Last night Ruby and I went for a walk. It wasn’t dark yet but I knew the sun would be setting in 20 minutes so I took our light-up leash. We started out behind the schools near our house and passed a few people. I tell Ruby to “leave it” as we pass one lady and she does. Great! Ok, maybe she cheats a little. She’s supposed to walk past them as if they aren’t even there but I see her sneak a good look. Every time. I’m happy as long as she stays in heel and doesn’t dart toward the person for a sniff.
Anyway, since there were other people back by the school I thought it might be ok to walk around to the front. It wasn’t dark yet and I decided we’d stay near the building rather than go out by the road and the tree line. As we’re heading that way we came upon 5 deer who were all staring at us. Obviously they know us from their apple tree stop. I knew we’d see them later so we turned around and went back the way we came.
As we’re heading around the building I see this animal with a long tail run across the road in front of us. I focused on it just as it ran behind a tree about 25 yards ahead of us. My first thought was that it was a large, fast cat! But then it darted out from behind the tree, ran back across the road and turned up along the building. It was coming our way and I knew now that it was not a large cat but a fox! It was not heading for us but was going to pass by us, hopefully.
We learned in class that your dog will look to you for your reaction when they are uncertain or scared. We also proved when it thundered that this strategy works. So I knew I was supposed to keep walking as if I had seen a cat rather than a FOX but I was scared. Where were the other people we had seen earlier? I didn’t see them now so we ran. Like I haven’t run since I was 12. We ran down the road, across the back parking lot, up the steps to the school fields and across them out to the road in our neighborhood. I wanted to cut through the field behind our house too but Ruby can’t cross the electric fence to ENTER the yard either. So we turned our light-up leash on and slowed to a fast walk around the block to the front.
Ruby had run right along with me. She definitely knew I felt that we were in danger and she was following me closely.
She may have pulled me up the steps a little.