Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Holidays

T-Bone says: Look Dad, I got a chicken for Christmas!

Yes, it's been a while since our last blog entry. The Maryland Sled Dog Adventures sled dogs and Eric and I have been busy running dog sledding programs, training the sled dogs in earnest, and taking folks out for dryland dog sled rides during the busy holiday season. For photos of some of those dog sledding adventures, check out the Gallery page of the Maryland Sled Dog Adventures website and click on the type of program that most interests you.

On one early morning training run at Fair Hill NRMA, six separate sled dog teams gathered at Fair Hill in the early morning hours for a fun group training run. Present the Maryland Sled Dog Adventures team, the Powers Pack, Sue Thompson and Howling Huskies, Ruth and Nick Sands and team, Reggie Brown and team, and Chris Bannister and Xtremeweather Siberians. As all of the teams set up to go out, we counted four Fritz Dyck rigs and 20 sled dogs all lined up and waiting to go at one time. It was like a mini Mushing Boot Camp. While out on our run, we had many opportunities to practice our "gees," our "haws," and our "on bys" as we passed each other.

Early Morning Training Run Fair Hill NRMA at Sunrise

Long line of sled dogs at Fair Hill

Wheel dogs Okemo (white) and Sobo (red and white) line out before a training run

Zoe and Acadia in lead (Acadia, open your eyes; it's hard to run with them closed)

The team all lined out and read to go!

In other news, we've begun training sled puppy, Acadia with the team. Acadia is now 8.5 months old and is learning to pull and work in harness with the rest of the Maryland Sled Dog Adventures dogs. She rotates through all of the positions on our team but is most frequently running in lead and team. So far, while Acadia still needs to learn many of the dog sledding commands such as "gee," "haw," and "line out" she is exceeding many of our expectations as a hard little puller with a lot of drive. And she has at least partially mastered the all important "on by" command, the "come haw" command, and seems to be quickly learning to "gee over."

A group training and fun run at Fair Hill NRMA (Maryland Sled Dog Adventures team, Howling Huskies team, Powers Pack, and Ruth and Nick Sands' team)

Time to "gee over" Acadia

Ruth Sands and team followed by Sue Thompson and Linda Powers

Sue Thompson and Howling Huskies

Linda Powers and the Powers Pack

Xtremeweather Siberians all lined outReggie Brown and his four dog team

Chris Bannister and his six dog team

The pups and some of their sled dog adventures have also been featured in several publications during the month of December including Spark Magazine, the North County News, the Bowie Blade, and Baltimore Magazine. Soon to be available, Taste of the Bay and Urbanite Magazine.

The sled dogs have also been busy chopping down their Christmas tree, decorating their Christmas tree, opening their presents, and practicing their naughty and nice behaviors.

Eric decorating the Christmas Tree

One of the plush his and her huskies (that we turned into ornaments) sent over from our friend Astrid in Germany

Husky Ornament on the sled pets' Christmas tree

Dog Sled Christmas ornament

Acadia practicing her nice behavior (the universal symbol she has to go out)

Naughty Acadia says: Can you see me now?

Sobo watches squirrel TV

Naughty behavior: Look Mom, I caught a squirrel

Happy Holidays from the whole Maryland Sled Dog Adventures crew: Catherine, Eric, Zoe, T-Bone, Sobo, Okemo, Acadia, and Chloe (the cat).

All of this holiday stuff is tiring!