So, we're out early in the morning in Yarra Bend Park, the shadows are long and lovely and Penny's off lead.
Penny freezes. She sees something. What could it be?
Our first reaction is delight. A kangaroo here, right in the suburbs.
Penny begins to run. Towards the kangaroo! Oh no, this is a disaster - either Penny or the kangaroo is going to suffer. Thank Dog for all those sessions rewarding her for a good 'come!' We shout. She heads back for her treat. (We always reward a 'come' in some way, usually with food.)
We'd better ring the wildlife protection people, because on the other side of that chain link fence is a busy freeway, and perhaps the kangaroo could leap that fence. We head off to find one of the many signs in the park with a phone number on it.
And then a black dog races past, intent on catching the kangaroo. The kangaroo and the dog disappear up a hill leading to the busy traffic, and I run off in pursuit while Human Number Two puts Penny on lead. I can't see where the dog and the kangaroo have gone.
By the time we walk down to where the kangaroo has disappeared, the owner of the black dog has run past us and found his dog. We never did find out whether he realised why his dog had taken off like a rocket. He puts the dog on lead and walks away.
Human Number Two is on hold for what seems an inordinate length of time, but learns from the recorded message what she should do if we find an echidna, a flying fox, a wombat, lorikeets, parakeets, wallabies, and, yes, a kangaroo. Finally she passes the message on to a human and we head off, hoping all will be well.
And we tell all the dog-owners we meet to take care. Dogs and kangaroos don't mix. Sometimes the dog suffers, sometimes the kangaroo. The funny thing is that we spend quite a lot of time in the mountains with Penny, but the only time we see kangaroos is in the city. She's never been close to one and for both their sakes, I hope she never is. Here's an old post about dogs and kangaroos.