Saturday, February 22, 2014

Lunging Rabid Dogs

I took Teddy up along Rattlesnake ridge today. It was so confusing. The posted rules state that your dog needs to be well-behaved and that you have to pick up any messes. Well, I get that. I love that. But they go on to say that people may not want to meet your dog. So, I did that thing where I hooked Teddy up any time I saw people coming along the trail. He was annoyed. He likes running free. Part of me wanted to let him stay free, but I get that icky feeling some people get when they meet a loose dog on the trail.

No. I didn't have a problem with the posted rules. They're clear and it mostly works. Mostly.

There were two groups who had dogs on the trail who weren't friendly. One group called out a friendly warning, quickly leashed their wayward dog, and apologized profusely. Their other dog got a chance to play with Teddy because the first time we met on the trail, this dog came running up to us and the people held tight to the crabby dog. That totally worked. The second time we passed, we all stayed safely on our leashes.

No. I didn't have a problem with these people. They were clear and careful. They were friendly.

But then, there was this other guy. Teddy ran ahead of me on the trail while I was taking a picture. When I saw the guy and his dog, I called Teddy, but he didn't come. He was initiating play mode, focused. I called out to say Teddy was friendly, but the man said nothing. I called Teddy again. Then I walked to Teddy and hooked him up. I said again that Teddy was friendly, but the man still said nothing. He didn't move.


I eventually went on up the trail toward them even though I'd thought I should turn around. It was getting late. I didn't want to be near this strange man. He just stood there, glaring at me.

"Well, he is friendly," I said as we were passing. Just then, his dog lunged at my dog.

"My dog got attacked here last week," he said. "It was vicious."  He stood there, still glaring at me. I stopped talking about my dog and walked on. If he could let a statement go by without responding, so could I.

I tried to keep my mouth shut. I really did.

"Well, that's a shame," I said, trying to round out an uneven conversation. I kept walking fast. I wanted distance between the crazy man and his rabid dog. Despite the waning light, I went up to the snow line before I turned around.

Even still, when I turned around, I caught up and passed the man on the way back down the hill.

"I'm not intentionally dogging you," I said as I passed him, cringing at the unintended pun. He said nothing. His dog lunged and growled again. He held it tight and I held Teddy's leash against my thigh. I walked way too fast down that hill. My knee hurts now. I've learned that I need to respect my natural pace, until there's rabid dog on my heels. I hated having them behind me. I couldn't take any more pictures. I couldn't even slow down for fear they'd be at our heels, snarling.

When I got home, I told Mike that there were too many mean dogs on leashes on the trail. He said people with mean dogs have a right to walk their dogs too. I said they should go where all the dogs are required to be on leash so there's no question about who's at fault when my friendly dog wanders over near them. Mike insisted that these people had freedoms.

Yeah well, freedom is great until it lunges at me on the trail. I think people and dogs with rabies should be put down, but that's just my opinion.

Thank you for listening, jules

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