This excellent demonstration is presented by Wyoming Untrapped. The lessons apply in all the Western states. The presenter is Dave Pauli, Senior Advisor Wildlife Response & Policy at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
She has two Labradors: Odie plump, chunky,80 pounds, so blond he’s almost white, and Phoenix who is female and chocolate. Odie is passively aggressive, lunking along at his own pace, balking the more she nags him to get going. If I pet him, he jumps all over me, spraying enthusiastic drool. He gets all the attention; Phoenix is more of a shadow.
She, Debbie, is a large rangy woman, with long legs and a fit, muscular aspect. She has an assertive pony tail bobbing as she declaims. She walks bare-headed and she wears bold colors I can spot at a distance: a bright yellow hoodie or a white Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. Her boots are knee-high suede Ecco pull-ons; I knew to expect her appearance by the Ecco logo imprinted in dust or snow.
Our paths crossed often enough so that we began a dialog. We didn’t hike together. We’d chat on the trail, then move on. Oddly, we always seemed to be going opposite directions whenever we met, thus obviating the need to walk together; we both wanted a comfortable distance.
She had just come from California and was renting a house on the outer row of the subdivision,so the walking trails were right around the corner for her. She was aware of me as I frequently drove past her house, located on a cul de sac that provides access to the open fields, usually with my dogs barking their brains out.
She told her story forcefully,without invitation or preamble, repeating her favorite points over and over again, storming and gesticulating in so muscular a fashion that I frequently took defensive steps backward, seeking escape.
Nevertheless, I was always glad to meet her. The trail is very long and very silent; here was a welcome diversion. And I identified with her rage and pain; so like my rage and pain the first 13 years in Nevada.
Also, we both spent our walk time in prayer, prayer and contemplation for me these days; prayer and rage in her case.Her husband of 25 years had dumped her. He owed her money and he damn well could afford it but she’d never get it. She had an abominable job at the Amazon warehouse with a reprehensible boss.
Eventually I didn’t see her any more so she may have moved on. In writing this, I realize how little I involved myself with anyone else. I may have given her groceries at some point, but I am cloudy on that.
November 8, 2011 Email : I have been asked to send a detailed account of the time my dog was caught in a coyote/bobcat or something trap.
We were hiking on one of the OHV roads about mile or so from the end of Johnson Road. The dog was off leash but mostly staying within 50 feet of the road, just running around sniffing and enjoying himself doggie style.
As we came over a rise, I heard a horrible yelping and screaming coming from the dog. I ran to where he was, and saw he had his paw in a trap. The trap was within 30 feet of the road, less than a mile from a subdivision of houses and was baited with a small white scented piece of rag. I covered the dog with a coat and released him from the trap. He limped for a week or so, but was OK. On observing the area, I found four more traps, all baited, and all within 30 feet of the OHV road.
The only excuse for putting traps in that location is pure laziness and complete lack of consideration for any other users of that land.
Spring 2009 Told in person
I was hiking with friends in Pleasant Valley approx. 2 years ago. My dog Stella usually checks in with me every 90 seconds, but now she was missing. Two other dogs with us heard her whining and led us to her. She was under a tree and caught in a huge trap set in the roots — probably a mountain lion trap.
She was caught by the back foot. I couldn’t open the trap, so my friend called her husband who came with a car and a hacksaw.
We finally opened the trap. Stella was lucky as the vet told us later. Although all the hair was scraped off her ankle, no bones were broken.She limped for a few days after, now can run again. But the trauma will cause arthritis later in life.
My friend was furious. This was not far from a residential neighborhood. The traps (there were others) were covered with leaves and skunk scent. She wrote a Letter to the Editor warning the public.
“Keep your dog on a leash” is unrealistic. We all hike with our dogs.