It started like this - trying to call the dogs over to harness them up. I tried with PB first but getting her attention when she is first out of the pen is like trying to herd two dozen cats with ADD. It ain't easy. She found a MILLION other, wayyyyy more important things to do:
Finally, after 4 hours of her deking me out, taunting and zooming by me, there was a brief pause in her (limited) mental capacities where she slowed down near me and I got a hold of her. Woody came over soon after because if PB is getting attention, Woody feels entitled to it too. So I was able to harness him up too.
Hurray for small victories!
You'd think it would be smooth sailing then right? Yeah, not so much.
Too bad this drawing doesn't come with audio, because the screeching that was coming out of PB's face was deafening. Woody was excited and trying to get to Esther, who was down the trail barking (BARK! BARK!) at us to go. ANNNND the rest of the dogs in the yard joined in on the barking too. This made for some super hyped up dogs who were about to pull me down the trail.
Getting them hooked to me is one thing, getting going is another. PB's brain and body don't effectively communicate with each other, so she simply wrapped herself around me a few times and then decided to jump on me.
By some miracle, I was able to get them untangled and point them in the same direction down the trail. Their little pea brains told them to just... RUN! And so they did. Really freakin' fast. And I have a lovely corner right off the start which winds around the fence (and fence posts!). Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don't...
BUT! I made it. My snowplowing skills come in handy at times like this.
All I had to do was hang on because they were on a mission - to RUN, RUN and well, RUN. The faster they go (according to them), the better. With Esther in front, that increased our speed 10-fold because chasing is WAYYYY more fun than not chasing something.
At almost 1km into it, we came to a fork in the trail. One fork went down to "The Gorge" and the other went to a much nicer, flatter trail. The Gorge is a special hill that goes down to the river. I call it "special" because it can maim me. It HAS maimed me in many ways. For example: previous skijoring wipeouts; dogs stopping on me and me catapulting over them down the gorge; it's even where I burned the crap out of my ankle on the 4-wheeler one summer.
The Gorge and I have a history and it isn't pretty.
Let's just say I now head down The Gorge cautiously...
With Esther in "lead" - she was full-on determined to head down The Gorge. Naturally, where she goes, we were gonna follow. The Woody-PB dynamic does not know how to think on it's own. It did not matter that I was yelling and screaming NOT to go down there. They usually run down The Gorge on their own to the river, so it was no big deal!
They kept pulling and trying to get to Esther as I tried to hold on and stay put in the snow. Esther was barking and barking, encouraging them to follow and they really really wanted to! I had to hang on to my spot, because if they got any closer to The Gorge, it was all downhill and I'd be screwed. I'd be dragged down there cartwheeling the whole way. I wasn't going down that way. Not today dammit.
They pulled, I tried to stick my snowplow deeper and deeper into the snow. Esther barked, they tried to pull harder. Esther was starting to get annoyed as if to say "c'mon already you idiots!!!"
It became a battle of the wills. It went back and forth and back and forth and they were wearing me down. I almost gave in and said "screw it, drag my sorry ass down The Gorge..." when...
Esther clued in! She figured something was up (her brain works fine) and came back towards me. She finally figured out where I wanted to go, hallelujah!
Whew! I was in the clear!
In the ensuing confusion, lines tangled, dogs got confused, I begged and pleaded and made promises I knew I could never keep (I'll let you eat ALLLL the butter in the house if I make it back in one piece!), and somehow, some way... it all worked out. Mostly.
Except for the part where Woody and PB managed to go on either side of me and clothesline me at the knees. Thanks guys!!
They dragged me back to the cabin and I collapsed partly from exhaustion and partly from being happy to be un-maimed! They were looking for the normal "yay, guys, good job" they often get after a run (when I don't see my life flash before my eyes). They didn't get it.
But that didn't matter to Pooh Bear! She danced and bounced around my battered, exhausted body, screeching and barking at me to entertain her.
And that's how my dogs can be complete douchebags sometimes.