Pissing of the locals...


I wrote this in the middle of January right after we got enough snow to run on a sled...

So training runs – they can go great and they can go super shitty! It just kind of depends on the day. I’m going to say 99% of my runs are fantastic. The dogs do their best and that’s all I can ask for, I rarely get a dog that just quits for no reason. There is usually something going on that makes them do what they are doing…

Well I’ve got a little turkey of a sassy leader that I am in love with. Her name is Bing. That little dog is the best 35lbs I got. But she can be a little bit of a shit. This year however she’s a hard working little leader and I’ve never had her quit on me.

This run was a little different for some reason. I was using my normal 40 mile route which includes a back trail which I love. Its got a few good hills in it, its off the beaten path so there isn’t a lot of traffic and for the first couple snow runs it was really nice because I was the only one back there…Except for a 4 legged woodland creature that was NOT happy that I was using his trail system.

I have never been told to Fuck off by a wolf until this last week.

We are headed towards the Whorl Pond loop that its been named and headed down a hill and at the bottom Bing (who was in lead) started ditch diving. She would just pull the team to the right and lay down in the snow bank. What the hell! I’d stop (I couldn’t hook down in the snow conditions) have to holler at the team to WHOA! Walk up and ask what’s up kid? After a couple times like that I was NOT happy…but the weird thing is that the rest of the team wasn’t really that thrilled about moving forward either.

And I’m gonna level with you – sometimes the dogs don’t want to go as enthusiastically as they normally do, but typically its one dog that might be sore or having a bad day. I’ve never had an entire team kind of lollygag around and not want to move forward! So Bing went back into wheel. But still the team kept looking at me and not wanting to move forward. I was not happy but more frustrated because I didn’t know what was going on!!

Finally I got them straightened out and moving slowly forward. That’s when I noticed the foot prints in the snow. The very LARGE canine footprints in the snow, they were bigger than the palm of my hand and spaced pretty far apart. WELLLLLL hello Mr. Wolf! I didn’t notice them at first because he was walking directly in the track that I left the day before, which we were running on this day. He had stepped off the trail to leave a very clear signal that he was not happy we were using his trail – he peed all over a small bush and then did the whole poop and spray it everywhere. Then walked back to our trail and continued on. About every 50 yards or so I would see his tracks leave the sled marks and mark his territory! WOW!! I was just impressed by the size of the prints and the confidence that this guy had! Finally the dogs started moving forward like they normally do after the track stopped.

I have never been told to Fuck off by a wolf before but I am pretty sure that I was that day! I’m pretty sure that nothing would have happened but its one of those things that I probably don’t want to find out! There is so little snow that the deer and the wolves have not migrated to lower snow areas – they don’t need to. So there is a lot of activity in the woods right now and I’m sure that they are getting a little more territorial over their areas because of the decrease in resources just because its winter.

It took me until a few hours after that run to realize that wolf was probably right in front of us (because the prints were headed the same way we were) and the dogs just didn’t want to run in to him! The tracks were very fresh and very large and I had very small and very young dogs in the team that day…So that explained a lot and I felt horrible for being angry at the dogs who were just trying to keep us from an altercation that would not have been very fun for anyone…I have the option to carry a gun on the trail – I just don’t. For no particular reason other than I forget!

The moral of the story is that more than likely there is a very explainable reason that your dogs don’t want to go like they normally do…and maybe you should listen to them! I learn something new from these guys every day. That’s why I love what I do… its never boring and every day is a new day!


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