Nathan recently had a special visitor to the kennel, Junior Musher Julia Cross. We asked her to be a guest blogger and tell us about her day training with Nathan! Thanks for the great story Julia!
Training with Nathan
A couple weeks ago I went to Nathan’s to pick up a dog. I also got to go for a training run with his Iditarod team!! On our way there, we got lost, and had to call Nathan to get better directions!! But we eventually made it to his kennel only a couple minutes late!! We went inside and he and my dad talked fishing for a while. We eventually went outside and started harnessing dogs. We took 16 dogs, with Sheriff and Buffy in lead. It was very exciting to see Buffy in lead; two years ago I went to his kennel and helped name a bunch of yearlings. I helped name Buffy’s litter, and one other litter. Once all the dogs were hooked up we took off, and went straight for the big puddle. It was really deep but it was awesome. We went through a bunch of fields and saw a couple of pheasants. All the dogs were doing phenomenal. We went through the big puddle several more times. We then went on a bush trail and saw lots of hunters. The sad thing was all the garbage on the trail. It was everywhere. We also saw a fresh pile of white feathers from something a hunter had shot. It was getting warm so we started the journey back. Nathan brought the team down a road so I could see the Mississippi. He then did a U-Turn just telling the dogs commands!! It was awesome!!
Eventually we got back to the kennel, and just in time as it was getting very warm. Nathan told me to water the dogs, and so I watered the 16 we ran, and I had to water the rest of the dogs as well. After, I got to feed all the dogs. We unhooked the team after they were all done eating. And after that I cleaned the yard. I visited with every dog while doing that. It was awesome. After doing all the dog chores we talked for a bit and then we had to give the dogs some fresh straw. We gave all the dogs straw and quite a few jumped right in and curled up. Some pulled all the straw out. It was very amusing.
Nathan had a barrel that he needed to get into the puppy’s pen, so I went to move it. When I lifted it, a giant wolf spider crawled out and I screamed. I hate spiders. Nathan chuckled at me and came and helped me move it but I was very cautious of where I put my hands!!
When everything was done, we talked dogs, and I picked up my new dog Diablo. I had an incredible time and learned a lot!!
Watch out Iditarod!! You have some competition!!!
Just some shots of how Schroeder Mushing has been celebrating the holidays!
Schroeder Mushing had a busy weekend!
On Saturday, the team did a wonderful 40 mile training run! With no snow, it’s getting harder to train. The lack of snow is tough on the dogs’ feet and makes it harder to prepare for racing. The dogs use different muscles to pull a four wheeler or truck than they do to pull a sled. The good news is – with all the rain, they stay cool running!
Grizzly is still looking good. Achillies and Miss Sally are working hard to train the younger ones. Nathan really likes Nala and Buffy, he thinks they will do really well. Goofy is also doing really well at leader. Some of the dogs are sore and require some extra attention, it is easy to pull or strain muscles with ice and no snow. We are keeping an eye on them and making sure they don’t need a break, medication, or massages. Making sure they have good food and a warm bed when they get home is important too! Achillies, Nala, Buffy and Goofy are still looking for sponsors for this season! Check out the How To Help Page for details!
On Sunday Schroeder Mushing hosted wonderful fundraiser at the Moose in Grand Rapids. Thank you for all the support! It is greatly appreciated. The silent auction was a great hit! Thank you also to everyone who donated baked goods, door prizes, & auction items!! We actually sold out at the bake sale! A special thank you to Kerry Nelson, Toni Pugsley, Deanna Whirley, & Katelyn Slettom for all their hard work!! They worked super hard to make everything come together!
Still looking for a last minute holiday gift! Check out our gift sponsorship ideas!
Grizzly was a stand out – running in lead and doing great! Nathan says, “He is going to do really great things this year!” Grizzly is still waiting for someone to sponsor him! Do you want to help this amazing athlete this season? You can find all the details here.
The team is slowly increasing their miles. Last week they were averaging 20-30 miles a run, and this weekend increased it to thirty-eight. They need snow! Get your snow dances revved up for them fans! The dogs have pretty sore feet from the gravel and hard icy snow. Nathan is using zinc ointment and rest (a day off) to help heal the pads.
Last week all the dogs got their shots so that they are up to date for the race season.
The dogs, just like human athletes, get sore muscles when they exercise and their muscles grow. Sometimes Nathan gives them Metacam to help with the soreness. Also, like human athletes, the dogs need to eat after a run! Nathan has been giving them snacks of fatty meat and even bones. The team is thankful for the donations from Northwoods Custom Meats in Remer, Minnesota.
The big races are right around the corner! And it looks like the team is well on their way to the starting line!
Last night’s run consisted of twenty dogs hooked up to the four wheeler! I ran one ten dog team off of the left and another ten dog team off of the right. We trained for about fifty minutes, which was about five miles total through the neighbor’s field. Leaders were Metro, Bernie, Fillmore, and Sheriff. The dog of the night was Yoda! Wow – he moves so nicely that it got me excited for his future. What a difference three months makes on a young dog!