This time of year -- now that snow is falling and temperatures are dropping -- training runs are getting quite long. So, when hooking up teams, we want to be as efficient as possible in order to get out on the run ASAP. But, we also want to remember everything: fish snacks, headlights, extra harnesses, snow hooks, parkas, dog jackets, booties and much more.
Allen works with Schmoe next to the harness Rack; Two teams are almost ready to go.
When we hook up two training teams simultaneously, the sleds and mainlines are positioned in the middle of the yard. The harness rack is directly in the center. There is a clipboard on the rack with the names, harness sizes and positions of every dog on the team. Just in case, there is a permanent "cheat sheet" affixed to the rack that lists all dogs with their harness size. Each musher is generally in charge of hooking up his or her team ~ usually front to rear.
L-R Lydia is ready, Outlaw gets boots while Lester looks on; Chipper gets special treatment.
With our harness and line system there are no necklines. So after the dogs are harnessed and hooked into their position they will often mill around; sniffing, peeing and socializing. They understand that it is not quite time to leave. Our dogs enjoy this pre-run social time.
When it's time to work… the mushers says "READY?!?" and the dogs face forward, tighten their tug lines, quit socializing and are there to work! It's an awesome sight to see the teams leave the yard.
Teams One leaves the yard: Kodiak, Lydia, Spark, Schmoe, Scooter, Sissy, Chipper, Coal, Hotshot, Daisy, Sandy and Felix; Team Two is right behind: Junior, Commando, Scruggs, Dutch, Outlaw, Nomex, Clyde, Chemo, Violet and Pepe.