Spotting a man hiking with his three loose dogs not far from where we park the CR-V portended a bad end to our trek this morning. The guy and his dogs headed down LDR-A for a bit before bushwhacking back to the upper flatland road. We had no encounter with them, though Willow's nose was glued to the ground until we passed the spot they veered off from the road.
The bad canine encounter came just as we had climbed to the crest of the small hill west of Right Branch Arroyo at the end of our outing. I had taken a photo of the mountains and was just putting my camera away when a woman with two loose dogs came walking along the road near our vehicle.
Her two dogs--a black and a white one (both fairly large and good looking animals)--made a dash straight for us. I knew trouble was afoot when neither canine listened to the woman's "No!" commands. Both of my dogs had been at my left side, but Frio circled behind me to the right before I could switch hands to restrain him. I ended up trying to hold him back with the lead strap against the backs of my legs.
The white dog came right up to Willow, but backed off when she went ballistic; he advanced once again before backing off for good. The black dog, however, which looked to be a Lab cross or Pit Bull cross, made the mistake of tangling with Willow. Before I could draw her toward me she had Blackie--who was twice her size--on his back and was mauling him. I managed, with supreme effort, to get her off the dog, and Blackie and Whitey then scooted back to the woman.
As she put their leads on, I said to her, "Is he okay?" When she inspected him she said he was bleeding a little, but probably all right. I apologized sincerely to the woman for Willow's fierce behavior, saying "That's why I always have her on a lead." In fact, I said, I keep both of them on leads. She said she wanted to let her dogs run free, but she acknowledged that she needed to do a better job of getting them to listen. She seemed a very decent person, and I genuinely regretted the bad interaction.
I'm more determined than ever to make sure Willow has a significant attitude adjustment in the very near future.
|Frio and Willow|
|This & next 3: Soaptree Yuccas|
|An area Becca and I used to hike in a lot|
|Willow and Frio in Right Branch Arroyo|
|Long view to the Tortugas Mountain foothills|
Hopefully you won't have any more bad days like today on the trail.
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