Close Encounter of the Fur Kind

I know the dogs hadn’t — between them — hatched a nefarious plot that would have gone against their self-interest. I know that but here I am this morning walking slowly through the house, waiting for the paracetamol (Tylenol) to kick in. For a few moments yesterday out at the Refuge I lay flat on my face, glasses thrown a short distance away, wondering how I was going to get up on the slick snowy road.

Luckily, I wasn’t alone but, on the other hand, if I’d been alone, I never would have fallen.

There was a moment when I regretted having socialized Bear so well to like people and Teddy? Never mind Mr. Throw Himself Through a Glass Door to see people — specifically the UPS man.

There is a couple we’ve run into a few times out there — Sharon and Tom — that we like very much. I’ve never had any challenges controlling the dogs in their company before, but yesterday? I think the problem was that they were preceded on the road by a car — and Teddy wants to chase all cars. And they were stuck at home for two days. So they were filled with piss and vinegar. In their eagerness to greet friends, Teddy leapt forward and pulled me down. It wouldn’t have happened at all if I’d been paying attention, but I wasn’t.

I let go of the leashes, asked our friends to hold the dogs, and Tom helped me up. OH well. And then, of course, the dogs returned to me as if “See, Martha! We found our friends!”

I’m not hurt, just a little banged up.

Once I was upright again, we had a great conversation. Last time we met I told them about the article I was writing about the Crane Festival. As we talked, I thought about how the are the ONLY people I ever run into when I’m out there walking. They are the only people who walk out there, too, except one of the people who lives there. I thought about that and about what we talk about. Invariably our conversations turn to what we have seen. Last time we met they had seen the elk herd — about 400 elk — and heard their feet hit the ground as they ran across the fields. Yesterday they asked about the article. I told them they were in it, but I hadn’t used their names. I said I felt weird — but what I felt was the immensity and silence of that place, and all the people who have witnessed it over the millennia, none of them are named. I might have my name on the article, but as a wanderer out there, I am nameless. I told them I wrote about how when we meet up we talk about what we’ve seen to, maybe, the only other people in the world who are out there with no agenda. I told them where they would find the magazine when it comes out.

So, for a while at leash (ha ha), I won’t be walking Bear and Teddy together. I’m also thinking that Teddy is going to get a head collar like that Bear wears. I used one with him when he first came to live with me, but he hated it. Now I’m wondering how much I care whether he hates it or not.

27 thoughts on “Close Encounter of the Fur Kind

  1. I’m glad you weren’t hurt and that someone was there to help up. Those kinds of body jarring experiences make you realize there are muscles you never knew about before. Have a nice, safe weekend.

    • Teddy defines exuberance. He’s the most lovable, affectionate, joyful, life-crazed creature I’ve ever known. Around here, around me, he’s also the most obedient but LIFE!!! He does everything passionately and single-mindedly as if there is nothing else in the world. A car driving down the alley, smells beside the road. Yet he understands a lot of things I’ve never seen a dog understand before. But, I’m hurting now. 😀

            • I love dogs like that — Teddy loves his vet and has been known to jump 10 feet across the room to land in his vet’s arms. And then the vet holds Teddy like a baby and calls him “Mr. Happy.” Teddy has BEAUTIFUL behavior when it’s just him and me. He sits to be petted. He waits at the door. When I come in, he sits. Everything perfect. But OTHER humans? I think it’s partly because of Covid and our being relatively isolated and then because he’s so damned appealing. I want to send a note to everyone, “Don’t put up with any shit from Teddy, no matter how cute he is.” But…

              • Our nickname for Parker is “Whirlwind.” But, yeah, he’s a very happy boy and loves EVERYbody. He and Toulouse got along well despite their ages. But Mr. T would, sometimes, put Parker in his place when he wouldn’t leave him alone. Never serious, and Parker would get it and calm down. Until he forgot not to. 🙂

  2. ‘Once I was upright again, we had a great conversation.’–I just had to smile as I read that. You’re flat on your face, your glasses are thrown, the dogs are off to visit their friends, yet you get up and start conversing. That just struck my funny bone. I’m glad you are ok, though. For all his exuberance, I still would LOVE to meet little Mr Teddy.

    • Well, I wasn’t hurt and the dogs were safe. There was really no problem. IF I had been hurt, though, they would have taken me to the hospital so it was in no way a bad situation. I thought it was funny, too. And Teddy? He’s adorable and obnoxious simultaneously. ❤️🐾

  3. Were you wearing your Mickey Mouse watch? Would it have brought help if there weren’t other people around? (Of course, I understand the likelihood of the event happening if there was nobody around because Teddy wouldn’t have pulled you down!) The head collar sounds like a good idea — and Teddy might settle down a little, thinking it is some sort of punishment. Take care out there!

    • Strangely, the watch didn’t pick up that I had fallen. That is a little troubling, for $1000 it should have asked, “did you fall?” It didn’t. But the landing was pretty soft. I could have (since I was conscious) called for help, but it’s possible to be knocked out in a fall and that was the point of the watch.

      It happened very fast. I didn’t even notice Teddy had jumped forward and I was down. SO…head collar. I think in time he will — as other dogs have — associate it with going out there. Bear holds her head up so I can put it on her. Of course it doesn’t stop everything, but it does two things. It MOSTLY allows me to stop them and turn them around and it definitely slows them down. If Teddy had been wearing one I’d have been able to stop him.

  4. Might look into some training for those dogs. Even with a head collar, a dog can take off.

    We use a pincher collar but in times past we’ve used a Gentle Leader. They still managed to pull me along. “Heel dog. Heel, damn you!”

  5. Hope you don’t have too many sore bits after that fall. Sounds like it is time for the halti for Teddy, at least when he us walking with Bear.
    Strange that there aren’t more people walking in the Refuge, Do you think they are at home watching tele? Or if it is slippery, they might not be so keen.

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