In the spring of the year, I’m always a bit nervous of letting my dogs, Emma and Ruby, out into the backyard in the early hours of dawn. I like to wait a little longer until more of the neighbours are up and around. Why? Because this is the time of year when we sometimes have visitors in the yard. Black bears have wandered through here several times over the years, and two weeks ago a raccoon was wrestling with my birdfeeder at 1:30 a.m. Cougar sightings are also the topic of conversation from time to time. Although I’ve never seen one in our yard, I’ve heard reports of them being very close by.
So this morning when my usually quiet Emma barked, I ran to see what was up. She seemed afraid to go near the fence and as she backed up, she did her “I’m not afraid of you” bark. But her tail told the tale. She was afraid.
She was barking at something in the same place where, a few years ago, I had called one of our previous spaniels away from a black bear who was sitting just on the other side of the fence.
I hurried to call both dogs into the house and then went out to investigate.
Later, I made her pose for this picture, but she still kept her eye on the fence.
I scanned the woods on the other side of the fenceline, looking for raccoons, cougars, or black bears, and then I saw it. Sure enough it was a big black….
At first I thought it was a tent, but on looking more closely, I assumed it must be a load of firewood, covered with a black tarp.
Emma still isn’t convinced that it won’t do her harm.