This is Part 3 out of 8 in a series of lessons learned from our first medium distance sleddog race. To start from the beginning, click here.
During our time in Koskenpää, our dogs lived in an old cowshed, and almost every night we set the dogs free for some free range speed training. In February, most, if not all of our dames were in heat, and while we did keep them separated from the studs, apparently we were not careful enough. Not one, but two of them ended up pregnant, which explains some of the behavioural problems we had in March, leading to some of the issues described above.
Lesson learned: If you go out for a training camp, you need to make sure you have proper kennels available.
Eventually, end of March was at hand, we were two dogs short of a team with just days to go until the race started. We had all sorts of other issues to manage as well, which I will tell in another story later on (too good a story to pass, we seem to have this tragicomedy thing nailed). It started to look improbable that I would be there on the starting line.
However, I think that unless you have actually tried everything, you cannot say "it could not be done". So one by one, we fixed the issues or rather worked around them, and I asked Vallu if I could borrow two dogs. Again, I am lucky he said yes.
Click here to read part 4 - about the importance of planning the logistics