Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Pouncer Succeeds?

With afternoon temperatures creeping higher every week, I welcomed the veiled sun this morning as a rest from the onslaught of summer.
With nose classes planned for the afternoon, I decided to keep our morning short. Kona and I hiked only part of our ridge. I put Kona on her long line to let her get a bit more exercise, despite cutting our trail time.

Following tips from fellow get-outside-and-play-hard-with-dog blogger, KB, I practiced a couple recalls with Kona right at the beginning of our hike. Kona does well with recalls on her long line with minimum distractions, but I usually avoid recalling her at the beginning of our runs because she's always more anxious when we first arrive at a trail.

I'm happy to report that despite some anxiety, Kona came running for her recalls this morning.
She did so well that I promised to let her run wild for the rest of the morning. And run wild she did.
We quickly reached our turn around point and headed back. I stopped to take a picture of my most photogenic hillside. I noticed the slope's colors looked muted compared to the crisp greens from only a few weeks ago.
As we hiked one of the only flat spots on the trail, Kona stopped and peered over the ridge. I saw it coming. She had that gleam in her eye that means one thing. Pounce. Kona launched up and over the ridge.

Pouncing happens quite often with Kona, so I usually just smile and shake my head. This time, I jumped when I heard Kona land, followed by a shriek that sounded half cat, half seagull. Oh no. Kona really pounced something.

Just as I shouted, "No!" I saw Kona's head leap into the air a second time. Another cat-bird scream. I quickly pulled Kona back onto the trail. I apprehensively peered over the ridge to see what had made the terrible cry and hope that Kona hadn't caused any damage. Nothing. I couldn't find a thing.

As we moved along towards the car, Kona kept trying to turn around and head back to her pounce-victim. Needless to say, we marched on.

I don't think Kona caused serious harm, but my question remains. Any ideas on what L.A. animal shrieks like a cat-seagull when pounced by a Kona dog?


LauraK said...

Sounds like you two had a fun morning, pouncing and all! Riley loves to pounce as well, and she caught a prairie dog/gopher type thing once and it screamed really strangely. Thankfully, she didn't hurt it, but man do animals make strange noises!

Life With Dogs said...

Just for the record...I might shriek myself! ;)

Honestly, no idea...

Barb said...

Well - if it was in KB's territory, I'd say Kona pounced on a Bobcat - but, who knows there in LA? I like the look of the sky on that recall photo. Kona looks so happy!

KB said...

I wonder if it could have been a feral cat? But, then, Kona might have had a scratch or bite mark on her.

Glad to hear that you tried the recall routine. It serves us well.

I had an idea about Kona's "coming back down the trail" anxiety. Does she love to eat? If she loved it like my dogs do, I'd consider preparing her breakfast (and bringing it to the trailhead). Then, you could feed her in the back of your car soon after you arrive from your run. That would give her a huge reward for going down the trail. Just a thought... but perhaps she'd be too stressed to eat?

Sam said...

I like KB's idea of feeding Kona her meal (or maybe half her meal) after a hike!

No idea what could have made the noise, we don't have anything here except squirrels and the occasional chipmunk or rabbit. Maybe a groundhog or something? Or a frog? (Frogs can make some seriously WEIRD noises!)

Kathy said...

YEA KONA for the great recall work, that is awesome! Weird about the noise, I wonder what that was, wish Kona could talk!

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart said...

Maybe it was a baby bunny? Lilly caught one once, and I thought for sure she'd nabbed a bird.