It’s another beautiful Sunday morning in Kamloops, and it’s been a couple of weeks since I took Flipflop in the car to go for a hike. One of my favourite places to hike him is Dallas Barnhartvale Nature Park. It backs onto a horse riding ranch, which dogs are also welcomed to enter and hike. And as most nature parks in BC, it’s dog friendly and has a selection of different trails of all levels.
Since we had a fairly easy walk day yesterday, I decided to bring Dahlia today as well, and stick to the green (easy) trails so she could enjoy herself.
One of the reasons I enjoy this park so much, is it’s quieter than most, I am yet to see a cyclist in the park. We run into the odd dog along the way, which depending on Flipflop’s mood he either ignores or has a play with. It’s a great park for a nice walk, or so I thought!
I naively expected a nice, chilled walk with the my dogs this morning, but was I ever wrong!!!!!!
When we arrived at the park, I parked and let the dogs out of the car, we were the only car in the lot, but it was still fairly early. I unleashed them both, as I had all ready decided to take them to the riding ranch paths, as they are easier for Dahlia and the entrance was right behind my car.
The hike started as any other, Flipflop running up ahead and then coming back to check on me, Dahlia taking her time strolling behind me. Every now and then I had to stop and encourage Dahlia to catch up to me. And she would, she just loves to stop and smell the flowers, literally, along the way on her walks.
About 10 minutes into our walk, things started to derail…….Flipflop saw goats and a horse, grazing in a field. Fortunately, they were safely gated and Flipflop couldn’t get in, nor could they get out. The sweet goats ran when they heard Flipflop barking like an idiot on the other side of the fence. The horse, who was right at the fence, calmly just walked away and started grazing about 10 feet away from it. Flipflop continued to bark and ignore my calls. After a couple of minutes, I was able to get him, I leashed him and gave him a time out.
Usually his time outs are him being leashed for a few minutes and when he’s again released he behaves. But today was a “jack” day for my boy. A “jack” day is what I call Flipflop’s crazy days, as the Jack Russell in him comes out and he gets so hyped up, he’s insane, much like a Jack Russell who is not exercised enough. And trust me, Flipflop is exercised a lot, he just has the odd day where he’s crazy and needs more of an outlet.
A few minutes after his time out, he took off on me again, and started barking. “What now!” I mumbled to Dahlia, who was still just calmly walking behind me. When I got a better view of what had Flipflop in a tizzy this time, my heart jumped to my throat.
There must have been about a dozen cattle in the park. They, much like the horse and goats, were just grazing in the fields, but they were not behind a secure fence. The only thing I can think of is a nearby rancher must have left their gate open in error.
Flipflop was wild, he would not listen to me and if I got close he would just run away. He ran around the cattle making sure he took the time to bark at all of them as he ran around. The cows started mooing, I leashed Dahlia and tied her to a tree for her safety, away from the cattle and her brother.
I entered the heard, hoping with all my might I didn’t scare the cattle and they didn’t decide to hoof me and trample Flipflop. They were so beautiful and peaceful, and although seemed interested in Flipflop, weren’t particularly scared of him or me. I talked to them (because I talk to all animals) and apologized for Flipflop.
After 5 minutes of Flipflop ignoring me and continuing to be a jerk, I gave up. I went back to Dahlia and untied her. I yelled “bye Flipflop” and Dahlia and I started walking back down the trail. Usually when Flipflop sees me give up and walk away, he comes running, it’s like it’s all fun and games until he loses mom’s attention. But today my plan backfired. He’d never seen cattle before, and this was too exciting for him.
So back up the trail Dahlia and I went, because as angry as Flipflop can make me, I would never abandon him! When Dahlia and I went back to where Flipflop was running around the cattle, the cattle must have heard something, and all of a sudden they started running. They started running up a hill and to, I assume, their ranch. Flipflop got even more excited, they cattle were now moving prey! I kept calling Flipflop to me and before long he was back down with me, but wouldn’t come close enough for me to leash him. He still wanted to play his game.
Fortunately, the “cattle run” tired him out out, and within a minute of playing “stay away” he was on the ground rolling in the grass. I leashed him immediately. Another time out.
This one was a longer time out, we were going home! I walked him down the trail, on leash a while, pass the horse and goats and basically until we were only a few minutes from the car.
I then let him off his leash again, as he was tired and honestly he’s usually not this bad! I thought for sure he got his fill of being a “jack”. Dahlia was off leash as well, but again, she just likes to putter and is never a worry for me, sweet girl.
It was less than a minute of being off leash that Flipflop jumped a fence to meet a dog that was having fun in its yard………He’s NEVER done that before. As he ran and played with the dog, I again ended up tying up Dahlia so I could retrieve him. Once again, Flipflop did not have his listening ears on, but as the dog ran over to me and then noticed Dahlia on the other side of the fence, Flipflop laid down……it’s tiring being bad! So I was able to leash him up.
And this time his time out did not end. After our hike, I drove to the nearby boat launch, so the dogs could cool down in the water, Flipflop was not allowed off his leash, I tired Dahlia’s leash to his to give him more freedom, and of course Dahlia was a good lady off her leash.
And now we are home and Flipflop is full of hugs and kisses for his momma. He is such a naughty boy some days, but he is so loved and he knows it!