Since the black bear came to visit a few days ago, I’ve been very nervous about letting the dogs out in the backyard. They’re always inside during those early dawn hours and at dusk anyway, but now even more so, until I hear that the bear has been taken away or enough time has gone by that either the bear or I have died of old age.
But dogs like to be outside when the weather is fine, so I peeked out to check if the coast was clear.
First thing I saw was this deer. Oh, no! I thought. How did it get in? When did I leave the gate open? Or did it jump over the lower gate at the back of the property? Is my garden eaten? Are the fruit trees stripped? I was about to go open a gate and try to shoo the deer out when I noticed the mesh of the fence was on my side of the deer. He was in the neighbours’ yard. What a relief that was.
The deer was quite used to people and didn’t run when I came close, talking softly to it. When it left, I let the dogs out. I figured there was no bear around today, since this is almost the very spot where the bear was the other day, and if the deer was here, the bear was not. I felt a little bit ashamed for being such a nervous coward when a defenseless deer was brave enough to walk the same ground as the bear.
As it turned out, the dogs were not outside very long before Emma started that fear-filled barking again, this time looking towards the other side of the property where the bear would also have access. Today we’re all hiding in the house. I’m normally quite brave about scary things – all except for spiders and bears.