The one, the only Annie
Your Buddy Annie is-- inarguably-- one of the best around. Even though she came to ATAO "not a leader," she's ended up being one of the strongest front-of-the-team forces in the crew. You probably already read about how Annie basically single-pawedly got us through the Copper Basin last year. Just in case, here's some of what Annie has accomplished (and what it has meant to ATAO) so far:
When we got Annie, we were told she wasn't too much of a leader. She'd been in the front of a team but wasn't super experienced up there. The first runs she went on with us, though, showed immediately that she was strong and most of all driven. Annie never wants to stop! She digs in and *goes*. This made Will decide to give her a shot up front, and all of that drive translated perfectly. With a small kennel, Annie was able to get more individualized attention and love, which brought her out of her shell. That allowed her potential as a leader to bloom ferociously.
During the Copper Basin 300, the team's first "big" race, Annie shone out as the all star. She led almost every single leg of the race, and most of all never stopped driving. When the young dogs got overwhelmed in the final leg-- they all wanted to run but none of them wanted to lead any more-- Annie took over in single lead and took the team to a successful finish. Running in single lead takes a lot of mental fortitude. Annie truly finished the race for ATAO.
This summer, while the rest of the adult dogs took a summer camp trip to a glacier above Skagway, Annie stayed home in the hopes that she'd be bred once she came into heat. Ever since she showed off her fierce drive and loving personality, it's been a goal at ATAO that she'd have pups. But her cycle was a bit off from our plans. We're not yet giving up hope that she might have pups this year-- It might just be later in the fall if it happens. If that's the case, she'll be off this year's race roster and focusing on being a mom! The goal is that the pups we have are old enough to run in the 2021 Iditarod or 2022 Quest with the team, or at least the beginning of it.
This summer while we waited for Annie to come into heat, she got a lot of time to play with friends. She became super close to Oliver (they like to hump each other) and R2. Her BFF Egret had gone up to the glacier. I was happy that Annie found those two friends in particular to hang out with while her best bud was away.
I'm still working with Annie to get comfy on the couch. She loves to come inside and hang out, but her favorite place to lay is on the floor. Sometimes soft is suspicious!
Thank you so much for being a Buddy to Annie. She deserves all the best in the world. I love that little husky so much.