Fondue’s nickname is Little-Shit. In the words from the old Smith Barney commercial, she got the name the old fashioned way, she earned it. Fondue is very pretty buff dog. She may well be the brightest dog in my kennel. She is almost certainly the most devious.

I bought Fondue as an unfinished leader. I started with her and Vixen in lead for most of my first runs, though I was occasionally rotating Jake in as well. The first six or seven runs we did were all the same…..follow a dirt road until we do a hard gee into a teardrop. On none of those runs did she do the turn on command. And of course I was green enough that I didn’t realize that after probably one and for sure two runs, she knew damn well what I wanted. Given that she is a very bright dog, one run.

After some ten runs or so, we started including a four mile run that went haw at the same point that we’d do the gee for the three mile run. She liked going haw because it was longer.

We had come to the turn point and Fondue had started turning the team to the left. Once again, she wanted to do the longer run. In fact, that’s what I had planned, so I called haw. At that point, she started going right. No big deal….yet…..I stop the three wheeler and move the leaders off to the left. I then said hike and haw. And again, Little Shit started turning the team to the right. Let’s just say I explained to Fondue that this was not an option.

Fondue is probably also the most athletic of my dogs in terms of grace in motion. She is almost certainly the fastest of my bitches when she feels like it. She’s not quite as tall as the boys, so loses out on absolute speed there. I’ve seen her do moves in the yard at full speed that would make world class gymnasts jealous.

In most of the previous years, she’s shown a bit of a lazy streak. Typically, she’d start coasting after twenty or thirty miles depending on her mood. During the 2006-2007 year, she got left behind both for the Race to the Sky and for the final training runs for that race. I was very pleased and amused during 2007-2008 when she consistently worked hard. She easily made the A team that year. I think Little Shit realized that if she doesn’t work hard, she gets left behind, and she dislikes that even more than hard work. Poor baby.

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