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Old 12-07-2017, 03:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Dog Fetching Bear

On request of Xist, here's the story of my dog fetching a bear. It may ramble a bit.

The dog: Buddy was supposed to be a Pit Bull (from a PB rescue group that a friend of a friend was involved with), and I was only supposed to foster him for a week or two "otherwise he'll have to go to the (sob, sob) pound". Yeah, sure. That was six years ago last April. Turns out that he isn't a PB at all, but most likely something called a Plott Hound Plott Dog Breed Information, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts - Dogtime or a mix with a lot of PH characteristics, one of which is that they were bred for hunting bears (among other things).

The bears: The population hereabouts seems to have boomed this year. I hike/bike/ride horses in the mountains a lot, and might or might not encounter one bear, rarely two, a year. This year it's been 7 so far. (And friends have seen similar numbers.)

The country: northeastern California, where the Sierra turns from mountains to big hills. Fairly open second-growth pine forest, with lots of old logging roads to ride on.

The story: So my friend and I were out riding our horses, me with Buddy, she with her two dogs, along one of those old logging roads. As usual, the dogs are roaming through the woods to the side, her dogs fairly close, Buddy farther out. Suddenly we hear a "Wuff" and some barking off to the left. Take a look, and there's a bear with the dogs barking at it. I get the bear spray out, we yell a bit, the bear runs off to the left, and the dogs come back.

We keep on down the road for a bit, the dogs start roaming again, Buddy getting way out as usual. Road curves to the left, we go around it to a long (1/4 mile?) straight, at the end of which I see Buddy running lickety-split towards us. followed by the bear. Not one of my happier moments :-)

So Buddy and the bear keep running towards us until they're about 60-70 ft away. The dogs circle the bear, barking. My friend's horse panics, bucks her off, and runs off down the road. Mine starts to follow. Somehow - I still don't know how I did it, 'cause I'm not that good a rider (but he's a real good horse) - I manage to get him stopped, turned around, and moved up beside my friend on the ground. I even managed to hold on to the bear spray. We're both yelling at the dogs, so between us, the dogs, and the horse the bear must have had enough and loped off.

We managed to keep the dogs from following, and (after checking for wounded dogs and heaving a few sighs of relief that everyone's ok) figure we have to go look for the runaway horse. But just as we're ready to go, she comes cautiously back around the curve with this really apologetic look on her face, checking to see whether we've been eaten or not :-)

So that's how my dog fetched me a bear.

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Old 12-08-2017, 06:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great story!

We have a Korrelian Bear Dog that failed Bear Dog School, so your experience has been something I worry about every time we take him hiking!! He's a great dog, but he is not afraid of anything or anyone.

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