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Howard and Zombie are two young dogs who are spending their fall learning to lead. To be more exact, their focus is on learning their commands, since they both ran lead a little last winter. Both of them are very willing students, and so far, they work very well together. To be honest, they are my favorite lead dog pair to run these days, because when we get to an intersection, and I say a command, it is almost as though I can hear the two of them working out the meaning of the noise I just made, then trying to decide on their next move. This is what I imagine they are saying:

Zombie: Hey, the human is making a sound back there. Do you have any idea what that sound means?

Howard: Nope, but I’m pretty sure she’s talking to us. Maybe we should do something.

Zombie: Ok, well…let’s just try going this way.

Howard: Uh oh! She hit the brakes! And, she made that other noise that I know doesn’t get us a treat!

Zombie: Well, that can’t be good! Now what do we do?

Howard: Maybe we should try going over there. You wait here, and let’s see what happens if I start heading over–

Zombie: Holy smokes! It worked! She’s making the happy sound! Wait for me! Wahoo!! We got it right!

Howard: Yippee! We’re super smart!! Let’s run as fast as we can to celebrate!

Zombie: Sounds like a great plan to me! I love being a lead dog!

Howard: Me, too!!

Every time they get something right, they have a mini celebration. Both of them get a spring in their step, and they bounce around a little before putting their heads down and tearing down the road. It’s fun to watch, and makes my day every time. They remind me daily why I love running sled dogs.