One year ago today we participated in our first weightpull as novices, at the Hillside SPCA Benefit Weightpull. How wonderful to come full circle with both boys doing well.
The day started out sunny, but crisp and cold. Gloves were initially needed to keep my fingers from going to ice. It warmed up nicely as the day progressed. It was also the first day of trout fishing, so we saw a number of fishers along the river that runs next to the ballpark.
The chute was setup along 3rd base to home plate and the dirt was dry and hardparked. Perfect. Last November at the pull here we had a mud fest, still a good pull, but this is so much better.
As usual with Missy and Dave's weight pulls there was a large novice class, at least 15 dogs (2 of whom were malamutes). They get 3 pulls with the leash and up to 2 unleashed pulls. They pulled the novice and 20 and 30 pound classes together. Barb (BeeGee's mom), another gentleman and I were cart help for this group.
Then they pulled the 40 through 80 pound classes as a group. Barb and I started as cart help for this group, but a gentleman and his son who pulled in novice asked to take over for us. Increments for this group were 160 pounds.
Cinnabar weighed in at 111 (the 125 lb class), and Sebastian at 142 (the 150lb class)
Then they pulled the 100 to 150 lbs classes together. Increments for this group were 200 lbs. The same gentleman and this time his daughter setup to be cart help. Dave said no kids as cart help for the big dogs. Cinnabar was up first because we were among the few pulling empty. I asked if she could hook up Cinnabar just for the experience and then let the no kids rule go into effect. Granted. I felt good about that because she looked so crest fallen and now she can tell her friends she hooked up one of the big dogs.
The first few rounds were hectic for me because we started the cart empty and pulled every round, so often I had both boys back to back. Many of the experienced pullers skipped quite a few rounds. I feel more comfortable with the weight easing on for them and getting them into the groove of increased difficulty.
I saw the light bulb go on with each of them for digging in to start the cart as the weights got higher. What a great feeling.
Moses was there to take pictures (posted below). My two camera hams often liked to end their pulls with their noses in his lens :) Sebastian also was looking for love from him. A nice change for Moses, as Sebastian knocked him over last year (not on purpose, just continued his pull too far)
Sebastian's previous top weight pulled was 1500 on carpet at a UKC pull. He successfully pulled 1700 on dirt which means he got his first leg toward his AMCA WWPD (more than 8 times his weight on dirt), and missed by 4 lbs getting his first leg toward an IWPA working dog title (12 times his weight). On his try for 1900 lbs, he was talky and started to go toward the back of the cart. He came back, but was being a baby about it (or as I say he was being very Sebastian about it). He did try to start it when we got down to 10 seconds left, at 5 seconds I motioned for a push and he finished the pull on his own. So he thinks he successfully pulled that weight.
Cinnabar's previous top weight pulled was 1325 on carpet at a UKC pull. He successfully pulled 1900 on dirt which means he got his second leg toward his AMCA WWPD (more than 8 times his weight on dirt) and also got his first leg toward his IWPA working dog title (more than 12 times his weight). On his try for 2100 lbs, he did try to start the cart but when we got down to 10 seconds and he was trying I asked for a push, and he finished the pull on his own. So, he thinks he successfully pulled that weight.
Sebastian was solo in his weight class, so he got 1st place. I believe with this pull, he will also get the regional silver medal for this weight class. The class is not large, but we'll take it anyway He got a beautiful wooden plaque with a pulling malamute etched on it, a doggie scrapbook and a 5 lb bag of food.
Cinnabar was in a competitive class and came in 4th place. He got a ceramic dog that had a bowl in his middle filled with treats and a 5 lb bag of food.
BeeGee successfully pulled 1900lbs also, and Barb was very happy with him. (He's in the 100lb class).
For the duration of the pull, my boys were crated in the holding area and during the novice pull were surrounded by dogs. I forgot to bring sheets to cover the crates, but Sebastian was an angel. He didn't posture once at any of those novice dogs. His only posturing incident was toward a Swissie as we walked by them toward the chute. He was corrected and that was the end of that. Good performance and good behavior, what more could I ask?
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