Temperatures have been pretty good for us in the UK and we are getting out for lots of runs on the passenger rig, (following government guidance of course) temperatures have been pretty good down South and we have had some minus zero runs, we even had snow! It only lasted 24 hours and was the wet slushy kind we get in the UK so sled stayed at home but it made a nice difference to the mud and was very pretty for photographs! We have also made use of our local 5 acre free run field and it's great to see the dogs power around.
Going through the pandemic has been pretty stressful for everyone and we are extra grateful to have the dogs and this life. Taking the time to stop and stare and appreciate mother nature and seeing the seasons change by dog team is incredibly special. These pictures were taken on the same spot on the trail in January, May, August and November! Nothing is more beautiful than nature and I hope that moving forward we will look after the world a little bit better.
December was great, lots of runs for the dogs and we even managed to have a relaxing week away in Wales in between lockdowns staying at Pencastell Views with all the dogs. Beautiful views, in an isolated spot, toasting marshmallows over a fire, very dog friendly with a free run area and dog running trails, what isn't to love! View from our pod below! We all had a brilliant time! Was just so nice to get away and have a little adventure and a change of scenery was most welcome. Christmas and New Year were spent doing our favourite thing, running dogs and we had some lovely frosts and beautiful runs.
December saw the Flups turning 7 months old and they had their first positive, short runs with a mentor on the bike. They all had a jolly time! Clever girls! So pleased with these little treasures.
Christmas Eve Runs
We had hoped to do a couple of treks with AMWA but as with rest of the racing calendar in the UK restrictions make events impossible. We are missing seeing our friends but we have lots of nice trails to run on at home and as long as dogs are happy and getting exercised we are happy.
Here we are back in Lockdown so it means a week training and holiday in Wales has been postponed along with our holiday to Bowland trails in Scotland. Very disappointing but we have made the most of the cooler temps by training in South West, mixing up slow, heavy work on the rowerland passenger rig, lighter work on the 3 wheel Cudos and some quick runs on the bike. Fingers crossed none of our forest permits have been stopped due to the lockdown regulations which is great!
Puppies are just over 6 months old now and doing really well, each pup has quite a different character and it is so much fun watching them grow and develop.
They have integrated well with the rest of the pack and are very confident, happy girls and we very much look forward to the future!
Due to Covid 19 restrictions and the 30 rule, Forestry England have cancelled all permissions for sled dog racing in England on their land leaving the Sled Dog clubs that we run with without venues for racing for 2020.
We are in the happy position of having five training venues available in the South West and Wales with a mixture of private land, National Resource of Wales and Forestry England who have issued training permits. We are fortunate to be able pick and choose where we train and we have been enjoying lots of Autumn runs, building up distance and fitness using a mixture of the heavier Rowerland passenger rig the lighter 3 wheel cudos training rig and the bike.
We are hoping that the treks with AMWA after Christmas will still happen as they take place private land. Paws crossed!
Temperatures are now regularly sensible for lots of lovely runs, all our forests are now open and we feel spoilt for choice for venues! The race season is still looking 'interesting' , there is a full sled dog race event diary in the UK and we are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
The worst isn't actually that bad at all, as long as we are still able to run dogs. We don't train to race, we just run dogs and if there is a new venue we fancy doing and we feel like we want to be social than we go. We are very lucky to have five different trainings venues, some hard packed and hilly, some sandy and grassy with hills, and some flat and grassy, we like to run a mixture to keep things interesting and fun for the dogs. We are planning to travel to a different venue every weekend and camp over in our newly finished dog van and during the week train locally.
With having the pups we want to introduce them to new, exciting and safe experiences to help them become contented happy dogs and it would be nice to get them to some races after Christmas to experience the atmosphere and of course we will starting to train them in harness too so lots to look forward to!