It takes a village to raise a mushing team
|Who's head is bigger? EarthDoctorSon or Ginsberg?|
Shortly after the new year begins, Ginsberg will be a yearling. As if to take advantage of his last days of puppyhood, he has been so so sweet of late, plopping himself down next to me on the couch, and resting his big ole head on my lap.
He still greets me at the front door with his paw on the handle (in hopes he can open the door), his ears pulled close to his head, his head thrown back, jaws wide open as if he is shouting with joy. It's so silly, I can't help but laugh, and it's very hard to correct his bad habit of jumping up on me and trying to lead me around with his mouth engulfing my hand. But I digress.
The 44th Street Accidental MicroKennel is coming along quite nicely, thanks to some extraordinary professional help.
Allow me introduce you to members of the Team :
1. Ace Team Handler
|Winterfun begins! L-R: Me, Ace Handler Naomi, Ginsberg, Cora|
2. The Team Surgeon
|Happy Knees + TopFlight Knee Surgeon|
And how cool is this? I recently discovered that PBS DragonFlyTV featured him in a fun video for kids about Real Scientists. I couldn't find a way to embed it, but I hope you'll have a look! It'll give you a sense of what a great guy he is.
Check this out!
3. The Team Doctor
|Smarts + Kindness + Access = Complete AWESOMENESS |
(Image by Travis Anderson for MSP Magazine)
3. The Team Trainer
I've been sugar-sober since July. I just woke up one day and realized that refined sugar made me a little crazy. No, a LOT crazy. As in addict-kind-of-crazy. So I decided to withdraw from it cold turkey. Can't say it was easy, and sucrose/fructose/whatever-ose seems to be in EVERYTHING! But it's been well worth the effort. Rather than look at going sugar-sober as some kind of deprivation, I opted to take a "wow, what's out there to eat that I've never tried before" perspective. I've not been a big fruit fan. But I must say I've discovered some pretty fabulous fruit that makes me work at eating it (dehydrated mango strips = lots of chewing; pomegranate = lots of peeling; ruby red grapefruit = even more peeling) and thus prolongs snack-time (more like snack dining than snack scarfing) and makes it much more satisfying.
|Uber-Awesome Trainer Alex Stocco|
Watching Uber-Awesome Trainer Alex work with a couple every Thursday morning (discreetly, out of the corner of my eye) let me scope out the suitability of a match. I was quite impressed with his enthusiasm, attention to his clients, and professionalism. So I sat down with him one morning, told him my limitations and my goals, and he started tailoring a plan for me on the spot. I've been hopping (yes, hopping) out of bed on Tuesday mornings as 5:40 am to meet Alex at 6 am. Come 7 am, I wobble my way back home, but by the next day, I'm just fine, and I am making honest-to-goodness progress. After sledding on Christmas day, I had zero-zippo-zilch-nada soreness or pain. And I credit Alex with helping me get sturdy enough to engage in my beloved winter sport.
4. The Team Transport: SubaRuby Rae
I've been without a car for going on 5 years, and my last car burned waste vegetable oil or biodiesel. But I decided I didn't much care for the politics around biodiesel, so I opted out of car ownership for a spell. I did use Mr. B's on weekends when I really need to run errands that could take hours by bus. Mostly it' was fine, surprisingly fine, actually. But I've yet to figure out how to board a bus with two Huskys (who are most definitely not your traditional "helper dogs") and a rather long sled to travel to a suitable trail for a morning run AND return home in time for Mr. B. to have the car by 6:30 am.
So I made a BIG decision. I let go being car-less and of owning a truck, and I purchased my own car. She's actually a "rescue" -- a 2000 Subaru Forester that was languishing in a salvage yard. She'd been in an accident and needed some body work (who doesn't?) but the price was most definitely right--and she has seat warmers!!! I was able to bring her home without acquiring debt! May I introduce to you: Miss SubaRuby Rae:
|Miss SubaRuby Rae, who was christened last month with SNOW!|
|Ginsberg and Mr. B get acquainted|
But this week, when I broke out the the sled, he joined me, running ahead to encourage the pups, and at one point asked: "When do I get a chance to drive?" After about 20 minutes, when I suggested it was my turn again, he complained: "So soon?" I knew at that point,I had him--hook, line, and sinker!
6. The Team Sleds in the Cities
Prairie Dog Supply have practically moved mountains to get this pretty little kick sled 400 miles south to me. Having been roughed up a bit during shipment, my sweet kick sled arrived in need of repair. And the necessary part is on its way. Once we give it a test drive, I'll post some pictures.
7. The Team's Name
Last but not least, The Team comes by its name honestly. We're small -- and we seem to be prone to an accident here and there. Like this one, which was actually hilarious. Only Cora, who was not in lead, maintained her eyes locked on the direction I wanted to go. Charlotte (in lead) and Ginsberg, took a "gee" all of their own accord. No one got hurt, and since Mr. B was the only one watching, no egos were wounded either (Ahem, we have lots of work to do -- and glorious snow in which to do it!)
And I suspect (at least I hope) we'll be laughing all the way, ho, ho, ho.
My most sincere gratitude to all who have made possible
our little Team at the 44th Street Accidental MicroKennel!
our little Team at the 44th Street Accidental MicroKennel!
A special shout-out to two special Team Cheerleaders
|Shannon and Ginsberg|
|Amanda and Tempo|
And Amanda Stanoszek of Hoof and Howl Farm, whose gentle and wise words got me through the hardest parts of puppyhood (ie, housebreaking) and who adopted Ginsberg's sister, Tempo, who has turned out to be a powerful little sled dog.
And as Shannon likes to say when she signs off from her blog posts: