I got Goldie on July 1, 2002. Since then, we have walked an average of 2 miles per day. 2 miles times 365 times 4.5 years mas o menos equals a lot of dogwalking.
We have had a fair number of really crazy adventures, most before the time I started blogging, so there is no record of all the fun. Like the time she stepped on a rattlesnake and got bitten on the back foot.
Or the time she punched a hole in her side on a fence wire and ended up with an 11 inch incision closed with big metal staples. The time she got tangled with another dog's leash out on a mountain and tripped the other dog's owner, making him fall hard and sprain his ankle two miles from the trailhead.
Or the infamous time time she made me pee my pants.
Some dogs walk along sedately on a leash, heeling and obeying in a way that would make the much-vaunted Cesar Millan proud. (Every weekday, my parents give me a recap of the wonders wrought on that day's "Dog Whisperer" episode. I could live quite happily without ever hearing Cesar's name again).
Goldie is not one of those nice-walking dogs. I am a bad dog mom, an indulgent mom, and I figure that the walk is Goldie's time to do what SHE wants to do, to act like a dog and to sniff and dig and hunt.
Hunting is her favorite activity. Anything that moves is huntable. Squirrels, bunnies, rats, mice, moles, voles, lizards - anything but toads. Toads taste bad.
She is a pretty ineffective hunter. Perhaps 1 out of 100 pounces or holes dug yields up actual prey. That does not lessen her enthusiasm. She is like a Vegas slot machine player. She knows she will get a hit sooner or later.
Today we had been out walking for about 45 minutes on the trail by the river when she pounced once again. After some scrabbling around, she flushed a rat out of a pile of leaves. As so often happens, it scampered away behind her without her seeing it. Duh, Goldie.
I was standing there laughing at the rat's safe escape when I heard squeaking. Goldie had found another rat and had caught the rat.
Unfortunately, the rat had also caught her. I looked down and the rat was hanging off Goldie's face, screaming for its little rat life. My dog had a living rat with its fangs sunk in her face.
So I did the only thing I could as a sane and reasonable dog owner. I screamed too. The two guys on bikes who had ridden by about 20 seconds earlier and had said "hi" didn't even turn around, thus restoring my faith in humanity once again. Single woman, out on a trail, screaming. No need to look. Thanks, boys.
Goldie finally managed to flip the foul little beast around and crunch its neck to end its life. She trotted off, happily, her job complete. Once something quits moving, it is of zero interest to her. Next!
She had a fair bit of blood running from her tongue where Mr. Rat had made his last stand. It stopped within a couple minutes later and we walked back to the car with Goldie hunting all the way.
They say dogs start to resemble their owners. I can only hope that my dog will become a peace-loving vegetarian. Because I sure as hell don't want it to go the other way and someday find a rat hanging from my face.
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