Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dahlia: A different kind of "bait" dog

Last night while out on our walk, we were just getting to the end of the street when this pit bull comes around the corner. He's off leash, no collar. He freezes. I freeze. I have no idea if he's dog or people friendly, but I don't want to leave him if I can catch him and try to find out where he belongs. It is, after all, going down to 29 degrees at night and this dog is slender and has a really short coat.

So finally he breaks the freeze and comes over slowly to greet Dahlia. Who is happy to see him of course.

They sniff. He's friendly and greets well. Dahlia decides it's "PLAY TIME OMG!!" and jumps at him. He jumps back at her. She jumps and play bows. And he play bows and takes off at a dead run away from us.

OH NOES!! My dog is always so calm and NOW she decides to play? And the dog takes her invitation and is off like a shot. He's gone in like 2 seconds flat. Down two blocks and around the corner. *smacks forehead*

I decide to go after him, hoping he'll stop and maybe I can catch up to him. While he and Dahlia were playing and sniffing I was trying to reach around and unhook her collar so I could put it on HIM. Obviously no luck there.

So I'm heading down the street in the direction the dog went when I come across his owner. She's out with collar and leash looking for him. Apparently Artie, the dog in question, leapt a baby gate while the door was open and got out. She didn't think he could jump the gate and her older dog, an Australian Shepherd mix never jumps the gate. Artie is a pit bull though and one thing I'm finding out about pit bulls: They are SMART dogs with an overabundance of curiosity. So he out he went before she could stop him.

I stop to chat with the owner for a moment and let her know which direction he has now gone in. She couldn't believe he ran not 10 feet away from her and she didn't even see him. But he's that fast. He really is. I'm always amazed at the speed pit bulls can run at.

She says "He always comes back when this happens." I'm thinking "Maybe it's time for a better baby gate?"

And then, lo and behold, he does indeed come racing back. She calls to him, he comes to us. And while he's stopped and again greeting and sniffing Dahlia, she manages to reach out and get the collar (with leash attached) around his neck. Artie is now safe.

Dahlia, rescuer of pit bulls*, has done her civic duty for the day and we were able to head home.

*this would be about the 5th or 6th time that she's played "bait" to catch someone's loose, friendly pit bull or pit mix. She's pretty darned good at it!

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