Stormy pauses for every scent of another dog's pee, but Na'ilah keeps her eyes on the tree tops in case there's a squirrel.
We move into the street as we see two Chihuahua-mixes on the sidewalk. My dogs pass politely, barely noticing them, but the smaller dogs might be afraid of Na'ilah, so I give them space.
On the other side of the street two fluffy white Bichon frises are being walked, but neither Stormy nor Na'ilah gives them more than a glance.
My dogs have their CGC degrees. They know I will give them half a mini-biscuit for a polite meet-and-greet.
After we're back on the sidewalk, however, Na'ilah lunges into the middle of the street after a squirrel on the ground that I haven't noticed. With her 80 pounds, she could pull me over easily if I'm not alert.
Do I restrain her and follow into the street as I rein her in on the retractable leash? Or drop it and let her go for the squirrel to protect myself?
Today I followed, reining her in successfully. Last week I dropped the new $30 leash, but its mechanism inside the plastic case got damaged. I don't want to buy a new one.
The squirrel makes it to a tree. Na'ilah tries to follow it up. She's sure that if she tries hard enough, she can learn to climb trees.
It's been two years since she killed one cat and nearly killed another. She hasn't sunk her teeth into a wild animal since last summer when we were in Colorado.
This is life with a ridgeback rescue. Her strong prey drive just doesn't diminish.