When I first arrived back in WA, I pulled up satellite imagery and found a two mile trail where I would walk Fredo. It's lovely, with rolling yellow hills on all sides. Other dog-owners have discovered it too, but for the most part they're polite and so are their animals. For the most part.
Two weeks ago, a pair of dogs sped down a hill, 100 yards from their owner, right at Fredo. The first dog was cool. The second dog ran right up to Fredo and bit him on the face. I saw it coming, so my foot was embedded in his eye socket in a fraction of a second. You can guess what happened next.
"HEY! DON'T KICK MY DOG!"
I yelled back at Cooter, every third word being "fuck." He yelled back, and, seeing red, I reverted to the mainstay of my old neighborhood.
"I'm really sorry, but I can't hear you. I just can't make it out. Can you maybe come closer and repeat it?" He did not.
This morning, Fredo and I were the first to arrive. Dawn was just starting to break. At about the half-mile point, Fredo spotted a dog. "That sure is one big coyote," I thought as Fredo bounded toward it. The animal watched Fredo, unconcerned. That's not coyote behavior. At all. I called Fredo back. "That there," I said to my little idiot, "Is a wolf."
My experience with wolves being nil, I wasn't sure what to do. We continued walking, and he continued watching. I felt like I was being sized up. "Wow, that fat thing is both old and weak," the wolf doubtlessly thought. "Why, it's my evolutionary imperative to thin him out of the herd!"
We walked into the woods, and I looked for anything I could use as a club. I found a 2x4 with a nail sticking out of its end. That would do nicely. I straightened the nail, and we headed back toward the car.
The wolf was gone, but Cooter was there, walking toward us as I emerged from the woods, brandishing a 2x4 on my shoulder. Imagine his surprise. He reversed his path and double-timed back to his car.