Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Defensive Dog Walking II

I mentioned that I try to start my dog walks between 5 and 5:30am. That's because the neighborhood is VERY quiet. People who think it's a good idea to let their dog loose "out front" for a quick pee before they close it up for the day are still sleeping and junk yard dogs are sleeping.

My husband takes the evening walks--usually after 8pm, when dog activity is winding down; a precaution, but not sufficient, as we found to our sorrow. The attack which injured John and Bingley and killed Portia occurred well after 8pm.

We slept in a bit this morning. It was 5:45 am when I fastened Bingley into his harness and clipped on his collar and harness leashes. It was a clear, lovely morning. The rooster that I usually hear thirty minutes earlier was still greeting the day. It was six weeks after Portia died before I got the courage to complete my old walking circuit, passing the place of the attack. I have now done that twice. Today I intended to.

Then, as I was coming down the hill where I turn into the street where the attack happened, I noticed a garage door opened, the light on. I paused, waiting to see if someone was backing out a car. No sound of a car motor, no car lights. That particular house is home to a large mixed breed dog who frequently barks from the confinement of his backyard as we pass. Once or twice, I've waited about a half block away while he is transferred, leashless, from house to car or car to house.

Decision time. I was well beyond the halfway point of the walk. I wanted to get home in good time because I had things to do before taking Bingley on his Big Weekly Treat, his Tuesday morning walk with Marilyn's pack: Franklin, Hattie, and Ruby.

I took my own advice, turned around and headed back up the hill, retracing my steps. Would there have been an Incident? I'll never know. But Bingley had his Big Treat. He's sleeping soundly on the love seat in front of the desk where I'm typing. I'm glad I didn't take a chance. The pleasant morning I've had beats any trip to even the best emergency vet's. Believe me. I know.

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