Lydia - I love this little dog. She's smart, one of the smartest dogs in the yard for sure, with the most drive. But, in saying that sometimes she drives a little too hard and in this race she drove too hard down hill and tweaked her shoulder. She just needs some time off to rest. She loves to pass other teams, absolutely LOVES it!
Junior is her bigger sister and has almost as much drive as Lydia but with longer legs, so perhaps that makes up for it. Junior is more tentative passing other teams but she loves to fly and she sure set the pace on the second 50 mile leg and won us the race.
Photo Julien Schroder
Daisy ran in swing the first 50 but after dropping Lydia I thought: "what the heck, she's my new leader" and obviously winning her first race in lead is a comment to her talents. She runs hard with her nose about quarter inch off the ground so I worry about her trying too hard but she did great.
Amber is finally stockier and has filled out, that's made her a stronger dog which we are excited about. She also has learned a new gait which is basically 'put your head down and trot with a lot of power' and that's probably from the Copper Basin. So, despite the fact she is a small dog, she really helped up all the hills in the 100 mile race.
Scooter! I just love saying her name, that's probably why I wanted to bring her ;-). She was happy for 100 miles and for 7 years has really tried her hardest, and she did so again in this race. She's just a fun dog to have on the team.
I love Spark, in this race I basically gave him some mental time off. He felt a lot of pressure in the Copper Basin as the quarter-back and in this race all he had to do was boogie down the trail. He did so with gumption and I was pleased to see him enjoy himself.
I ran Champ and Nomex together because 2 1/2 years ago they had a little quarrel so it entertains me to run them together now and see how well they get on. Nomex has really held together physically which is always my worry for him but he seems to have it figured out. He’s very sincere in what he does and he always needs you to know that he's doing his best. So, I was always very vocally appreciative of his efforts on this race.
Champ loves himself - he doesn’t necessarily need the coddling but he'll take it if you give it to him. He just has the perfect body to be the powerhouse that he is so its really fun to see that 2+2=4 with him because that doesn't happen all the time in the real world. I think he really had a positive happy run especially because of how hard he ran in the Copper Basin.
Rodney - I'm amazed at the transformation that Rodney has gone through in one year. It was this race last year that young, loud, obnoxious Rodney got loose and ran around the sleeping area and no one could catch him. This year he's a veteran racing dog who has won his first race. Very impressive.
Outlaw - I was worried about Outlaw after Copper Basin; turns out I didn't need to be. He did enjoy the cooler temperatures and that dog sure can eat some snow but the 20 below night on the river he sure shined. He still can be one of our best dogs.
I was very impressed about Scooby, I have never raced him but he’s a hard worker eats like a fool and actually rested fairly well so it's not too long until he’ll be on the main squad. Come to think of it, he won this race!
QT's first race, first win! She had a few yearling mistakes where she jumped off the side of the trail to take a break when the team was still churning at 10 miles an hour. She didn’t rest well in between Rodney and Scooby, perhaps they were a bit intimating for a little brown dog but overall I'm so excited about the future of QT and her siblings.
Thanks Wes, Padee, Steve and Mark for your help over the weekend.