3.9 Miles Saturday 11-17-12

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( 6.4 MPH avg)

All righty then… and the craziness continues!  I was REALLY physically spent today, but knew that I needed to get out with the dogs and do some more training tonight, so against my better judgment (!), I went!  I read a bit today about keeping your cool with your dogs, even if you’re upset, and tonight I got to practice that a bit more.  I know I’m TIRED, so I’m setting everything up pretty slowly and trying to be methodical about things.  I had everyone harnessed and was getting Galena dressed last.  She’s such a good girl about standing still that I didn’t hook her to the truck first like I always do before putting on her harness, and instead held her between my legs and harnessed her up.  That part went fine, but then somehow I didn’t hook her on to the truck. 

I typically put their harnesses on over their heads and then move their collars out of the way, hook them to the truck, and then put their legs through their harness, so since I never put her on the truck, that automatic step got missed.  I walked away from her, looked up and couldn’t figure out why she was on the other side of the truck…by herself…moving away from the truck.  I tried not to panic or over-react, instead taking my time and calling her name and approaching her, but of course she had figured out she was “free” and the Siberian in her took over and she made sure she stayed just out of reach.  I jogged after her for a very short distance and caught myself, knowing that would make her run.  I was very thankful her harness had the reflective tape on the sides because at least I could see that she was standing not far down the trail, and I thought she might wait for us.  I quickly put everyone on the line in the first available spot and walked back around to make sure she was still on the trail, but she was gone.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that once again, this situation was completely in the Lord’s Hands, and that was the only way I was going to get her back tonight.  Again, He enabled me to look to Him and I begged that He would return her.  I had no choice but to just let Tana lead, and hoped she would follow Galena’s scent.  I figured Galena would head to the wetlands first, but Tana made a last minute Haw into the woods, so off we went.  The team missed Galena, and no one was running well, so we had to stop a few times to undo tangles, because I was trying to hurry them along and the lines weren’t tight.  I decided to take off my gloves so I could clap for her, which is the way I call the dogs instead of yelling for them, but I didn’t see her and the dogs acted like they weren’t sure where she was either. We Gee’d and then Gee’d again and wound up in the water, which was the way we went last run for one of our loops.  They stopped for a drink and I kept calling Galena’s name, praying, clapping my hands and from behind us, she zoomed past us, and stopped for a drink up ahead.  I walked in that direction and she turned back and came into the team, which was still standing in the water.  She was probably hot because she had really run FAST.  I decided I better move as fast as I could, so I ran behind her with my hand outstretched towards her tail and managed to snag a few hairs and refused to let go!  She was such a good girl because she could have bolted, but instead she stopped.  I quickly hooked her up in the open spot on the line (in swing) and stood there and thanked the Lord for saving her over and over and over again.  All the things that could have gone terribly wrong… she could have gone into the street, she could have chased the horse, she could have gone off the trails and chased the deer, cats and foxes…and raccoons!  But, by the Lord’s Marvelous Grace, she was returned to her rightful place in Team Wulik, much to my relief.  I decided to cut the run short after that, plus I was soaked because it had started raining and I hadn’t had time to grab my raincoat off the truck, or close the tailgate, so we headed back to the truck.  Galena and Tana lined out the team beautifully and stood perfectly still while I dried off a bit and then put on my rain gear, and we headed out again for a bit more distance.  I was not a good or effective leader tonight, and felt as if the team really took advantage of me.  They didn’t pull except when they wanted to, and were not very responsive to my commands to get up.  I’ve got to do some serious work on this next time I have the attitude and fortitude to simply sit and wait them out.  They slow, and then stop, and then look back at me as if to say, “your turn, mom… push the ATV for us now”, and that just WON’T DO!  But for tonight, we ran a short run, and when we got to the truck 4/6 laid down and looked as tired as I felt.  We definitely aren’t in race shape yet, but we’re getting there!  We definitely aren’t a consistently cohesive team, but we’re getting there!  I’m definitely, I repeat, DEFINITELY NOT a great leader, and lost my patience with them several times tonight (It was Tana’s turn to push my buttons!  I’ve discovered that she is never too serious, always ready to celebrate at a moment’s notice, whether by dancing at hook-up time or flinging herself on her back in the snow!  I need to be MORE LIKE HER, instead of frustrated by this!), but HOPEFULLY I too am getting a bit closer.  I know I need a LOT of spiritual help to make the changes I desire in my attitude and self-control (just like I was reading about today).  I too often resort to the old man’s ways of trying to control them with raising my voice or being overly stern, which doesn’t do anything but make them lose trust and respect for me.  Oh how I long to be a compassionate, controlled, gentle, consistently firm and positively encouraging leader for my Very Special Team!  Please, Lord, send Your Holy Spirit in Power to change my heart and mind and emotions more and more, so that I am closer to behaving as Your Son did when He walked this earth!  Teach me His ways, and cause me to glorify You by reflecting His heart!  Amen!

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