It’s been a long time since it came into my mind to write this post. However I would say it was worth waiting! During my mountain trips I’ve been “meeting” lots of these wonderful creatures, each of which is unique in its own way.
Some of the dogs might be quite “verbal” as they show a strong instinct of defending their territory. It’s normal, it happens in the city as well but in the mountain areas it is noticed even more. In fact if I could get 10 Euro for each dog that barked at me while in the mountains I could get a small fortune that might help me finance my next 10-20 trips!
Once I even got attacked by shepherd dogs. They were four and quite big! With the camera in one hand and with a long stick in the other I got a hard time keeping them away from me while advancing on the path to my destination. My heart pounded like a high-speed train and even now I wonder how I managed to escape without even a small scratch (ironically the only times when I got bitten by dogs was in the city – and it was only one dog each time). Well, that happens when you go alone on an adventure and no one’s nearby, right? Next time I should be more cautious!
However most of the mountain dogs are very friendly (isn’t the dog the human’s best friend?) and playful. They can even walk with you the whole trip as it happened here: https://callofnatureblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/an-unforgetable-trip/. They might be so playful that one’s clothes quickly get smashed and dirty. But this is not a big deal, they’re still cute. And many of them really like to get photographed!
Last but not least, as you will notice in the below pictures, some of the mountain dogs (especially the strong ones responsible for guarding the sheep) have a small horizontal stick hanged on their neck. In Romanian we call this “jujeu”. It has been used since “ancient” times and serves a simple purpose: when the dog tries to run, its front legs are hit by this stick and it will have to slow down. Some might find this cruel but the reason is as objective as it can be: some shepherd dogs might hunt and kill the forrest fauna (like deers and rabbits) and making them wear this accessory is meant to prevent this.
I’ll now let you enjoy the pictures 🙂