Traveling Dog Lady: Cat attack!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cat attack!!

Wait'll you hear what happened on this morning's walk.

I had watched "Greta and Hoss" on DW last night -- every time that episode is on I point at the screen and go "That's me!" Hoss does exactly what Hobie does on walks. I noticed that when another dog approached, Cesar did make the people STOP, make the dogs sit and calm down, and then continue walking. I can't imagine how that is done without incident, but that's definitely what he trained them to do! Hopefully I can master that one day!

I decided to take a friend's advice and use the prong collars this morning. Thank goodness I did because they definitely gave me a (little) more control over the dogs. My goal was to walk them over to the other road so they could hopefully meet Mike's new puppy. But, in order to do that, we have to walk up three dead-end dirt roads: mine, another one, and then Mike's. My street is good because they know everybody; the other street is deserted (no houses) so there are no problems there; Mike's road is very populated and lots of pets. But I noticed that there were very few cars in the driveways, it being Saturday morning and "tax-free weekend" here in Mass, everybody is probably out shopping. Hooray! It would be an easy walk!

Not so fast. I made it to Ralph's house (this is the dog-hater -- his property abutts mine but he lives on the other road -- same road as Mike, only further down). I didn't see the cat snoozing in the brush, but the dogs sure smelled her. They zoomed to the left and then I realized there was a cat! Thinking back, I realize that the dogs were perfectly fine, it was only when I said "NO!" that things started to escalate. Darn it!!! But those prong collars sure came in handy. The dogs were straining at the leashes and I figured out that because I'm so short I have a low center of gravity and I could feel that I was about to go down on the ground face first. So, instead of letting them pull me down, I SAT down deliberately! !! If anyone had looked out their window at this point, heaven only knows what they would've thought! (Meanwhile, my house, which is RIGHT THERE? Well, Gil is home all right, but he has the music on FULL BLAST so he can't hear the ruckus. Hobie is barking, Hector is whining, and I'm saying "NO!" in as calm a voice as I can muster). I do feel bad because I shouldn't have been pulling CONSTANTLY on those prong collars. I know they're only supposed to be used for "snap" corrections, but I didn't know what else to do. I was terrified that if I let go, the cat would run, they'd chase her, and kill her. And, in hindsight, I should've just kept walking instead of stopping and sitting down on the ground!

It gets better. All of a sudden, the cat springs into action and she rears up on her haunches and starts PUNCHING the dogs and hissing at them! Between this, and me sitting on the ground and foot-tapping the dogs' legs so that their feet keep going out from under them, the dogs completely calmed down. I said, out loud, "Everyone has to calm down!" and I looked in Hobie's eyes. After all I was sitting on the ground, and so was he. And I did not see a killer. I saw curiosity, love, and beauty.

Once they were completely calm, I stood up, dusted myself off (it had rained so the dirt road was all MUD!), and decided not to go to Mike's but to turn around and go home. As we started walking back down the road from whence we came, the cat started to trot after us. I looked at her, and she was so darned cute! And I thought, "Aw, isn't that sweet, she's walking with us!"

WRONG!!! She trotted up to us, and stood on her hind legs and started punching the dogs and hissing!!! It was amazing and hilarious. It was all I could do not to laugh, but at the same time I was scared it would make the dogs escalate again. Instead of continuing down the road, I made the radical decision to cut through Ralph's yard (dog-hater) which brings me to the back gate of my yard in about 12 seconds. I made it inside the gate, having to tromp through thickets, thorns and hopefully not poison ivy. I entered first, made the dogs go in and then dropped the leashes. Then, I started to have what I think was an asthma attack or something! I don't have asthma, but I couldn't breathe and I was coughing. I guess it was probably panic attack, who knows! I walked around the yard to cool off. The dogs knew I was mad, they both sat in the shade FAR AWAY from me.

But at the same time I was fascinated by what that cat had done. Amazing.

Hey, if nothing else I'm good for a story or two!

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