Took Bella for a walk today after my pilates/yoga class this morning. When I arrived home after class, she was jumping and barking and generally excited, so a walk was in order. Clearly.
We walked up to the school, where she ran once and walked around the perimeter, cataloging each and every smell on each and every tree and ivy leaf from the corner to the street before I stopped her. I leashed her up and off we ran for a while, the wind blowing back her ears, and breathless smile on her face.
Instead of heading back home immediately, we walked a few blocks away from the school before heading back around home. We walked along a new street, to give Bella a chance to catalog some new smells.
As we turned the corner to head back home, Bella crouched, and entered her slinky, I'm-sneaking-up-on-prey pose, moving slowly towards a parked truck.
My first reaction was, "Come on, leave it alone!" I tugged on her leash for a bit, dragging her away from the truck, before I thought, "Eh, why not?" If she wants the cat under the truck so much, let her have it. She'll get a swipe on the nose and be less likely to attack the next cat. Yes, I like this idea. I let up on the leach and unlatched the lock.
Bella immediately crouched back down and started slinking towards the cat again. She stepped closer and closer. Closer... Closer...
The cat didn't move. When Bella was about two feet from it, it turned to her and meowed.
It didn't hiss. It didn't arch. It didn't even stand up. It lay there and meowed a "hey, how about scratching behind my ear, will ya?" meow.
Bella jumped and rushed away, stopping behind a truck tire and peering back around at the cat. I chuckled, unwrapped the leash from the various truck underbody parts and started to pull Bella away, to continue on our walk.
Bella wasn't quite done, however. She resisted, and, when the cat stood up and started walking towards us, pulled her way back to the cat.
Holding Bella back, I reached down and started petting the cat. After a few moments, I stopped holding Bella back, and let her sniff the cat while I petted it. True to dog form, she went straight for the butt, sniffing it for a moment, then jumping back, sniffing it for a moment, then jumping back. It was almost as if she knew she was supposed to attack this smell, but the smell wasn't threatening, or even interesting (which sounds wrong, given Bella's a dog and ALL smells are interesting to a dog. Except alcohol. Yeah).
After freaking out at the cat for a few minutes, Bella stopped and just stood there as I continued to pet the cat. It was a great cat, very friendly.
Kris thinks Annie would have eaten it.
And, speaking of Annie, Kris sent me a note this morning about Annie's new adventure today on her weekly off-leash, all-day hike.
There is a new girl walking Annie today. It's her first day. She is with an experienced person, who is her trainer, but I have a feeling that having to walk Annie is going to be trial by fire. If she comes through this, she'll do great. If she breaks down into tears by the end of the day, well, so be it. Maybe they want to see what she's got by giving her Annie! If only she knew what she was in for. The funny part is, though, that I handed the leash to the new girl and the trainer said "Go ahead and load her into a crate." Before the new girl could do anything, Annie jumped into the van then jumped into her crate and scarfed the treat. Amber was used to this behavior, and closed the crate door before Annie could continue the hunt for more treats, but new girl wasn't. Annie jumped out of the crate and went sniffing at another crate trying to get at the treat inside. I just smiled and walked away. Trial by fire...
Should have interesting stories tonight.