It is a good thing I drive a hybrid vehicle, my car is powered by beer and alcohol, or I would not be able to afford as many trips into the bush as I like to take. Yesterday Sonja joined the Hammer and I as we hiked into the woods once more.
The forest was cool and the path muddy in places due to the much needed rain. It smelled like one of those green tree shaped air fresheners and green beer. The forest creatures were happy as a drugged up Disney animater.
Along the path the Hammer stopped ahead of us and let out a few little woofs and let us know with his body language something he did not like was ahead of us. Sonja, whose eyes are much better than mine, said, "It's a bear Beer. He's rolling around on the path up there." She pointed me to where a bear was rolling around in a big puddle. I fired a banger at the bear and he jumped from his muddy fun into the woods at a gallop. Bears can move like Guy Lafleur on viagra in a roomful of beauty queens when they are given reason to.
The Hammer, who I put on her leash while I fired the banger, nearly pulled me over when I shot at the bear. I gave her a massage and whispered, "Good girl," and other sweet nothing at alls into her ears. You never really know how your dog will react to forest creatures until they encounter them. The Hammer, like my last dog, looks to have the good sense to just let me know one is around rather than chasing after it. A superb bear dog will get behind the bear and nip at the bear's achilles tendons until the bear runs in fear. All animals know a torn achilles tendon results in starvation.
Back in the car on the way home we stopped to watch four groups of river rafters whoop through the whitewater in the river below the highway. Many other car loads of people joined us looking at the fun below as an excuse to stretch their legs and exercize their shutter fingers. As the rafters rolled by below the Hammer started woofing in the direction of the mountain rising above the highway across from where everybody was looking. I followed her gaze and saw nothing several times but the Hammer kept woofing. Sure enough I too spotted a black bear tearing berries from a bush several hundred feet up the steep slope. Alerting those around me to the bear's presence everybody turned their cameras on the bear. When the bear left the berry bush we saw she had a cub for company. They were a happy pair. Sonja and I are as happy with the Hammer for having such a keen nose for bears.
After the Hammer had been loaded back into the car a cute Italian tourist approached with her camera. She asked me, "Can you take my picture with your dog? He's so cute!" I told her, "We can try but the Hammer can be a little grouchy."
Sure enough the Hammer growled at her from the back seat. As the young Italian took her camera back from me I explained, "She regards the car as her dog house and sometimes she does not like visitors. Either that or you smell like a bear." It was probably the latter. Motherfucking Europeans do not bathe much.