From left to right, Bailey was our first sled dog . Mieko was our second and Socket was our third. In the time we have had Mieko Bailey has gone to where Mieko started and Socket is still in the middle. Bailey and Mieko trade lead now and and again but it is obvious that the torch is being passed. Don’t know if Socket will ever lead…he’s not built for that like the other two are.
When we made Bailey a sled dog it was just for fun. When we got Mieko it was because Bailey simply can’t handle it all anymore. At 10 years old he is nearing retiring age. He’s taught Mieko a lot.
Mieko is teaching Socket, but not how to lead, how to follow and work as a team with the other two. Bailey doesn’t really think Socket is worth the fur he’s made of. They are always in intense competition, or in an argument of some kind. Socket doesn’t back down..and thinks Bailey will eventually. Mieko is the new enforcer though..and with his size neither of the two others bother with getting uppity with him except in play.
Some say it’s impossible for a Golden Retriever to lead. Mieko was the least likely leader of the three..and it took over a year of training and time to get him “thinking” with an ear toward us.
Socket is a Whiphusky and will probably always just want to run and pull. It’s what they were created for. But, a team is not just made of leaders and wheels..someone has to haul the middle line. He does an admirable job of it and usually with a quickness that keeps or gentle leader on his toes.