|Theo, Maya, and Trooper|
|Theo at the river. We don't go down here often|
because it's an area a lot of people use, but on
a hot, weekday afternoon, no one is around.
|Max, in hunting mode, with Maya, nose down, ears turned|
outwards to catch any signs of wildlife.
I'm walking down one of my favorite trails, one that I use frequently, when my dogs alert to the presence of humans and other dogs up ahead. I see you and a walking companion with two off-leash dogs and I make some noise to alert you. You grab your dogs by the collar knowing that at least one of them isn't all that friendly with strangers and hold them as we pass, remarking that you were surprised because you normally don't see anyone on your walks. Really?
I'm returning to the trail head near the dog park, which is an area that I normally avoid due to the possibility of encounters with people and unleashed dogs. You have apparently just left the dog park with your off-leash dog, who spots us and runs towards us. Your dog isn't "listening" as you say he normally does because at this moment he's more interested in us. Your supposedly well-trained dog isn't actually well-trained around interesting distractions.
|Theo and Maya, late afternoon|
|Check out this round spider web.|
I will not miss my many daily web
encounters when winter comes.
You've brought your dog up to Pleasant Grove to run around off-leash while you sit in your car. We pop out into the open from one of the trails and your dog spots us and runs towards us, wanting some company and something to do. I turn back on the trail to disappear into the woods and you yell at me to stop because your dog is following me instead of coming back to you. No.
I've experienced all of these scenarios and many more, although due to the extent of the trail system and the relatively light use, they are rather infrequent. I choose my routes and starting points based on a number of factors, (time of day, season, weather conditions) with the goal of avoiding encounters with other people when we walk. It's usually successful and we don't often encounter people with off-leash dogs. I keep an eye out and make route changes to avoid encounters when we can. We've never had an actual problem, but an off-leash dog is an unknown, both to me and to my dogs. I don't want to risk it, why would you?
|The river was low and the water clear. Max|
and Maya waded in but Max didn't notice
the drop off and plunged right in.
|Max can swim and he seemed to enjoy it. It was hot|
so I'm sure it did feel good.
|Maya noticed, and stopped short of, the drop|
into deeper water.
|After a quick shake, Max was mostly dry.|
|Maya and Trooper, on a short walk yesterday.|