Be Careful Who You Hike With

First of all, the title should be Be Careful with Whom You Hike, but I figured only English teachers would read the post if I did it that way.

An old bf asked me to go on a hike with him. I said yes a little too quickly.

Looking back, Bob (not his real name) didn’t always make the best choices on hikes.

The first time I realized this is when he let the 10 year old Dachshund off the leash and said, “Dogs need to run free.”

Sometimes that is okay, like in the green belt next to my house or at a dog park. But not after weeks of rain where the dog literally fell into a muddy ravine and couldn’t get out. By the time we saved him, all three of us were covered in mud.

The next time and with the same dog, we were hiking on the slopes of Mount Diablo , a state park on a mountain filled with wild animals. Again, BF unclipped the leash, and Wiener disappeared into the scrub brush.

“What are you doing?” I said. “He weighs eleven pounds! A coyote will eat him!”

“There aren’t any coyotes here,” BF said.

“Are you insane? Of course there are, and mountain lions, and bobcats, and . . .”

“He’ll catch up to us,“ BF said.

“No, I am not leaving this spot until we have the dog.”

“I guess the hike is over,” BF said.

“I guess the relationship is over,” I said.

With that, BF, in his shirtless glory, followed the dog’s path into the scrub brush. I stayed on the trail asking everyone passing by if they’d seen a wiener dog.

“You let him loose up here?” one guy said. “Good luck!”

A few minutes later, BF appeared, scratched and bleeding, but with my dog in his arms. We continued the hike, and I didn’t let BF hold the leash again.

A third time, we had the same dog with us and were working our way along some East Bay Regional Park trail when BF opened a gate and said, “Let’s go this way. It’s a short cut. “

I looked into the fenced area and saw a bull with horns.

“No!” I said. “Too dangerous.”

“Come on,” BF said. “He won’t hurt us.”

“I am from Iowa,” I said. “You don’t enter a fenced field with a bull in it, especially with a dog.”

“I’ll carry Wiener,” BF said.

“No,” I said. “No way.”

What is it with these Californians that they don’t know better than to challenge a bull? It reminds me of the time another guy leading a hike said, “We’re going to sit by the lake.”

It was pouring rain at Tahoe, and there was thunder.

“Go ahead,” I said. “I am not sitting by a lake in a thunderstorm.”

“Why not?” the guy asked. “What are you afraid of?”

“Uh, lightning,” I said. “I am from Iowa. You don’t sit by water in a thunderstorm.”

But I digress.

Back to the ex-BF.  He wore me out on the trails and almost killed my dog. But he did carry Wiener all the way back from a hike to Pebble Beach once when Wiener’s tired little legs gave out.

So I guess he’s not all bad.

But still . . .

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