27 February 2018

A little practice.

We got to do a little practice on Sunday. Somehow this was the only video clip that made it. We tried. We had some good attempts and some not so good, ran some lovely open jumpers courses. Hooray for agility practice!

Our walking options are slowly shrinking. It's the way of the neighborhood. More people, more cars, less space. More tents every morning on the edge of town, wedged between the fences and trees on the side of the highway. We lost our cinderblock path out to the bluffs this year, not to tents but to development, and the pond except for on weekends, lost to the parking and cars. We can walk to the beach, but the tides are high and rough in the winter, and the tourists are thick in the summer. For a reliable and quick walk, we've always gone to a big local school with a park and a mostly abandoned soccer field.

It was always the same group, for so many years. Neighbors and their dogs, they sit at the picnic tables and sometimes bring their wine. They toss the ball, their dogs are chill. They know everybody and everything that goes on there. The skaters stay by the skate bowl, the kids play on the play ground, everybody gets along fine. The crazy guy from the blue house monitors the play ground equipment for teenagers gone wild who hide in the jungle gym for a smoke. Just goes in and drags them out, then throws the ball again for his shepherd.

Then they built the fence. Ostensibly to keep the homeless sleepers out of the school, that was a neighbor problem. A lot of nooks and crannies in there for someone needing a spot. The fence has a gate, and all of a sudden it gave the park the look of a dog park. A gate! Before it was just open land, not really under the control of anybody, probably not legal for dogs but flying under the radar.

The skaters sometimes bring dogs that roam, when we see the asshat cattle dog with the rope wrapped round his waist, we always move along to another section. Or when the blonde girls with the pack of shrieking cattle dogs are coming, we now know to get the hell out of there. You can hear those dogs coming a mile away. For the most part it's calm and quiet and a nice place to walk the dogs and throw a ball, but lately, like the other places, it is turning different. Maybe it's on instragram? A yelp review of our park? Did you see it on facebook? Change is hard.

The cattle dogs have gone after Banksy before. That's the only time though that a dog's been mean to her at the park. Something about her has Target written on it. She's scared of other dogs, and this gets her picked on. She just wants to be on her own. The park's been our nice neighborhood quiet sanctuary, everybody there always gets along.

We were over there tonight, had the ball out and were just ambling around, walking, doing some stays, and some ball. There were a couple girls I've never seen with three bc types, one was a big black dog hackles up dog. Every time Banksy was running I could see her watching her and a couple times chasing after her. I always feel safe when it's other border collies, but I guess that's kind of stupid.

The girls with the dogs were taking pictures and doing phone stuff when the black one and the smooth red and white one came over, quite a ways across the field to where we were. I put Banksy on a down, when other dogs give me concern that's usually a nice way to make her boring and usually diffuses dogs that might want to chase her. She gets a clarity of what to do when someone might be an ass. Always has worked in the past.

The black one though, marched up to her, where she was laying motionless in her down and jumped her, right then and there. I freaked out and screamed, Banksy jumped up and started snapping teeth, and the black dog jumped her again. It was much bigger. I ran the other way calling all the dogs, and they seperated themselves. Gustavo had eyes as big as his head. Banksy so scared though, standing there and snapping her teeth, her hackles up, ready to defend. This is what she doesn't get, how to get herself out of the situation. Running might get her chased, she doesn't know how to diffuse.

When yelled across the field to the girls, they didn't believe me. They looked at Banksy, lurching back to me. "She's not an aggressive dog," one girl yelled across the field.

Five minutes later I saw them pull her off a big, friendly pitbull. I see him every time I go there. I love him.

More cars, more people, it's how it works as time goes by. The new push out the old, somebody ends up living in the culvert on the side of the road. New buildings have room only to stack up, go high and block out the sky. Somehow we all have to share. Welcome to our neighborhood.

1 comment:

Terry A said...

this makes me sad for you guys. the practice, however, was joyful.