Posted by Joanchek on Saturday, February 7, 2009
Last week, I was walking the pup in the side yard of the house. I noticed tracks in the snow--something big with paws that made a big swipe mark in the loose snow covering the old snow-pack. We have always known that a black bear lives in the neighborhood; I figured that since it was a relatively warmish sunny day, she woke up and took a stroll before settling down to end her winter sleep. No alarm; just something to be aware of. The pup did plenty of sniffing and wasn't too keen on staying in the area, so we moved to the back lot and she settled right down.
This morning, I was headed to the grocery store and Mr was off to buy corn at the farm supply, so I leashed up Cricket for a quick walk before I put her in her crate for a nap. I opened the door, she stuck her head out to leave the house and she froze. She did not want to go outside. Now, I knew she had some business to attend to; she hadn't been out in 3 hours or so. I coaxed her through the door and she parked her backside on the top step and refused to move. She was sniffing the air intently, and she was visibly upset. She wasn't shaking, but she was definitely nervous, and I could not talk her into taking the three steps down into the yard. It just wasn't gonna happen. And I knew that forcing her down would just upset her more. If I walked out into the yard to call her, she would become more agitated, giving odd little whines and backing up on the landing. Something was out there that alarmed her and she didn't want me out in the yard. We came back inside, Mr left for the Agway. I waited about 45 minutes, took her back out and she rather reluctantly (but without force from me) took a quick constitutional as close to the house as she could allow herself. She raced back to the door, settled into her den for a nap and I went to the grocery.
While Mr was out, he stopped at his favorite local coffee shop to say hi to his buddies. Our neighbor Doug stopped in. Mr told Doug that I had seen bear tracks, and to keep an eye out. Doug was concerned. "That wasn't a bear, " he said. "The last two days I've seen bobcat tracks all over the place, and one set led right up to my mom's front door."
Lesson for today: trust thousands of years of instinct. Good girl, Cricket!
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