Dogs. I see a fair amount of dogs on trails or in parks and campgrounds. I suppose that is because they need and like to go outside, they are social animals. I can't recall seeing any cats other than a few stray cats along the way, none leashed up with people anyway. That would be be interesting, I know some people do that but it can't be all that many and I haven't seen any.
An ex of mine had two dogs and two cats, the cats were inside cats. One of the cats thought it should be an outside cat. When the dogs would line up at the door to go outside he would pop right up with them to march outside. That one cat did it with amazing frequency like somehow he just knew today would be his day and he would just slide outside with dogs unnoticed. So one day at Petco I saw a cat leash which is more like a cat harness and I said "Hey, you should buy this. Take that damn cat outside since he wants to go so bad." Now I like cats and liked that cat in particular but at the same time I did imagine that there would be some entertainment involved in hooking the little bugger up for his trip outside.
So we get back and hook the cat up in his harness which ended up being easier than I though it would be. It took both us but just involved a little squirming and no scratching. The door was opened and she was in control of the leash. When he got to the edge of the doorway he poked his head around the edge of the door and did some sniffing. I thought he would just head out, he would take on the dogs and they didn't even really try and mess with him, unlike the other cat that was constantly getting a beat down.
She picked up the cat and took him out in the yard and set him in the grass. He sniffed some more and then tried a few steps, the grass kinda freaked him out. Each step looked like a cat that had scotch tape stuck to it's feet. If you've never seen that try YouTube I'm sure there must be a video of it. Then all of sudden the cat just goes ape shit jumping around like a bucking bronco. Bounces of the fence, her legs, flips in the air she asks for help but I was to busy laughing up on the porch and heck I didn't even want it to end. Alas it was over quickly enough, she reined him by the harness which he had partially squirmed out of. Once he was safely back inside I tried to talk her into giving it another try but that was a big no-go and there after a no-go. What does that have to do with dogs? Not much. I think asking for more cat bronco riding after I saw what it looked like may have caused some more animal karma blow back.
So going back to dogs now.. I see them quite a bit. Dogs are funny, goofy, most often friendly. It seems as if when they see someone come somewhat nearby they just absolutely must meet them. Like today a big ole (a bit fat) black lab was wandering around in circle sniffing whatever they sniff for. He saw me and start coming for me, the lady owner said "no" and starting trying to get control. She was small, he was big but I said "It's ok" and put my hand out which made things easier. The dog got some sniffs in on me, a lick on my hand and then got his pets. After that he was satisfied. I think dogs see a human and thinks hey look it's another pet machine, I will sniff it and get some pets, maybe they have some treats....
Then there was "Mickey", secret animal karma revenge agent. I was taking a break in a park near Cinci. A somewhat older guy, I guess about mid-sixties came off the path with his yellow lab. He started whipping a couple of tennis balls with some stick thing with a ball holder on the end. It chucked them father than you could throw them with your arm alone. He started out with just one tennis ball but the dog wouldn't drop the ball, he wanted to play chase. The dog was not a puppy but not an adult either I suppose what you would call a juvenile. It was entertaining so I stayed and watched. The guy brought out the second ball and started throwing that one, the dog would drop the first ball and chase after the new ball.
After about fifteen minutes the dog took an interest in me and ran up, kinda hunkered down dropped the ball and gave me bark. I made like I was moving for the ball and he grabbed it and ran off. The dog circled back (and after saying it was ok to his owner) and did the crouch drop again. I made a move with my arm and he popped up and grabbed my hiking boot and gave it a real quick shake, then grabbed his ball and ran again. That brought a shout of "Mickey" and an apology. I told him it was no big deal.
Now Mickey was not the best trained I suppose, might have just been youthful exuberance or a combination of the two. Really he was just playful puppyish dog with some good size on him who was clearly in happy dog time mode. His owner said he tries to wear him out but the dog usually wins. I asked if I could run him around and he said sure. We switched spots and Mickey was happy to have new pet machine available. He jumped all over me like a little nut and I promised the owner it was ok.
I like dogs, playing with dogs is fun unless they get sneaky like Mickey. Well really it was still fun but he was a high energy, high impact dog. We played fetch and just like with his owner he wouldn't drop the ball so I rotated them. Then he got smart and tried to pick them both up in his mouth at once. There was no choice but to play chase at that point. Of course he was barely able to hold both of the balls in his mouth at the same time so it pretty easy to get one back. I caught him, roughed him up and grabbed one of the balls and took off. He gave chase and you can't outrun a dog but he grabbed my pant leg which I wasn't expecting and boom down I go. It didn't hurt I was on the grass, maybe wounded my pride at having been outsmarted by a dog... but otherwise all good.
After a bit I went and sat down and talked to the guy for few minutes while he chucked tennis balls for Mickey. I decided after a little while I should get going so I swung my pack up and leaning over to adjust the straps and Mickey said.. hey look at the pet machine putting on a harness.. time to attack.. Mickey hopped up on me with his front paws which put me off balance and it felt like he tugged on pack. Which leaned over with about fifty pounds on my back just made for another boom. This time I wasn't on all grass though. I landed in some grass and tree roots and rocks. Ended up with a limp which cleared up pretty quick, a "walk it off" injury also what turned into a good size bruise on my left arm and some dog licks on the face. I am pretty sure while the dog was licking on me I heard him say, "This is Agent Mickey and you have been served.. beeatchh."
Man VS Dog Round 2 - Overall Score: Man 0, Dog 2. (scoring method pee and bruising)