The dogs and I were just out for our morning walk around the North Orchard trail, and naturally the corgis had run on ahead while Murphy, the Labrador, and I came lumping along behind. There was some rustling and crashing in the thick undergrowth where we never brush hog any more because we’re letting the forest come back up there between us and the road, and I started to worry the corgis were messing with another groundhog, so when I reached the hairpin bend in the trail, I yelled, “Corgis! Corgis!” And both dogs come back around the next bend, and about 20 feet from them in the deep brush behind the raspberries, up comes a big old black head and shoulders. The dogs were mighty surprised, and Medwards offered to advance, so I started hissing powerfully and the dogs came back to me, and then me and all three of them lit out for the other side of the hill as fast as we could get through the brush.
I have no illusion that that bear meant us harm—the subsequent crashing indicated that he was running for the road while we were running away from him, and I hope he did not run out in traffic without looking, but years of Scottish terriers makes me think it advisable to put the largest possible space between your dogs and your wildlife.
So. I think we can dispense with the second cup of coffee today.
Thanks to yosemitehikes.com for the image. Now just picture that fellow chest deep in berry bushes.