Just the other day, we were out for a bike ride on a weekend day and saw a few strangers. I knew that running into strangers was a possibility on a sunny weekend day but I really wanted to see the wild Columbines.
As we came around one curve in the trail, we saw a family was just ahead of us on the trail coming toward us. Usually, if I see strangers from afar, I discreetly turn around because it can be too hard to coach Shyla through passing a group on a narrow trail.
Turning around wasn't an option without being very rude in this case because the people were so close. So, as Shyla hid in the forest, I stopped and explained that my dog was fearful and might not be able to pass them easily. I was preparing them to watch me encourage and cajole Shyla to get her past them.
The family was SO nice, offering to disappear off of the side of the trail if Shyla needed them to do that. I guess that Shyla sensed how kind they were because she suddenly emerged from hiding and walked toward me and the family. Then, she truly surprised me when she chose to meet each member of the family one by one. They petted her so gently and sweetly, and Shyla seemed to truly enjoy meeting them.
I smiled for the rest of the ride. I love when Shyla surprises me with her courage!