Rain broke up a cat fight last week!
Unfortunately the cats were across the street from the park we visit each morning.
When we get to the play structure at the park near our house—the one where Rain and I practice some moves each morning—I often unleash her for a few moments while we practice her skillz. We’ve had a couple of incidents where her leash caught on something and she bonked her head pretty hard, plus I know her well enough now to judge when unleashing her is a risky move. (That is to say when a certain skwerl is scampering around on the ground within sight.)
There’s a house across the street from that part of the park that has an orange and white cat. He will sometimes come out and walk around or sit on the sidewalk. If he’s moving around, he catches Rain’s eye and she gets distracted by him. If he’s sitting, she can usually focus on the task and I get her back on leash post haste.
On this particular morning there was a different cat, a fluffy Himalayan, who came and sat in the same place on the sidewalk. It wasn’t moving so it didn’t catch Rain’s attention. I took her to the other side of the play structure for a specific sequence I wanted her to do, had her sit, and removed her leash.
It was at that point I heard: REEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRR!!!!!!
And Rain was OFF.
She raced to the nearest park entrance and across the street. I saw one cat haul ass in one direction, then Rain chased the Himalayan down the sidewalk in the other direction and up over the wood fence to the neighboring backyard. A white minivan was coming down the street, albeit slowly.
Once the catfight was broken up and the minivan had passed, Rain emerged from the driveway, paused on the sidewalk to shake out her coat, and calmly trotted back across the street to join me, where I had finally made it to the same park entrance she had exited from.
She looked pretty proud of herself.
There was a woman walking in the park who saw my secret shame—she walks the park nearly as regularly as we do, so I know she knows that Rain is usually on leash and generally a well-behaved dog. She did have earbuds in her ears, so she may not have realized that a catfight was the impetus for the big scene.
Of course incidents like this remind us why leashes are a good thing, and can keep a dog out of danger even if “they’re friendly” as owners of strange dogs often try to shout out as their dog approaches. As an Australian shepherd, Rain has a serious chase drive and loves to run after skwerls, birds, and kitties most of all.
That said, she also needs varied types of exercise, and I try to control the conditions a bit to avoid mishaps. On this day, though, our luck clearly ran out. Fortunately the conditions were such that a doggy crisis was averted.