Thursday evening I got back home later than I wanted to. It was just about to get dark so I gathered the little monsters and decided a quick walk was in order before it was dark. We had only gone a hundred paces or so when I realised it was now acually very difficult to see. I could see the outline of the track though so we carried on with our walk through the Catalan countryside.
I should have done what we always do if it is about to get dark and that is carry a torch. Not so much to see where I am going but to look out for what may be coming towards you.
As I was walking I was thinking this. I really should have brought the torch. Neither me or the dogs are scared of the dark. They have fantastic eyesight and Daisy especially has a brilliant sense of smell and, yep, before long what I hoped wouldn’t happen did.
They all ran off like a shot into the woods and I knew what was coming.
The counrtyside all around our house is full of wild mountain Goats and wild Boar. These beasties are massive. The Goats can get to the size of a Donkey. They are so heavy set and strong that they can be a real danger and the Boar, well, if one went for you then it would be game over. There are countless stories of Boar ripping hunting dogs to bits when confronted by a large pack of twelve or so dogs (which is how they hunt around here).
This was why I should have gone equipped with said torch. If the dogs chase anything I want to see if it is coming towards me.
Anyway. The dogs had bolted in to the woods and before long I heard the tell tale yipping. This meant that Daisy had found a lovely animal to play with. About this time I was hoping the yipping would get fainter and not stronger as this would mean whatever she was chasing would be heading my way. It was unfortunate for me as the yiping was heading my way.
Is it a Fox, a Boar, a Mountain Goat or maybe just a wild Cat?
I was hoping not to find out.
The crashing about in the woods was getting louder so I could cross a Cat off the list and a Fox as well.
The noise kept on coming and then BAM!
A few paces in front of me three Goats exploded out of the woods, they went straight across the track and back in to the woods, followed by Daisy and Faye. Thank God they didn’t run down the track towards me. I called the dogs and thankfully the did as they were told and stopped and came back to me. Jet emerged from the woods a few seconds later. I think it was all a bit to scary for such a young pup.
Well, I am glad to report that I am still here, but I am certainly skipping the walks in the dark unless I remember the torch in future.
The dogs by the way would never attack what they chase. They just like a bit of a run and they always seem to get bored surprisingly quickly. I think they know that if the animal actually stopped they would be at a total loss as to what to do and realise that actually the dogs are scared of such big animals.
I don’t really feel that I need to be particularly harsh and try to totally stop dogs chasing the wild animals. It was different when we lived in a town and had our fantastic dog Sam. We were very careful to try not to let him chase anything. Although he did once swim a wide river so he could chase a herd of Cows on the other side. Boy was my throat sore after that incident!
So, what do your dogs chase? Sheep, Cats, Cows, Horses or are you a more responsible owner than me and not let this sort of thing happen? Are you going to tell me off and say I should stop dogs chasing anything?