Bella, our black lab, and I walk a little over a mile every day. Buckaroo is with us, but he's riding in his stroller, usually munching on rice crackers or napping. We have a loop we've come to love because it takes us past the farm, where Buckaroo admires the tractors, and then down a long woodsy road that rarely sees a car and where we can hear the bullfrogs. I don't know for sure that they're bull frogs, but they have a deep, throaty call that sounds like the strum of rubber bands against an oatmeal box.
There's only one glitch in our daily routine: Sandy. As we turn the corner in our final stretch before the road home, there's a house wherein resides one pit bull named Sandy and one beagle named Cosmo or Gizmo or Comet; you get the idea. The beagle often comes to bark and snarl but never does any harm. Sandy is tied to a runner and usually lunges and snarls from the perimeter of her yard-- stretched as far as her tether will allow.
The other day, however, Sandy (a name which happens to be shared by my mother) was not on her runner, and so we were attacked. Fortunately, the lady of the house was able to call off Sandy before she did any damage, and we all escaped uscathed, if a bit high on adrenalin, but not before I found myself screaming in a voice I didn't know I had in me.
I'm terrified of dog fights, and all of the horror stories about pit bulls certainly don't help to lessen my fears. I'm glad, or I think I'm glad, that in the thick of it Bella goes totally submissive-- belly up, as it were.
Now here's the trouble: Bella and I started walking this loop because at the end of our road, in the opposite direction, lives another snarling dog, Daisy, who is not on a runner, and who's owner is rarely home to chastize her for her bad behavior. I thought Sandy was the better bet.
I've been weighing the odds: Every time I go left, Daisy chases us; One time I went right, and Sandy attacked. Daisy could do some damage, but Sandy could kill. Do I just stop walking my dog all together?
I've decided not to be paralyzed by fear, so yesterday the three of us walked the loop again, and we were not attacked. Shew. Here's something else: While walking I saw my first cardinal in The Woods. He actually crossed our path as we were listening to the deeply twanging bullfrogs. R's dad says he's never seen a cardinal here. We also spotted our first two ladybugs of the season.
I'm just not sure if these are good omens or glaring red stop signs.
One other thing: You may remember my post about the robin, how her nest fell and her eggs broke on the dock. Today R and I discovered a robin's nest on our neighbor's porch with a treasure of light blue eggs. I can't be sure that it's the same robin, of course, but who's to say that it isn't?