I can’t remember what we were doing that day. All I can remember for sure is that the colors seemed incredibly intense in the summer heat, and that it was just Tilly and I and our pack of oddly assorted dogs.
We’d just trot off a hill and had fallen into single file right next to the fence, and I feel like we had been in a hurry.
I can’t remember what we were talking about, but all of a sudden terrible howling, squalling noises erupted from the black and white airborne form that was Tilly’s Border Collie dog.
Her dog was on the other side of the barbed wire fence and her body was flipping up in the air and all the while she was screaming in a completely non-animal way. Or a very animal way, if you’ve ever been around an animal in pain.
At first I thought she was loosing in a very sore manner to something that was very pissed off, like a badger attached to her nose, and then I realized her front paw was caught in a trap. We jumped off our horses, snagged our way through the fence and shoved our way past the rest of the now very concerned pack of dogs milling around their friend.
“If you can hold her, I’ll try and get this off.” I said. I was stronger than Tilly, plus her dog never really liked me.
Tilly latched onto her dog’s collar and as soon as my fingertips touched the trap holding her paw she tried to bite me.
I yanked my hand back, cursing under my breath while Tilly wrestled with her dog and got her head locked down, effectively cutting off her air and ability to bite me, I hoped.
The trap attached to her paw thankfully had no teeth and on the first try I couldn’t get it open. Second try and she was free, skulking through the sagebrush like WE were the ones who had hurt her, not rescued her.
I patted Tilly on the back when her dog continued to run around just fine, no limping or broken bones. We climbed back through the fence and as soon as Tilly’s butt hit the saddle, her horse bucked straight up in the air, very neatly and very hard, about 4 or 5 times. Which her horse very rarely did.
“Ride ‘em, Tilly!!” I hollered in what I hoped what was an encouraging yell.
And like that it was over.
Reins fixed, chinks settled into back place and we trotted off.
It’s always funny to me how short wrecks or blowups of any kind really are. A seemingly still and calm scene is briefly thrown into the sharp relief of colors, sounds and smells and then all is still yet again. And life continues on.
Kind of funny, isn’t it?
xo xo Liz