Sunday, September 14, 2014

So, We Have A Bear

Moving up here we knew there were bears. We also knew there was one at the north side of our property.

They are SUPPOSED to stay away from where people are. At least up here.

In fact, in all the years of owning Jasmine's ranch we never saw one (though our neighbor says he did) and we found bear piles only after we weren't there for some time.

So when Cookie raced off into the bush chasing after something, we figured it was a bird or some other small critter. Cookie likes to chase birds. She's particularly angry with the hawks hanging around, perhaps because she doesn't like the competition for her mice.

Sometimes both Cookie and JD would run into the bush barking and we never thought much of it. They always came back well and JD gets mad even at ducks.

Has something changed?

There were couple nights when the dogs got really upset and wanted to get out of the trailer to get at something ...  Few days ago, after a rainy night, on our morning walk we found bear prints right where we were working the day before. He must have been there early in the morning.

The guys didn't show any interest in the prints, for which we were thankful.

The next day we found a fresh bear pile in neighbour's front yard.

That day Cookie went chasing something in the bush, barking quite a lot.

Now, she has been known to bark at turtles and toads as well. And squirrels when they refused to get off the tree long enough, taunting her.

My gut was telling me otherwise, though.

Cookie came back and was fine and hubby said she was just chasing some birds again. Perhaps ...

The day after that we went for a morning walk and all was well. Just some birds to chase and a hawk to give heck to. Cookie really gets upset when he hangs around.

When we returned for another walk at noon, Cookie got very upset.

She ran into the bush and barked. When I called she came racing back, only to turn around and continue the chase after SOMETHING. It took quite a bit of barking before she was satisfied enough to come back.

As we continued on our way, I found a fresh pile right at the spot we walked in the morning. There was nothing there then.

"She scared the shit out of the bear," hubby joked.

My mood wasn't as light. I didn't like the bear just hanging around like that. And during the day. Until then we thought he might have come around at night only.

And I didn't like the idea Cookie chasing an animal so much larger than she is.

Fortunately, I found out that bears are typically scared of dogs and than even a small dog can chase a bear away, unless there are cubs involved.

That made me feel somewhat better.

Meanwhile, we have to figure out how to keep the bear from hanging around. It's not food or garbage, at least not on our property; we know better. But it seems that a bear can travel about 30km to a food source in one day. So if he found a source within 30km, we just might happen to be on the way.

When it seems he might be close around I do put Cookie on the leash. But otherwise, she is not a dog who can live tied up all the time.

So that is my dilemma. We just came from an evening walk--and it's not late yet--and both dogs were quite upset about something they were smelling.

Was it the bear?

I did report him hanging around our yards to the toll-free number specifically for this. They filed it and normally what they do is that they relocate the bear(s). But the person I was talking to on the phone was saying that it is probably too late in the year to do anything right now.

Related articles:
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Observation Skills Of Dogs  
If You Want Your Dog To Do Something, Teach It  
Tricks? It's Not Just About The Tricks 
What Constitutes The Perfect Dog?
Are Dog Training Classes Really For The Dogs?  
Look Where You Want To Go: Finding My Reactive Dog Training Zen Zone? 
Dog Training And Emotions 
Dog Training And Emotions: Postscript
Dogs Love Sentences In Question Form?
Not All Dog Trainers Were Created Equal Either 
A Thought On Separation Anxiety
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
About Freedom, Trust And Responsibility: A "Pilot Study"


  1. We have bears here, too. I am always wary when hiking with the dogs and we always have our bear bells on.

    New follower of your blog! Hope you'll come by and see us! Beautiful dog you have!

    1. Thank you, Shannon for visiting, commenting and following!

      Yeah, I'm getting quite tired of making all that noise ... thankfully, soon he'll go hibernating. And by spring the place will be more settled in so that might keep him away.

      Though did find a second pile at neighbour's yard and that place has been broken in for a long time. Neighbor isn't happy either.

  2. The first year in our house we had a bear (I saw it's eyes one night when I was moving the flashlight around). Scared the bajeebas out of me. Rodrigo and Sydney were little puppies. The bear moved on and never returned.

    1. There has always been a bear around here but never hung around where people do. So I don't know what has changed but it scares me too. When we go anywhere, I make so much noise that I even annoy myself with it, never mind the poor dogs. But I do my best making sure the bear knows we're coming so he can move; as the worst thing is startled/cornered bear.

      If he keeps hanging around so much, his days might be numbered. Both our neighbor and hubby are "polishing" their riffles.