Patti Soldavini

Buffet For a Bear

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/14/2012 at 9:19 am

"Just doing my job."

At about 10pm the other night, I summoned Olive downstairs so we could make our last bio-trip outdoors. I hear the melodic tinkling of the five metal tags on her collar approaching. Standing in front of the sliding glass doors, I silently debate whether I want to let her out into her mostly dark pen alone or put on my shoes and jacket and leash her up to go outside. As fate would have it, those split seconds meant the difference between encountering a bear face-to-face in our driveway or in our backyard. As I tap the garage door opener and it begins to open, Olive shoots outside with explosive force, her flexi-leash unspooling like a fisherman casting his line. Except of course, most fisherman don’t have an impetuous 70-pound lure at the end of their line. As I’m being pulled into the driveway, Olive is straining at the end of her leash, barking and howling as though she’s just identified the Wolfman on her property. And she has. I glance to my right, and behind her pen, above the railroad tie retaining wall, I see a giant black object. While my brain doesn’t immediately process “bear,” I know by its immense size and color that that’s the only thing it can be. Standing in the driveway, we are about 25-feet from an adult black bear. Or at least a nice-sized teenager. Admittedly, I panic and start yanking on the leash with my bare hands pulling Olive toward me as fast as I can. I race back into the garage with her, pound the electric garage door opener, enter the house and slam the door, praying that the damn door shuts in time. I call my neighbors to tell them there’s a bear in my yard who seems to be just…sitting there. As they call our other neighbors, I call the Police who graciously come out with a huge light to chase “Yogi” away. Now I see what the bear was preoccupied with…my garbage…which is now strewn across the lawn. The first and only time I left a garbage bag out in the driveway next to the overstuffed trash can. And the last time. In the bear’s mind, he has just stumbled onto a buffet and he’s going to enjoy it even if he has to listen to a dog “yell” at him. Meanwhile, my bear-chasing dog is inside running around the house like her pants are on fire. Her long sustained woo-woo-woo howls run into each other until they sound like one long half-crazed siren. Even during an unexpected event like this, she can make me laugh. The bear, on all fours, lumbers across the rest of the property, disappearing into the night. The Police leave. I turn to Olive and say, “I’ll be right back Olive. I think I have to change my pants.” Olive looks over at me and says: “Good thing we weren’t part of the buffet.”

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  1. I am relieved that you are both safe. Tall person reminded me that Caucasian Shepherds were originally bred to guard livestock from bears and wolves. I haven’t seen either in my neighborhood so perhaps I’m doing a good job.

  2. Oh my word. You always have me in stitches! I would have had a stroke seeing a bear in my yard.

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