Our plan for December was to again complete the AMWA Salisbury long distance trek, we really enjoy our treks and we had spent December training for longer distances with the dogs on the passenger rig and I (Lou) was excited to drive my first big team over a longer distance but it wasn't to be as on our way to the plains the fan belt on our van blew so we were stuck the day after boxing day with no garage open to be able to source and fit one so we sadly had to miss the event. It is disappointing as we had spent alot of time training the dogs for distance and re-pimping the passenger rig. Too add to the general feeling of exasperation Laika came into season too and Matt usually goes for a holiday to Wales with the boys whilst the girls come in but no van meant we had the enjoyment of the beautiful and insistent singing of the lovelorn boys- oh the joys of a mixed pack! This brings us to our next rally Wareham held by BSA. Our girls are totally indifferent to their seasons whilst working which was excellent for Matt's all bitch team however, I knew the boys were distracted by lust during training as they wanted to go back to the van so I knew Wareham for my two dog boy team would be interesting. The day of the rally came and I was not feeling entirely tickety boo and I found the first day uncharacteristically hard as I had to keep on stopping and realised pretty quickly I had the start of a chest infection and this combined with the boys thinking there was a girlfriend in every tree was reflected in my time and I came sixth on the first day. Matt had a clear run with the girls and came third on the first day. After my run I was feeling really terrible and the convenience of a local rally was that we could go home for the evening. During the day and night I got progressively worse so decided not to run the second day and stay at home with the dogs whilst Matt took his girls for a run the second day. Matt's second run had a hiccup with Cassidy's boot filling up with sand and she was massively distracted by it poor squibley sibe, so Matt stopped and removed and emptied it and put it back on and they ended up coming fourth place on the second day but third place overall. We are pleased with how the girls ran as since Laika slipped at the New Forest she has been more hesitant on the surfaces which means Matt has had to keep them all steady. We have booted at every single race apart from Thruxton as the surfaces have been hard and the wet weather has made trail conditions worse. Our dogs are clever and won't run regardless of surface and we are going to have to look at races next season and make our decision based on trail surfaces.
Now that all sounds a bit glum but our dogs are always a ray of sunshine and a particularly bright ray was Pickle's first run in harness. We ran her with super Snak and she got straight down to business as we thought she would if her aunties and uncles who are running the Yukon Quest again the year and the Iditarod 2015 are anything to go by. Well done Pickle!
Mr Mars is doing well and is loving life attending rallies and making new friends human and canine! He is such a softy and very handsome and he will be joining Pickle in harness when he is older. So 2015 looks to be a very exciting year!