Arroyo speaks of smells and tracks. Lupine runs up the sand with me in tow while she takes in all the ruffled up ground from another dog. I have to calm my fear that dog could come around the corner, and she could not use her mouth. I stay steady but vigilant. It is an old pattern this fear, and constantly trying to control the variables that keep it simple for Lupine and myself in a land where feral dogs are the norm. There are leash laws but of course people do what they want. In this canyon several months ago I saw the flash of a dog running by that heads in the opposite direction. The large shepherd found us teeth barred standing in front of us. Lupine remains calm and she meets his gaze while I chase him off and yell for the owner. The dog did not budge and so I step forward with a large branch and swing it in front of his face as the owners begins calling him. When Lupine and I emerge from the brush and onto the path back to the car I decide to find these people and stop them. They try to tell me the dog is on voice command and I insist that the dogs are to be on a leash and we have just been confronted by a dog that did not readily turn around or come running back to them but decides to reel through scrubs to corner us.I felt Lupine and I work as a team.
Lupine did not escalate things with this dog twice her size but she did not turn away. She has menaced her share of bike riders, skate boarders when we are in California as well as dogs on leashes if she happens to be off of hers. I have learned the hard way what I am not doing to deal with the situation. We now turn more towards something between and find how to work with the energy. She likes when we do this energy united approach, and it becomes a way we can handle the world together.
Right now mostly I remain in these moments her guardian and defender in the medical world around options for treatment. I try even more keenly to trust, and sense what is her nature to do and not just my own ideas. I see her heading for life and death on any given day with gusto and I go along for the ride and run with her when I can. Today we just find tracks not the wild dogs of owners running freely in this somewhat remote places, and enjoy our run up and down the arroyo.