Blair Braverman @BlairBraverman Dogsledder. Author. Adventurer. If you like these tweets, you'll love WELCOME TO THE GODDAMN ICE CUBE (@eccobooks). Feb. 09, 2019 2 min read

I tried something new on yesterday’s run.

The dogs had just run 62 miles, and were prepping for another 300, so they could use a rest day. But I also wanted the young dogs to practice starting a run, even when they’re tired—and then discover that it’s short + fun and sure enough, Blair had their backs the whole time!


I left all the grown-ups at home and I only brought the 2-year-olds. I realized they’d never been on a run on their own, without Pepe and Flame and Jenga and all the older dogs to help guide them and balance out their energy.

(In mushing, a team of 2-year-olds is still generally considered a puppy team, as they still have a ton to learn.)

We have 2-year-olds who lead, but they’re usually paired up with an older, more experienced leader. For this run, I put Xander and Spike in lead. (Xander has run with his mama Pepe quite a bit, and Spike likes leading but has only has done it 2-3 times in his life.)

I put Willow and Clem in swing, the position behind lead. Swing dogs help to steer the team and support the leaders.

Lucy was R-E-A-D-Y.

Hunter and Talese have been running really well together lately. But Talese has been running well with Boo, too. The sibling connection is strong.

I mean just look at these sibs

Ebony can’t run with her sister Lucy. Because they are nemeses.

As usual, Boo has feelings.

ok guys I know this was a youth fun run and I honestly don’t know why I did this but I got Jenga at the last minute just in case. She knew exactly what was going on and she was annoyed because she does not appreciate frivolity.

Finally we were ready to go. Or were we?

lol nope one of these lead dogs is facing the wrong way

I turned Spike around and off we ran. Here’s Boudica cheering us on.

My plan was to run fast (which the dogs really enjoy) but take a lot of breaks for petting, praise, and rolling around in the snow. We would only go about 20 miles total.

(yes that is a cheesecake container on the snowmobile, I ate it on the last training run, it was delicious)

Naturally, whenever we stopped, the Buffy pups immediately started rolling their faces in the snow.

feels so good!

For some reason, Spike has not inherited the face-scratching proclivities of his siblings

“srsly Xan why is this fun, you are pulling on my neck”

Look at Clem tasting the snow while he rubs it all over his face


Meanwhile I cozied up to the other pups

Ebony’s love language is gnawing on flesh

Boo thought the whole thing was a blast.

Finally I got to Jenga. As you know, Jenga carries the weight of the world in her chin — and perhaps more insulting than running her with the youths was the fact that I had not given her a companion to use as a chin rest.

That is how I became Jenga’s human chin rest.

The end.

You can follow @BlairBraverman.


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