I've heard it said that any dog worth their salt has a minimum of 14 names. The bestie and I have always called him "Barticus" because he hikes on ridges high above us and often way ahead. But, I added a few more to Bart.
- Mr. Bartlesby - for his regal and protective nature
- Two dog - because I'm forever counting heads when hiking off leash. He always shows up 2nd.
- Pees Like a Girl - Rather obvious
Bart is not trusted in all areas of the creek because... he's been kinda slow to learn that those jumping choyas are his horrible nemesis. Since officially becoming part of the pack, the BFF has had to take him to the vet several times to have them removed! So, there are certain areas he remains on leash and certain trails we just don't take.
But the last Monday night we hiked, I spied Hank and Sue, our Rhodesian buddies on the levee. We all ran to meet and greet. But they were headed home and we were just arriving. We said our goodbyes and Mabel, Bart and I continued down the levee. About 2/3 to the end, a huge van pulls up and, judging by their dress, I felt they were gang members. More than 20 of them got out of the van and they had three big pit bulls.
I navigated the dogs back to the water. As they frolicked, I hung back to see what the gangsters were doing. They appeared to be congregating near the road. So I joined the pups at the shore, thinking all was well. Suddenly, there was a snarling pit above my head on the levee. So much for the short hike I needed.
I went further downstream even though it was getting dark and coyotes were lighting up. I had hoped to find my pool man and his Aussie, 'tilla. But I ran into the young lady that hikes there with her lab. She had seen the gangsters and the pits and was debating what to do.
We decided there was no more time to go downstream to a friendly trail. It was too dark and the coyotes were loud and all around us. We climbed the rock face of the lower levee - only Mabel had trouble with that. Then we headed for cactus flats. I was so afraid I would end up with Bart at the vet. But I leashed him up and went slow. He listened to my every command and we made it out just fine.
FYI - the creek was abuzz the next night with various encounters with those pits and the gangsters! Scary!
I've written at length about my crazy-do-as-they-darn-well-please curls in my hair. One day, it was hot and my hair, which has a climate of its very own, was down...making my mood very bad. There are days, like today, where the wind is so cold, I will actually tie my hair under my chin and wear it like a scarf! But not when it's hot!
That day, as soon as the dogs paused to chase the ducks in Dirty Creek, I put my hair up in a bun. Knowing how well my hair will say in a given position, I determined I would have to tie it up three more times while hiking if I had nothing to hold it in place. I looked around and found three slim, smooth twigs and placed them in my bun chopstick style and went on to enjoy and nice but warm hike.
Driving Bart home, he started rooting around in my hair! He gingerly pulled the twigs out of my hair and spat them out on the passenger seat! Apparently Bart doesn't like my choice of hair accessories!
I really loved 'Bart-sitting!' He was such a joy and it was great to bond with him. Today, they arrived at the creek first and he raced to my car to greet us. What a sweet boy he is!