So I had this dream, which was less a dream than it was a premonition. I was hiking at one of the local wilderness parks, a place I always take Jake, except Jake wasn’t with me.
I was on the back side of the park, some of you may recall this is where I was attacked several years ago and Jake’s predecessor, Louie, drove off the attacker.
In the dream I was climbing Gravity Hill, the name we’ve assigned the hill because the land rises so steeply that you feel as if the pull of gravity on your legs has doubled even before you hit the true climb.
There I was, half-way up Gravity Hill, when this man came running from the gully off to my left. He was dressed in black, sweaty, wearing a cap, and he held his right hand behind his back. He stopped not six feet away from me and I knew, I just knew, that I should have brought Jake. I was done for. I couldn’t run up because he was there and if I turned tail and ran down, he could catch me.
So I said– “Wake up you fool, before he makes a move.” And I did. I opened my eyes and reminded myself once again that I will never ever go to the back side of that park without a big German shepherd.
It’s funny because I go to the much wilder park alone, but only because the trails are so steep, narrow and treacherous. I have to keep Jake on a leash because of his powerful prey drive (he chases he doesn’t kill)- wildlife is abundant- and I’m afraid he’ll pull me right over a cliff. Which isn’t a stretch since in some areas the trail is only three to four inches wide and it runs right along a cliff edge. I’ve encountered mountain lions in this park and I’d rather have Jake with me, but I’m not afraid of bad humans. (When hubby comes Jake does get to come too. Hubby holds the leash.)
A bad human would have to be very dedicated to being bad in order to attack someone at this park. A. He’d have to climb an incredibly steep slope above a trail and he’d make a shit load of noise sliding down. B. He’d have to try to climb up a cliff to get you. C. He’d be covered with ticks and poison oak. D. He’d have to be in excellent physical shape.
I’m not sure what the wish has to do with the above, but I think it has more to do with: Be careful what you wish for.
In real life Jake and I did the exact hike I dreamed about just last week. We hiked up Gravity Hill. Jake was off leash, of course, because this is an isolated area and the wildlife pretty much consists of birds and snakes with an occasional coyote sighting– however there’s a fence Jake can’t get through so I don’t worry about him taking off after the coyote.
Anyway, we reached the top of the hill and ahead of me, maybe a quarter mile, I saw that guy… the strange dude who grabbed Jake by the neck when he was a puppy and shook him. For no reason. Jake was on leash and sitting by the side of the trail right next to me while we waited for the man to pass. He stopped, grabbed Jake and shook him.
His whole beef was this: As he approached us, Jake, in his enthusiasm and excitement, began jumping at the end of his leash. Of course I moved Jake over, had him sit/stay and all was calm by the time the man reached us.
Without warning he grabbed Jake by the scruff of the neck and shook him, saying – “Jumping is a sign of aggression. You shouldn’t let your dog jump.”
Who does this? An insane person? Only an insane person behaves like this.
So I said – “Get your hands off my dog.” I walked away and I knew that if Jake had bitten him I’d probably be held liable and my dog would get a strike against him. But Jake didn’t bite the man even though he deserved to be bitten.
All right, back to the story. So we hit the top of Gravity Hill and I see that guy ahead of us and I says to Jake… “Oh crap, it’s that asshole. Well, at least he’s a quarter mile ahead of us so he’ll be way over the hill (that hill over there) by the time I reach the meadow where we throw the ball.”
In the meantime, I put Jake on leash.
So we come around a corner past the trees above the creek bed and there’s no one in sight. I unleash Jake and use my ball-thrower to heave the ball across the meadow as I continue to walk forward along the trail. Jake races after the ball.
All of a sudden I hear, “Hey!” And that idiot runs out from the forest where he’s apparently been hiding in wait for me so he can do some bad shit to my dog again. Only Jake’s not a puppy anymore.
This is Jake’s response. It was brilliant. He drops the ball at my feet, runs right up to the crazy dude at full speed, stops at his crotch and gives a big bark. Then he runs back to me at full speed and gives me a look like… “I got this.” He runs back to the crazy dude and does the exact same thing, a big bark right at his crotch.
Apparently his brain is working this time because the guy doesn’t move a muscle. So I says– “All right, Jake, that’s enough. Leash.” And I put him on leash.
Jake kept looking back over his shoulder and he walked behind me at the end of his leash, keeping himself between the crazy dude and me until the guy headed off in another direction.
Don’t try to bully a German shepherd or his owner. This is what you get. He’s lucky Jake didn’t bite him. Yup, be careful what you wish for.