It's amazing just how quickly the chubby, butterball puppies from last summer have grown into tall, leggy, lean muscled yearlings. The yearlings of last year (Fez, Derby, Katy, Amy, Sally, Kindi, Supai, and Rucu) are now considered the "old" and "experienced" dogs. Ha, well, not really, perhaps that's a stretch. But when compared to the yearlings, they do have just a few more trail miles on their feet. This upcoming class of yearlings (Lefty, CJ, Belle, Fenton, Drake, Coot, Eider, and Brant) have some big shoes to fill, but already they've shown incredible focus and drive at barely one year old. The Outlaws turned one year old on July 26th and the Ducks only hit their first birthday three days ago!
Lefty- Lefty runs like his dad Nacho. Not necessarily a pretty gait- if he's not trotting, he has a goofy raccoon swaying motion- but he's always happy and always pulling. HARD. Occasionally if he gets a whiff of a moose or grouse, he'll forget he's in a team and try to lead everyone in that direction, but he quickly settles back in when he realizes that pulling is the job at the current moment. Lefty is big, strong, happy, and hairy.
Belle- Lady Belle is gorgeous. She's probably just over 40 lbs with silky long fur. She seems to take after the Nacho side of the family more than Puppet and has an easy loping gait that reminds me of her aunt Quito. She has a little bit of an attitude, so she runs farther back in the team so I can keep an eye on her, like a troublemaker in the front of the class.
Fenton- Fenton is the biggest dog in the yard, a title that used to belong to Rucu. Fenton is tall and almost looks me in the eye when he jumps up and places his paws on my shoulders. What's exciting is that all his power is totally channeled into pulling. Fenton gets so excited to pull, that he'll continue squealing and barking for a short while after the team starts moving.
CJ- CJ is a young Puppet. She looks extremely similar to her mom and has a gait that reminds me of Gebhardt lines. She's a nice sized female with lots of power. At the moment she's the least focused of her siblings, but she's always been more independent and curious. And who wouldn't want to chase a squirrel that just ran off the trail close by?
Coot- Coot's only fault is that he works too hard. Coot can run anywhere in the team and has such focus that I don't think I've ever seen him look left or right. Head down, driving hard, Coot just loves to pull. He tends to overheat because he hasn't figured out how to just work at 100% instead of 150% all the time.
Drake- Drake, like his brother Coot, is prone to overheating because he tries so hard. He's built beautifully and has a smooth trot that looks effortless. Lanky, handsome, and extremely affectionate, Drake is a quick favorite for any visitor. He has such a great attitude about life; I'm so excited for this big boy.
Eider- Eider is gorgeous. He has the smoothest gait at both a trot and lope. Eider just makes it look so easy! He doesn't have quite the focus of his brothers just yet, so he runs farther back in the team. Eider prefers to show his excitement with tail wags and spinning.
Brant- Brant is a punk. He's the epitome of a teenage boy that likes to act tough around his brothers (Eider in particular) but his voice still cracks at awkward times. He gets more excited than any other yearling to run and whines in a high pitched squeal. Brant hasn't learned to trot just yet, so he's always driving forward at a hard lope wanting to go faster. Perm is his girlfriend.