Long walks off-lead are no longer an option, and Huck needed some real exercise. It was time for some Chinook action! We were both tired of pulling a small sled loaded with some firewood around the block. It was with some trepidation on my part (and absolutely none on Huck’s) that we decided to give skijoring a whirl. With the knowledge that I am still covered by health insurance, I located my old skijoring equipment, skis and poles. The equipment remained from my first disastrous attempts with our dog Trevor, a male who was born to mark, and who still probably has nightmares of Mom on skis riding up his butt.
Armed with a few treats, and my photographer husband who was looking for a few good laughs, we headed off to the flatlands of the local apple orchards. The fact that it took a full 5 minutes to step into my skis was a poor omen, but there was no turning back. Huck had already sensed that a new experience was at hand. Chester was almost drawn and quartered as he attempted to steady my skis with his feet, hold Huck in one hand, and with the other, provide support to the crazy lady who couldn’t get her skis on. At last we were ready to take off.
I gave the command to “line-out and stay”, but Huck was having none of it. As soon as hands were off the harness, he took off like a rocket – we both really enjoyed the 5 second maiden voyage. Unaware that pulling your Mom on her back, with skis askew, was not the best of form, Huck continued onward dragging his anchor until the words “whoa, whoa WHOA!!” finally penetrated his brain. Our second voyage was at least twice as long as our first, about 10 seconds, and I remained cautiously optimistic that with a little practice we might actually get in a full 30 seconds or so without a break in the action.
Huck was born to pull and caught on quickly. Mom is somewhat lacking the innate skills necessary, my Norwegian heritage did not shine through. However, slowly and surely the runs got longer and more coordinated. After pulling off some energy, Huck slowed to a pace that allowed me to stand up, get some strides in and continue to work on some necessary commands.
We finished the day all Huckered out, happy and ready to try again!