Saturday, December 13, 2008

Adventures in Hiking or Excitement Follows Me Everywhere

One of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles, a concrete jungle of sorts, is the accessibility of hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains.
The view from Santa Monica Mountains may not as stunning as an Alpine vista with a crystal colored glacial lake, but I enjoy getting to the top of the trail where you can see from the San Fernando Valley to downtown LA and snow capped mountains beyond, and from the South Bay coastline to Palos Verdes and all the way to Catalina.

So the weather today, being fresh, was perfect for a hike.
Unfortunately, my regular hiking partner was off fulfilling her pagan need of buying a Christmas tree, or some such nonsense, so I took my four footed friend for company.

Instead of taking the regular fire road today, I decided to take the much more challenging foot trail along the ridge.

Everything was perfectly lovely until I found myself on an steep upward path and turned around to see a pit bull off leash about 100 yards away.
Now I like animals and have a reasonably high comfort level with dogs. But, when the pit bull saw my pet, it took off towards us. And I'm not talking about taking off on a little trot or canter. The dog was coming after us at a full scale, all legs off the ground, gallop.

So what am I supposed to do? Show a sign of weakness by trying to run up the hill away from the galloping beast? No way.
So, I stood there and held my ground...

At this point I was thinking that I was going to get seriously schooled in a lesson in "nature versus nurture". While I generally agree, in the abstract, with the concept "there are no bad dogs, only bad owners" what was going through my mind was a vision of pit bull versus doberman pincher. Not a pretty picture.

When the pit bull reached the point of about 12 feet away I yelled at it to my alpha dog voice. It slowed slightly, but kept coming to within about a two feet away of where I was standing and I continued to yell at the dog to sit.

It had a look on it's face that it wanted to tear out my throat, but it stayed about a foot and a half away...snarling.
Meanwhile, my little pet was actually sitting behind me. (She's not the brightest canine in the pact, but she does understand the sit command)

After a couple of minutes, the dog's owner, who had been calling for the pit bull, succeeded in getting it to retreat. From there she leashed her dog and went back down the hill.

And the pooch and I continued our hike.
(This is a stock photo, not a picture of my dog, who actually sports a pink collar with hearts)

I guess it's official now...I've gone over the edge.

I'm home alone on a Saturday blogging. It's a slippery slope.....and all downhill from here.

Digg this

No comments:

Add to Technorati Favorites