Thursday, November 21, 2013

Paddington the Brave

One of the reasons we bought Wyvern Oaks was because of the miles of trails right out our back gate. Unfortunately, I didn't feel 100% comfortable taking Echo out on those trails without a buddy, so I haven't gotten much trail ride time in the last 6 months. But Paddington has tons of trail miles under his belt, and I trust him, despite only having owned him for a month. I never realized how much I missed the freedom of just being able to head out for a quick, relaxing ride, but man, it's awesome.

Crappy blurry picture taken about 30 seconds before things got exciting.

The other night, Fuzzypony and I were riding on the trails to the big arena, which takes about 20 minutes to get to. Paddy was walking on the buckle with Taran behind him, when all of the sudden two full-sized Great Danes came careening around a curve of the trail. They slid to a stop practically under Paddy's nose, snapping, lunging, and barking at him. My heart stopped and I clutched the reins, expecting Paddy to spin and bolt for home. With two huge dogs about to attack us, it certainly seemed like a good idea to me!

Instead, Paddington stopped dead and eyed the dogs suspiciously. I considered hopping off in case he decided to leave, but decided that if the dogs made good on their threat to attack, the safest place I could be was on Paddy's back. I took the opportunity to yell in my meanest voice, "NO! NO! BAD DOGS! BAD DOGS!" in hopes that would keep them back long enough for their owners would show up. Did I mention the dogs were off leash and had no recall? Yeah, that was awesome.

What seemed like a million years later but was probably only about three seconds, the dog's owners appeared and grabbed their dogs. Y'all, those Danes were HUGE, and they growled and barked the WHOLE TIME. I apologized for yelling at their dogs, they apologized for their dogs. Paddington stood until I asked him to move on, tense but obedient. I told him what a good man he was and how brave he was, and he carried on like he faced down dogs like that every day.

We've ranted about this a million times, so I'll make it a million and one. If your dogs have sucky recall, DO NOT LET THEM OFF LEASH. What if they went after a jogger, or a child? I get it, the Danes may have been in "attack" mode because they'd never seen a horse before, but even if I had been on foot, I would have been SUPER intimidated by a 150-lb bouncing, barking off-leash dog. And I'm a dog person!

We scored the jackpot with Paddington. He's cute, awesome and brave, and I owe him.

Payment should be rendered in cookies. Lots and lots of cookies.

27 comments:

  1. YEAH PADDYBEAR!! He is so cool.

    Cuna always let the loose dogs run up while he stood still with his head down. They're get within about 10 feet and go "OH SHIT THAT'S A BIG DOG" and then bark from a safe distance. I swear he was smirking.

    But I really, really hate when I'm walking my dogs and loose, unmanageable giant dogs come careening up to my poor, leashed beagle while the owner helplessly yells "they're friendly" from a half mile away.

    Hello knothead. Mine is not.

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    1. I don't think dogs really bother Paddy, but these things were HUGE and for all intents and purposes, ready to have him for dinner. I am surprised that he stood his ground.

      Loose, ill-behaved dogs just suck, and so do their owners. Gr.

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  2. I will now refer to him as "brave sir paddington"

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    1. But he didn't bravely run away... ?

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  3. I hate some dog owners. Usually the same people who are irresponsible for children.

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    1. I am sure they didn't expect to encounter horses out on the trails. Still, off-leash dogs should have impeccable manners, imho.

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  4. Look at that adoreableness! His face says "why yes, I'd love some cookies now please." I also imagine he has a slightly English accent, just because haha. Yay Paddy! :)

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    1. I think he probably does have an English accent, because he's just that cute. Maybe I'll have to try a post in Paddy's voice!

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  5. How freaking awesome is that? If he can face down two barking Danes, think of how he will handle bears or Vikings or Big Cats or Dark Elves . . . good to know you have a safe, brave horse to carry you safely.

    Ashke would have gone after the dogs. He is NOT a dog horse.

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    1. I sort of wish Paddy had gone after the dogs... maybe it would have taught the owners a lesson?

      Also, if we meet any Vikings [ahem Eric from True Blood ahem] then I am totally up for that. ;)

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  6. Replies
    1. It is ridiculously cute, isn't it?

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  7. *Swoon* I can haz Haffie NOW?! Because I'm smitten. I'll HAVE to get one one day. What an AWESOME guy!

    And TOTALLY agree with you on idiot people with their idiot dogs. -_-

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    1. Liz, you definitely need a Haffie. Perhaps even two of them, so you'll have a whole. And then everyone will want to steal them. Ask me how I know...

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  8. When I come across someone with a loose dog that is threatening my horse I tell them that if their dog spooks my horse they have to pay my hospital bills and vet bills. That pisses me off so bad!! Some people just have no idea how dangerous a spooked horse can be or how dangerous a dog in prey mode can be. Ugh! I'm glad it all worked out okay. :)

    P.S. The mare I grew up riding was awesome about chasing dogs. Every dog in the neighborhood was terrified of us lol. Well except for one dog, but he was a sweetheart and I wanted to take him home so I let him follow us. He always went home though. :)

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    1. I try to be nice about loose dogs, because these people are my neighbors. However, I may need to take more drastic measures as you said. It's really not acceptable to have a dog threatening someone!

      Alas, I think Paddy is too cute to chase a dog. Red, on the other hand, might consider it!

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  9. What a good boy!! I think that says a lot about him... not only because he's ok with crazy dogs, but just good in crazy situations. Hope you fed him lots of cookies!

    Lilly wouldn't have been such a good pony... she has no use for dogs and if they ran up to her like that, I have no doubt she would have turned around and given each of them a hoof.

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    1. Alas, he only got diet cookies (alfalfa cubes). We're working on his, er, generous figure!

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  10. OMG! I want Paddington! Not only is he ridiculously cute, he's smart. What more could you ask for?!?!

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    1. Paddington currently has a long waiting list of people looking to steal him. I'm afraid you'll have to take a number! ;)

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  11. That face. If he lived with me he would be very quickly obese from the amount of cookies I would stuff in his face.

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    1. I know, it's a constant struggle for me too! This is why I have gone to feeding small alfalfa cubes as treats. They're cheap, healthy, and they don't spoil in the heat (unlike carrots). Nobody here has complained yet!

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    2. Cash says the trick is to feed ALL the carrots at once, and then they don't spoil. Might be worth trying...

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    3. I think that trick only works if you feed all the carrots to CASH. Otherwise we'd have an obese Haffie on our hands.

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  12. That would seriously scare the crap out of me. Good thing Paddy is a cool dude.

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