It's tough to watch our once strong, young dogs age. Yesterday we ran the team up at Lost Trail on some beautifully groomed trails (http://www.ravallirepublic.com/lifestyles/recreation/article_c8deaa76-6f5b-11e3-8d47-0019bb2963f4.html). I started with Tensaw and Isis in lead, Flier and Tank in swing and Paluk in wheel. Tensaw was having a hit or miss day. He ran the team past a dog on the trail (UNHEARD of for this boy, I was so proud) but kept diving off the trail into deep snow to roll. So unfortunately he lost his spot in lead and Tank joined Isis in lead. It still wasn't great, but at least Tank was keeping us on the trail.
The pace was fast and Paluk was having trouble keeping up. Unfortunately, I had to slow the team so Paluk could keep going. Paluk has never been a speed demon, more about steady strength than speed, but she has been noticably slower this season. She will be 10 next summer, so it's not overly suprising, but still sad to watch.
This year is a building year so we probably won't do much racing but if we do it'll probably only be the four dog classes in the Darby Dog Derby and/or the Priest Lake Sled Dog Race. The 4-dog team of Tank, Isis, Tensaw and Flier is pretty fast, that would be our best chance of success this season. I dislike racing in the 4-dog class anymore because those races in Western Montana and Idaho are mainly filled with juniors and not considered a serious sprint race category.
Unfortunately on our run yesterday both our cameras decided it was too cold to function, though it wasn't. Sorry, no pictures this post!