I signed up to take a hike with the Audobon Society this morning. I decided to take Tok since he had been so good lately and would enjoy the time outdoors. I knew the leader was bringing her yellow lab, and she assured me that he would not hurt a fly.
As we unload from vehicles at the trailhead, her enormous yellow lab jumps out with sleigh bells around his neck. Tok practically flew from the truck to meet the new four legged creature. Per usual, he immediately stood on his hind legs and tried to paw the large, dominant animal in an act of play. Growling insued and the unleashed, more disciplined lab decided that he wanted no part of the puppy and headed to the trail. The other four woman on the hike started uphill as my whiny, desperate for attn dog yelped and barked, trying to get up to the front of the line and play with the jingle-belled beast. I was not having any of it. He needs to learn how to hike with me. Period.
Well, Mary, the leader and other dog owner stopped at a nice lookout to chase a stone from her shoe. Her lab met up with Tok, more growling insued and he lunged at Tok. No teeth made contact, but it was obvious the lab did not like the whining and wanted to show dominance. Hell, he did exactly what I was trying to do. We took a few more steps, and I had had enough of the whining. It was not making for a pleasant hike, and I am sure it was annoying the hell out of the others. I called out to Mary to make my pardons, bid everyone a happy hike, and turned south.
I placed Tok in the truck, turned around, and took to the trail again. I wanted to see if I could catch up with them-- and I needed to get away from my dog. The anger I felt was too much for him to witness. I was embarassed more than anything. So, off I go, busting butt to ascend the first hill with an ear listening for the bells. As I got half way up, I realized I was being foolish-- no gun, no bear spray, no cell phone. Just my whistle. I shook my head, took some pictures at a nice stopping point and headed south, for the second time.
I drove home with a puppy sleeping in the back. I was foolish on two counts today and missed the opportunity to meet some new people and behold views and wildflowers from a great trail. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to do more soon. The puppy training classes start next week, thankfully.