was perfect for next two legs except for last five miles was just not Sissy-ish and a little stiff. Did very well up to that point.
Driver is a nice dog. He's not fast but he tries really really hard all the time. He will never be a fast dog but he's honest and a go-getter. He tends to eats really sloooooowly which was a problem when I ran him with Clyde - Clyde ate his food and got the poops. He was doing so well until about 30 miles left of race when he stepped into a hole and hurt his wrist. I carried him over the line and he laid in there pretty well. He's a sweet guy, not super smart but sweet.
Clyde is a pretty cool dog. He is very polite, apart from eating Driver's food. The funniest part of the race was that he ate two meals every time (don't worry, I gave Driver a second helping). Clyde got the runs a little just because he ate so much. He was great, very steady and he slept well, and was a good, solid dog! It was not a hard race for him.
I had Iron in the back. He did really well and he's agile so I like him in wheel position. He didn’t really eat as well as I wanted him to but he picked up later in the race. Like his brother Driver, he wants to please you. Iron is not really the brains of the operation but he has all good intentions and he has a nice athletic body. Driver big strong lug but Iron is a well built iron-man.
When I think of Sandy it’s a little like “Oh, its Sandy, she can do it.” I find I take her for granted as has her own special flair but is non-descript and not flamboyant. She’s just a little black dog with floppy ears who does her job and doesn’t make a lot of noise. She has the perfect gait, knows how to take care of herself and is a great little dog.
This team was very solid and sixth place in CB300 was great. We maybe could have been one or two places higher if the musher did not make errors! This dog team really performed spectacularly. There is a lot of dogs on that team that could not longer be considered 2nd string. They really stepped up!