Sunday, August 21, 2011

CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE URSINE KIND

Out running with my dog, about a mile into a 6-miler, heard some scrambling and scrabbling in the woods ahead, pretty usual, probably a deer. Oops, nope..... a young bear in a tree, about 4 feet up. A little larger than my 50-pound dog, who set up her special "funny-looking animal alert" bark. I thought the bear would continue up the tree, but he jumped down and ran into the woods. My instincts made me dart my eyes around to see if there was a mama, but I didn't see one. Then, crash, scramble..... a bear is running out of the same spot, straight towards Journey and me. Is that Mama?? No, same youngster, but he's coming right at us. Journey was lunging, ready to give him the what-for, and I'm still looking for a mama, and thinking, he's not very old but he could kill my dog (or me, I guess) if he had a mind to, and how on earth do you break up a dog-and-bear fight, I guess you don't, you drop the leash and let your dog keep the bear off you, even at the expense of your dog.... amazing how many thoughts can run through your head in a fraction of a second. I yelled "NO!!!" at both Journey and the bear, and he veered off about 2 feet from Journey (maybe 6 feet from me) and dashed across the road into the woods. I'm left with my mouth still open from the "NO!!!" and still looking for a mama when out he runs again, maybe 50 feet away, back across to where he came from. Journey still wanted to give chase. Several cars were stopped. They all waited a respectable interval before going again, too..... no doubt, like me, wondering if there was another one nearby. The young'un seemed to be alone, though; probably a 2-yr-old in his first summer on his own.

Well, I always enjoy seeing a bear, but ordinarily I wouldn't choose to see one quite that close. Oddly, at the same time I was holding tight to the leash and shouting "NO!!!" I was also conscious of how beautifully black and shiny he was..... I would have liked to reach out and touch him.

Well, maybe not.

4 comments:

Angie said...

Holy Moly! My heart rate went up just reading this and I'm a very safe distance away. So glad there wasn't a mama bear anywhere around.

Ellie Hamilton said...

Yeah, I think I'll probably start carrying bear spray now... couldn't hurt.

fiberjoy said...

Horrors, that's too close for comfort! An Alaskan friend who loves scrambling mountains and doing runs such as Mt Marathon carries a high magnum pistol as well as bear spray with her when she runs and fishes. Bear spray would probably be sufficient against black bears.

Evie in WV said...

Scary. Too close for me. I've been noticing a lot of bear-sightings lately. Guess I'd better get some spray.