Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Watch out for that pack of dangerous pit bulls"

 Super Kerrigan
 The rugged mountain chihuahua
Ambassador for her breed and advocate for others

Our friend Mosby and his human counterparts asked if we wanted to take a little hike the other day.  I am always up for a hike so I said yes.  Well did anyone else realize it is Sunday, and a holiday weekend?  We sure didn't.  When you work a non traditional schedule days are really irrelevant and holidays just mean time and a half so I had no idea that Red Rock would be PACKED.  Normally we hike in a less touristy area too but we wanted to check out this hike because of the view.  Turned out so did about 200 other people.  There were so many dogs and hikers I felt like I was at a convention not a wilderness area.  

So we get out of the car and immediately there is a guy with two pointers running around off leash.  Keep in mind this is a place with signs all over saying dogs must be on a 6 foot leash, not to mention we are in a parking lot filled with people, some elderly, some children and dogs of all sizes.  As this asshole's dogs are literally jumping on an 80 year old woman who is forced to sit down on a rock before she falls over I hear him say "yeah- they don't listen at all for like the first half hour they are out like this, but I don't have anything to worry about because they are hunting dogs so they always come back."  I have to admit he was not the only person with his dogs off leash, people seem to think leash laws are just suggestions to be ignored- but he is by far the least responsible dog owner on the trail that day.  The dogs were ultra hyper and out of control.  One ran over to us and Kerri hit the floor in the most submissive stance possible- her typical reaction when she is worried a dog might eat her.  The other dog ran straight into Copley's face, looked him dead in the eyes, and then took off.  So polite. *sarcasm*

We let him take off and started up the trail a safe distance behind him.  Not a moment later a group of 6 or 7 people with 5 or so pit bull type dogs and boxer mixes came up the trail.  The dogs were all polite, walking right with their people on loose leashes.  One dog was off leash (and I am not crazy about that) but it was right next to it's person and didn't stray at all from their side.  We smiled at these people, complimented their beautiful dogs and let them pass us without incident.

Now for the fun part.  Three people warned us we should turn around and not hike any further because of dangerous dogs up the trail.  One woman with a chihuahua told me it was too dangerous to have small dogs up there because of these horrible irresponsible owners at the end of the trail.  Who were they warning me about?  Not the a-hole with the out of control pointers, but the "pack of dangerous pit bulls."  One lady even told me the problem was not that there was just one, but that they get into that "pack mentality" and you "never know what might happen."  I tried to talk to these people and they politely smiled and nodded.  The one thing about people who are so concerned for a fellow chihuahua owner that they feel the need to stop a stranger on a trail to warn them about the dangerous pit bulls is that they are floored- absolutely can't believe it speechless- when the lady with the chihuahua is defending the pit bulls to them.  For some crazy reason people presume that because I am the owner of a chihuahua that I also find pits disgusting- and when that is not the case it shocks their worldview in an incredibly satisfying way.

To end on a lighter note here is a collection of other discussions I had on the trail.  Mostly with people who think things about chihuahuas that are just as crazy as the things they think about pits.  As you will see today I had some real gems of conversations with others on the trail.
  • One woman told me it was cruel to be hiking with a chihuahua, that I should be carrying her.  When I told her that Kerri hikes weekly and walks every day she just rolled her eyes and walked away.
  • A man with a smaller dog came up to us while I was holding Kerri and said to her "why aren't you barking, is there something wrong with you?"  That guy was actually really nice.  I gave him my regular line about Kerri not being yappy "I don't allow any barking around my house because it would drive me nuts!"  We talked for a minute about how chihuahuas are actually very trainable and if you exercise them properly and train them they are not yappy.  I also talked about how even little dogs need exercise and regular walks.  He agreed and pointed to his little dogs- a terrier mix- telling me that those little legs just can go all day long!  I love when I can change a person's view of chis and make friends at the same time.
  • A family with little kids came over and asked to pet Kerri (at least they asked, +1 for that).  The kids literally tried to pull her ears off.  Ok, maybe not literally but it was close.  In times like that I am really grateful for her temperament- that's why she is a therapy dog after all!
  • A woman walking with her friend and their bigger dog told me her chihuahua had not been outside of her house in over 5 years.  I really have nothing more to say about that.
  • My favorite was when a family came by and the mother was really struggling to keep up with her partner and two boys.  The boy said "look mom, that tiny dog isn't having any trouble, you should be able to keep up if she can!"  I looked at the Mom and said "don't feel bad, the dog has an advantage... four legs instead of two."  Mom laughed and thanked me for helping her outsmart her kid.
So lessions of the day- be responsable and keep your dog on a leash in areas where it is the law and remember tourists at Red Rock are extremely chatty these days.

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