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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Cliff Maxfield Posted - 12/19/2007 : 06:58:27 AM
About a year ago I started a thread about Fritz. I did so thinking he was the classic case study rescue dog.
Because of some negative input I backed off and quit posting about him. In the hopes it will encourage other new mushers not to give up or maybe even consider the positive merits in getting a rescue AND inquiries through private emails I decided to continue with fritz's story.
Fritz, unless something really goes awry in the next month, will probably be one of my main wheel dogs in the Beargrease Mid distance race.
He's was to be euthanized at age one because as a pet the previous owner said he was just to big and they didn't want to deal with him anymore.
A summer of free running along side a golf cart, carrying heavy loads this fall(mainly passengers) His willingness to work and his devotion to me has earned him a place in the team and my heart. He is beginning to understand Gee over, Haw and Whoa. SO like said, short of injury or race cancellation he'll be there. He will have one of three posible partners, Rocky, Smyla, and Dante - all rescues out of other sled dog kennels. Fritz is the only one who was a "pet". This guy can pull. He keeps his head low and hauls. He is big and I hope not prone to injury on the long miles and numerous hills. He's hit speeds free running in excess of twenty-five miles an hour for short distances of a quarter mile. Can he handle the stress of a race? We'll find out.
Please remember Our goal is to finish the race. That's all. SO for anyone who care to see Fritz he will be at the start on the BG Mid Distance. Come by our truck and check him out. Look for the big headed, gangly yellow dog with floppy ears and blue eyes. He's the classic rescue story.
For what it's worth Our entire team will consist of rescues either from pounds, part of the Lost,Found and Fostered program of just dropped off at our doorstep.
We'll See! Ought to be fun.
6   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
odaroloc Posted - 12/26/2007 : 2:40:47 PM
Run, Fritz, Run!!!

Our kennel is entirely shelter dogs and cast-offs. They may be mis-fits, but they work for us! We will be cheering you on from Colorado and proud of fellow rescue teams!

And by the way, our little 30-lb Sally dog may be tiny, but she has the heart, drive, guts, brains of the best of them!! Small dogs ROCK!
EllieRose Posted - 12/26/2007 : 06:54:23 AM
Your dogs looked great at the Dirty Dog. They are definetly small but you could tell they had a blast! I think when you start out in racing it's more important that our dogs have a blast. At least that's what I tell myself. Hopefully we'll see you there next year!

eaglesleddogs Posted - 12/23/2007 : 4:59:26 PM
Cliff I think I was reading a thred you started when you started working with Fritz? You were really cracking me up with the way you were writing about this dog. He was being really stubborn and giving you a hard time, and you're way of dealing with it was " This is going to make a REALLY good sled dog". I never forgot that. Way to take a negative and turn it into a positive. I'm not sure if it was Fritz, but it said a lot about your attitude for working with dogs. Your methods are clearly working with regards to getting into their heads. Hats off to you. I'd love to see a pic of Fritz, too!!!!

Digitydig Posted - 12/23/2007 : 12:59:13 AM
Cliff, that's awesome. I'm so glad you and Fritz are on the right trails together. Gives me hope for my rescue, Typhon. Good luck to you at the race! We'll be sending good vibes your way!

BorderMutts Posted - 12/22/2007 : 2:15:26 PM
Wow Cliff, that's really great to hear
My own rescue dog story isn't quite as impressive, but I'll share it anyway... I ran in my first race, the Dirty Dog Dryland Derby, this fall. My two dogs are rescued border collie mixes. Not only are they rescues, they're pretty tiny (for sled dogs, anyway); they're about 30 and 35 pounds, and the smaller one, Smush, honestly looks more like a lap dog than a husky (We got a lot of funny looks from the other mushers when I put a harness on him ).
We ran in the 2-dog scooter class, and I honestly didn't even know if we were going to finish, since we've never really done any serious training--heck, I hardly ever have the opportunity to take them out running at all (due to school, complete lack of trails near my house, and no driver's license yet). For that matter, the younger one, Chopper, was barely a year old at the time and had only pulled me on the scooter a couple of times before. So basically, I had no expectations going into the race; I just wanted to finish without making a complete idiot of myself.

They ended up surprising the heck out of me. We weren't exactly at the front of the pack (we came in 2nd to last on Saturday and 3rd to last on Sunday), but they both ran great! O_O They pulled like they'd been doing it their entire lives, and kept up a pretty fast pace, considering they're city dogs who hadn't done any serious conditioning at all before the race At the end, they galloped across the finish line with happy grins on their faces, much to the surprise of the spectators (and yes, we got lots of compliments on how 'cute' they were ) And this was all with practically no practicing or conditioning whatsoever... if I had the means to actually train them on a regular basis, I imagine we could actually do pretty good... who knows, we might even be able to keep up with the really fast alaskan teams... Well, I at least know Chopper could, cause he's tall and leggy, like a husky... Smush is pretty short, but he does run super-fast when he's in harness and has no problem keeping up with Chopper, so you never know. Anyway, my point is, Cliff's right; rescue dogs can make really good sled dogs, especially the ones that are surrendered because of 'too much energy' (like Smush was). Obviously I would hesitate to get a young puppy since you have no idea what they're going to be like when they grow up, but if you get an older puppy (like we did) or an adult, you have a pretty good idea of what you're getting.
I'm just really proud of my two boys, and look forward to hopefully doing more races with them in the future, now that I know they're so good at it.
mooselook Posted - 12/19/2007 : 08:59:04 AM
You go, Cliff! You go, Fritz! Wishing you many happy miles together. And for those of us who won't make it to the start of your race how about a photo of the big yellow guy and the rest of the team!


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