|Just starting off down the long dirt road|
We still had plenty of time to avoid the oncoming trekkers with their dogs, and the Heelers and I veered off the road and began bushwhacking in the area we're becoming familiar with. I decided to let Frio and Wils off lead for a bit, and I did this several times. They were good, for the most part, especially when Willow went ahead; she comes right away when I whistle to her, and that means Frio comes, too. When he's leading, though, it's impossible to get his attention unless he looks back and I'm able to signal him in; he responds quickly to the "come" gesture with my right arm.
Now for the 10 steps back part. We were approaching the southernmost road west of the mountain when I stopped to survey the way ahead. Everything looked clear, and though I debated about keeping them off lead as we approached the road, I planned to pull up short before turning around. That's when Frio took off. which compelled Willow to follow. Then I saw a lone woman walking along the road, and I naturally assumed she had a dog or dogs with her; but she didn't. The Heelers pulled abreast of her, Frio barking at her quite aggressively. I was able to whistle for Willow to come, and Frio came as well, though I had a hard time getting him on lead. By the time I had them both corralled, the woman was next to us.
I apologized profusely for my dogs' behavior, and explained that Frio is deaf. She made a "poor baby" expression regarding Frio, but, despite her graciousness, I still felt humiliated. I cannot let that happen again, and I must find a way to convince Frio that his barking, aggressive behavior is not acceptable. I also have to teach Willow to retrieve her brother when he gets too far ahead of us. The experiment continues.
|This and the next: exploring a wide arroyo|
|Flank of Tortugas and the Organ Mountains|
|This and the next: B&W experiments|
|This and the next 7: Claret Cup Hedgehog Cactus|
|The long view|