It's Friday and the plan was to leave at 10am. After a full days packing and preparing yesterday, and an early start this morning, we made it out of the door with 30 seconds to go! :-) Now we're on our way to Bratislava to meet Milos's sponsor, Royal Canin, before we continue our journey. There's me (Gaynor), Milos and his brother Pavol who will be the other handler on the race.
A lot happened yesterday. After our late return on Wednesday we decided to leave one of the dogs with Jozef who had been training with us in Donovaly. He runs his own team so could take them out instead of having them in the trailer for two weeks just getting fat. It was a tough call as all the dogs are well trained this year but we decided to leave Leepey. She's small and young so although we'll miss her speed there's time for her to shine yet. Jozef has kindly phoned us a few times since and says she's the best dog he's got!
Anyway, no sooner had we done that, the following morning Falco got sick. We didn't know what was wrong... He was quiet, nervous, not eating and limping. Nightmare! In the end we discovered he had been fighting with Heiney and Spendrup and picked up a couple of small puncture wounds. But falco is a tough dog so something still didn't seem right about it. We left him resting while we took the others on a short run (it's been snowing a lot now!) but later he also started vomiting. Bigger nightmare! Milos gave him some medicine to calm his really sore stomach (you couldn't touch it) and we put him to bed without food. It was just a matter of keeping our fingers crossed now. Our spare dog was gone and we might be down to 13 dogs from the start.
But I'm extremely thankful to say that when we opened the trailer this morning Falco leapt out, full of life, and barking for food. The old Falco looked like he had made a return so we gave him some food, mixing a lot of rice in it, and he was begging for more. That was really great to see. We won't run him in the first stage to give him an extra days recovery so the earliest he'll run now is Monday by which time he should be fully recovered.
Phew, first crisis averted, we battle on for what is always a very interesting race.