Abby Sunshine

Duck Toller

2-6-11 Renae and Gus Skijoring Loppet 2011

The big day has arrived- Chuck and Don’s Skijoring race in Minneapolis! As a part of the City of Lakes Loppet series of events, this one captures quite a crowd. As you can see, Gus (Renae’s reliable Labrador skijor partner) and Renae are getting ready for the start of the race. Dog handlers Jordan and Todd are supporting Gus in all of the excitement.

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Todd is talking to Gus and petting him calmly amid loud barking coming from all directions. Renae is beginning to feel a chill. They need to get moving to warm up!

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Time to go!

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Here’s a closeup of their start. They were fast out of the gate- ready to hit the trail.

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Gus is still pulling strong after having gone almost 4K. I can hear Renae talking with Gus- “Come on, Gus!” Renae told me after the race that Gus seemed to know where to go. He was attentive to the trail.

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Here they make their way to another bridge- passing another skijor team on their left!

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One last turn, and they are nearing the finish line, much faster than last year.

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Though I could not keep up, I found them at the finish area, dog handlers (Cousins Gretchen and Jordan) greeting this dynamic duo.

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Who else is at the finish line? Who is standing so quietly by Auntie Anne?

Skijoring9 - Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - February 2011

Well, if it isn’t Pupper Wupper herself. Is she here in support of Renae and Gus? Or does she have something else on mind? Hmmm, I wonder what Todd is holding in his hand.

Skijoring10 - Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - February 2011

Here is the skijor pair- back at the car. Gus and Renae share a moment of endearment after finishing the race.

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2-5-11 Skijoring Loppet 2011

Today is Chuck and Don’s Skijoring Loppet in heart of Minneapolis. Many dogs will make their way around Lake of the Isles in what has been a most exciting adventure for some of the folks of the the Twin Cities.┬áRenae and Cousin Gus (the big, black Labrador Retriever) will be doing it again.

Here are some photos from the event last year.

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2-3-11 A Skijor Adventure Done For Now

A day at the ski trails- who could ask for more? There is beautiful snow, the air is crisp, there is plenty of space. Well, Abby Sunshine might ask for more. She might ask if she could do a little more running. Even though she played her favorite game of fetch while the others were skijoring, she may not think that is enough. One thing about Abby Sunshine, she is always game for more action.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Skijor23 - January 2011

Hey, the crowd is leaving- back to the car? Our ski adventures are over??

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Skijor24 - January 2011

It looks that way for today. They must hike over the mountain of snow and into the parking lot. Gus can get his long awaited drink of water.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Skijor27 - January 2011

Renae went back to get my glove. Wasn’t that nice of her?

Skiing

This was a marvelous winter day.

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2-2-11 After the skijor

Ah, yes, the helpers at base camp were waiting patiently for us. Abby Sunshine made a sprint out to me, proving her speed on the ski trails. Now as she meanders back toward the others, she sniffs the trail.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Skijor14 - January 2011

She kicks it into high gear- maybe trying to impress Renae, Todd and Gus with her speed and agility. It looks like only Gus notices her.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Skijor15 - January 2011

What kind of a deal is this? Abby gets a leash strapped on her- after demonstrating such fast running in the snow. Is that the attention she wants?

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She might wonder why everyone is standing just standing. Let’s move!

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She may be trying to rev up the crowd- Come on everybody! Let’s do something!

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The ski belt is dropping to the ground. . . time to take off the equipment.

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I wonder if Abby thinks that it’s her turn to go for a run!

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2-1-11 Taking a Break

Renae and Gus are running right toward me. Look at Gus’ excited gait! His ears are perky- his tail is wagging. I hope to find out why they slowed their pace.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Skijor8 - January 2011

Oh, now I see- Gus got thirsty. He needs water! We must quench his thirst. That’s why it’s always important to have water along and handy to give the canines when they get parched. Eating snow is not going give him what he needs.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Skijor9 - January 2011

I guess it’s enough to give him energy for the last 5 minutes- back to Abby, Todd and the car.

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It looks like he’ll grab one more quick bite and they’ll depart.

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Gus looks around the corner- perhaps noticing they are on the last leg of today’s journey.

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They are getting smaller. . .

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And smaller. . .

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1-31-11 More Skijor

Well, are Renae and Gus ready to work together?

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Skijor3 - January 2011

I should say so! Off they go. . .

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Heads turn as this dynamic duo charges down the ski path.

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After rounding a hill, they appear on top, running furiously.

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They glide down a hill with rocket speed.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Skijor7 - January 2011

It looks like they are slowing down a bit. Hmmm. . . why would they do that?

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