I was leaving my light blue house with my dog Luna (a mix between an Old English Sheepdog and a standard poodle) to go into the Paine Open Space that has been there as long as I can remember, which has been my whole life. My sister Syd and I would take, both Luna and Walle, into the Paine Space countless times over the summer, where we would teach Luna how to do agility( she’s a natural as she can jump over our old, crumbling, stone wall where my dad’s barbecue, The Big Green Egg lives, and a patio table that we don’t use that often that is covered in liken) in this area that dead fallen trees that still have a bunch of long pointy branches that if they are thin enough can break them off with a loud Snap! Walle, when he comes with us, stays on the trail, or sometimes he comes up and off of the trail for some of the low lying fallen trees or sometimes he finds his own way, his red leash dragging on the leafy ground.
I texted my dad “I’m taking Luna for a walk.”
“Okay. I’ll be home soon.”
I found Luna’s blue harness that we had gotten a couple of weeks previously as Luna would pull on the leash and wasn’t a very good girl on walks and for when my mom would take Luna to Amber’s cross country races. I got Luna into her harness, which is not as simple as it sounds as I had to calm Luna down and Walle was excited and kept on running into Luna and I., In the end, I finally had Luna in her harness and put my phone in the pocket of my leggings.
I walked down my cracked cement driveway, my dogs’ toys littered the green grass. An empty bees nest hung on a nearby tree that had these red, pointy fruit that Walle loved to eat. I soon passed the area that Luna has been scared of when she was a puppy when she didn’t know that her electrical color wasn’t one. It took a lot of convincing to get her across and now she has no problem getting across, she’s a champ, likewise. I quickly went onto the trail, that I knew was going to get me to a little island on one of the many ponds. I regularly go into the Paine Space most often during the warm, summer months and then when the slight transition between Summer and Fall begins to take place. It might have been later or around that time when the leaves are changing colors from the lush summer green to the gala apple red and then that gold apple yellow and when the summer air began to change from welcoming to crisp, like snow is around the corner, at the end of November transitioning to early December air and the air felt like spring was around the corner when I took Luna for a walk.
Soon, I came to one of the many intersections that were on the many trails. I stayed straight, allowing nature to drag me in, like bear diving into hibernation. Soon, there was this tiny downhill, that once when it was wet and rainy I had brought my dogs out and I was holding onto one of their leashes and Luna went straight down quickly as I tried to regain my footing as I was going to fall. I met a guy on this path we said “Hi” and Luna was barking and being a scaredy-cat and then Luna gathered up the confidence to walk up to the man running and allowed him to pet her (she doesn’t like tall guys or in fact any man no matter how many times they come over. It’s really funny when my grandpa comes over to visit us which is quite often as they live five minutes away from us.)
As I was about to go down that hill, a fox, a musky red and brown fox, came leaping out from the side of the trail, ran across the rocky trail in front of me and the ran up onto a big grey, mossy rock that was hidden with the trees in the surrounding area. Luna did not seem to notice which I was quite happy about because she would have been pulling her heart out trying to see what had run across the trail and barking as if she wanted us to get her a toy from an area that her electric fence didn’t allow her to. I felt it’s black, beady eyes staring at me as I turned around, my voice quivering as I said” Luna, come.” and pulled on her leash.
I started to run, my adrenaline made me look behind me one more time as I didn’t want the fox to be following me. Luna was running, pacing herself to match my speed as she is a really fast runner when she is playing fetch and chasing cars up and down our driveway and when cars go down our road, and when she is outside with us waiting for the bus, barking at squirrels, that always seemed to get away from her. And if a squirrel wasn’t on a tree and Luna was outside and if the squirrel didn’t run away in time would be dead. (One time Luna found a rabbit, dead, or alive, we weren’t sure, Luna was as proud of the rabbit as a little kid eating their lollipop). Soon after running past a couple of intersections, I turned left and returned to where the big sign that was old and didn’t have the .more recent trials on it. Soon after that, I was home in my bed still a little freaked out.