Friday, November 10, 2006

Dog Hero

I set out for a sunset hike the other day. At the moment, my greatest concern was that the pupster and I may run into Challo (pronounced Cha low). Challo is a pit bull terrier, very strong and powerful. But mostly he is full throttle puppy!

Challo is owned by a young man of Mid-East descent who occasionally is out and about with the dog. But, almost every night, a man that I presume is the young man's dad walks Challo. This gentleman speaks exceptionally little English and laughs at everything I say:

"Look at the Challo kissing Mabel."

"Ah hah hah hah!"

"I found a cat head in my yard."

"Ah hah hah hah!"

I actually enjoy walking with him because there is no need to make conversation. But the last time the pupster and Challo ran into each other, they ran and jumped and frolicked so that my little drama queen limped and cried for days...unless she was at the creek.

Little Miss M is a mix of Rott, Greyhound and Lab ( and a few other questionable things...but that's another post). Her rear is higher than her front and she is frequently in pain. Years ago, when I made more money than I do now, I thought nothing of dropping 5K on a new hip for my Mags but can't even dream about that for this girly.

Back to the hike: We made it round the levy with no sign of Challo and to our great surprise; there was water in our little creek. Thinking back while hiking today, I have to wonder if it was a mirage, because now, it's bone dry in this particular area. But the other day... lovely, clear water everywhere.

The pup raced for the water, turned three times before settling in for her daily baptism, preening her neck to feel the last few minutes of sunlight on her face. I stopped walking to watch her and enjoy the silly grin she gets when she's found a good swimming hole.

We hiked up stream a ways - each exploring on our own until I became aware of a strange feeling - like I was being watched. My eyes darted up on the levy. There 15 feet in the air, standing ON TOP of the levy were two coyotes. They were oblivious to me but they were staring intently at my baby girl.

I thrust my walking stick and arm high in the air and gave them my best deep, low, constant yell all the while walking toward them. They bolted down the other side of the levy and were gone.

Then I did something stupid. Instead of heading home, I continued my hike. Only when I reached the pup's current favorite swimming hole and looked back down stream, I noticed the coyotes coming down the levy and crossing the creek. Now, they were between me and the car. And it was getting dark fast.

I suddenly wished we weren't out there alone. I headed back downstream, cautious. All of a sudden in the grey dusk, I realized a figure was stalking us. He crawled slowly, then charged, dropped to his belly and crawled some more. As he came closer, I realized the shape is not that of, it was too stocky and short. Yes, Challo had found us.

I heard his grandpa calling him in the distance and boy was I ever glad we were not alone. Challo escorted the ladies safely to our car.

I had to laugh. I started my hike specifically hoping not to see this dog and ended it so grateful that he was there.

Thanks Challo. You'll always be my hero!


Velvet Sacks said...

Ooooh, THAT would have been scary. Tell us more about your pup, please.

CreekHiker said...

Yeah Velvet, I'm a slow starter. You're November blog a day post inspired me. It's amazing once you start, the ideas do keep coming!

I'll get some more pics up of Miss M soon.

And...thanks for your wonderful blog. I love reading it! I'm going to have to get some decent pictures of our local peacocks. Your pictures and descriptions of them are so amazing.