But yesterday, as I was walking down the dirt road below my house - before even entering the grove - there she was. I know it was a she. I am not sure how I know this but I do. She was walking slowing across the dirt, from the hillside to the grove. A good two hundred feet in front of us.
She saw us.
And we saw her. Both Nava and I. And being the good dog that she is, my sweet and smart and always energetic Doberman stood right next to me. The hairs on her back slightly raised. Her eyes focused in. But still she did not move from my side.
Our walk took a different path, moving away from the coyote.
And then later in the day, on our last walk of the day, we again ventured into the grove. And there she was again. This time far into the trees. In a part of the orange grove that I seldom see them. She was standing in the path. At the opposite end from where we were. But still there. Standing and looking. And wanting my dog.
I wanted to run at her and scare her. Or worse. Actually I wished I had a huge stick in my hands so I could run at her and hit her aside her head. I was mad.
I wanted to kill her.
But alas, I instead kept my dog at my side and we walked quickly home. They are out again. The coyotes. And we are on watch.
For other things, too. The rattle snakes are out. It is spring and that time of year where they venture out into the sun. We see them lying on the paths. The adult snakes and the babies, too. They like the heat of the day. And, I am told, they will leave us alone if we leave them alone. So I am signing Nava up for a snake prevention/leave-the-snakes-alone class. But until then, I always look ahead on the ground where we walk. We are careful.
Sometimes though, they are not on the path, but in the bushes, hidden from view. This happened a few weeks ago on a hike up the mountain. It was hot and we were heading towards the streams that run now that some rains have come. And Nava, a ways ahead of me up the path, stopped to explore the grasses that ran along the path until I heard that rattling sound.
It was loud. And she was curious. And so we walk less now on those trails until this rattler season has passed.
And then there is the rain. The most dangerous of them all. Or at least that is what Nava thinks. I see her, strong and assertive when the coyotes show up in the grove or she senses them using the path that runs outside our fence. And the rattle snakes don't scare her. Though she will soon learn to respect them and leave them be.
But the rain. This is a scary stuff. She hates it. She will not venture out unless I go with her. Boots on and umbrella in hand we walk the wet road. She stays closer in the rain. And constantly moves her body to shake off the water that covers her coat.
She does, however, like getting toweled off after. Loves that deep rubbing to dry the wetness from her body. And so perhaps she will start to associate one with the other. Probably not.
And so it is, coyotes, rattlers and rain. Oh my!
But I feel that I have not quite captured the extent of her dislike of rain....perhaps this illustration will help...