Listen to the dog...

Posted on October 7, 2019 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (16924)
Today while out on a walk with LOKI, I decided to cut through an empty lot and then through some trees to a walking path. There was already a dirt path through this large lot leading to the treeline so I figured that there was likely a way through the trees as well. He was excited to be sniffing around in this new area (which was the whole point of going that way...), but when we got close to the tree line he froze. With paw lifted and nose high to catch the scent, I knew that something was in the trees. I couldn't see anything or hear anything but LOKI definitely indicated that something was there. This huge empty lot (small field...) is actually between two houses backing onto a treed area and behind that, a sidewalk path going around a small pond. At first I thought it might be a deer, but when I went to lead us a step closer, LOKI's eyes got wider and he actually looked scared. He wasn't escalated or freaking out on his leash like he tends to do when frustrated or excited; he was very still and quiet and I start thinking, "Not a deer... maybe a coyote or den." We started walking away and he did his wet-dog shake, but kept on looking back towards the trees. He continued to look back even after we were back on the main sidewalk and almost home. I don't know what it was, but LOKI was certainly freaked. No idea what would have happened if I had pressed the issue of heading that way, but it is probably best to listen to the dog. As my friend Kristina would say, "The nose knows!"

One Should Never Assume...

Posted on October 6, 2019 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (88297)
LILY and I were just coming home from a walk on her path when I saw a man working on a roof with his dog laying in a dog bed in the middle of the lawn. I did not notice the dog until we were almost beside him. The dog was doing a very hard stare at LILY, but he was not moving. It looked to me like he was tethered and I thought (hoped) that the man would be responsible enough to make sure that his dog could not reach the sidewalk. The dog also looked like he was out of shape and maybe older like LILY, so probably was not too interested in instigating anything. LILY used to be extremely reactivate, but she was calm, just walking along beside me and totally ignoring the man and the dog. I was attentive, but not super concerned as LILY was on the opposite side of me totally minding her own business. To our surprise, the dog shot out from his bed behind us as we walked passed causing LILY to quickly scoot forward (not so good for a senior, arthritic dog with hip dysplasia...) and if the dog had not wiped himself out on the sidewalk, LILY likely would have been tackled. The man called his dog's name a few times because the dog WAS NOT in fact tethered (or maybe the clip from the tether broke??) I think the jolt from wiping out caused the dog to get his brain back and we were already in front of the next house by the time he shook himself off, so he listened and headed back to his bed. I am very impressed that LILY didn't miss a beat - she didn't even look back, but just kept walking beside me. Has anything like this ever happened to you?