Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Bear Won

I got a call this morning from my nearest neighbor.  His dog, an 18 month old lab/pit cross, had to be euthanized yesterday after he came home badly injured by a very large animal, most likely a bear.  He had been out roaming the woods with another neighbors dog, also a lab mix.

I am very sorry for the dog and for his owner, who is a very caring, sincere person who has no clue about the nature of dogs.  I feel awful about it and at the same time, I just want to grab both of these guys and shake the hell out them and ask them what the hell they thought was going to happen!  The black dog has been roaming the countryside chasing deer, harassing livestock, threatening people and generally making a nuisance of himself for years.  When I saw the other dog join up with him, I knew there was going to be trouble one day. 

I have had several conversations about the problem with both owners as have nearly every property owner in the area along with the sheriff's office and animal control.  These dogs went after my donkeys last year.  No one got hurt, but it was a near thing.  I had another long talk with the owners at the time and I had the one guy bring his young dog over.  He really wasn't a bad dog, but he was powerful, agile and totally out of control.  His owner was absolutely powerless against his own dog.  I finally took over and, every time that dog lunged at a donkey, I did my best to put the fear of God into him.  He got it.  Not exactly my training method of choice, but it was very clear that it was either that or buy a gun for the next time the dog came around.   I did convince the owner to get some training lessons and, to give him credit, he did it and I haven't had any more trouble with that dog chasing my animals.  It didn't stop the dogs from roaming the countryside wreaking havoc everywhere else they went though.

When the owner called this morning to tell me what happened and warn me about a dangerous animal loose I the woods, I was appalled, but not surprised.  This was opening day of deer season, the normally empty woods are crawling with hunters both skilled and inept.  I always feel intruded on by all these men with guns traipsing about, how must the Bears and Cougars feel?  I can just picture these obnoxious, pushy dogs chasing down and harassing an already angry bear and also picture just how it would react, swiping out and taking the lower jaw of the one dog clear off.

I don't normally worry much about the lions and tigers and bears out in the woods.  I stay out of their space and they they return the favor.  I  am not thrilled by the idea of a riled up, pissed off bear wandering around out there trying to avoid all the hunters.  I might have to find somewhere else to go hiking for a while.

The whole thing has been bugging me all day.  I really am sorry for the lose of what could have been a very nice dog.  At the same time, there is a small, mean part of me that wishes the bear had taken out both dogs and solved this mess once and for all since their owners won't do it.  I know, it's awful.  It makes me feel awful.  I want to offer my condolences and dope slap these people all at the same time.  Instead, all I can do is rant about I on my blog.

And I guess I'm done ranting, now it all just makes me feel tired.  

How about some puppy cuteness to make the world better?  You can be damn sure that this dog won't ever be out roaming around unsupervised and picking fights with bears!


  1. Ooohh my goodness that photo of him peeking around the door...

  2. The whole "live free or die" philosophy of some dog owners is maddening. Cities have their bad Pit Bull owners and rural areas have this guy. My friend in rural Sand Diego County has a really nice neighbor - a family whose dogs are "guard" dogs but run the hills killing neighbor's pets who are on their own property.

    There are lots of lucky dogs however! That little love muffin of yours will grow up safe and sound.

  3. You just don't need clueless neighbors messing with your tranquility. Sorry for the dog, but its always the owners who are the real problem.
    In the 1960's I was blessed with a beautiful "red" German Shepherd, with a fabulous pedigree. He came from Northern California, sheep country. He and some other dogs got to harassing sheep, and the only one that the sheepman could identify was the beautiful "red" Shepherd. It was either re-home the dog, or risk it being shot. I did not personally know the owners, so I don't know anymore than this about the situation. Their loss, my gain.

  4. Well said. And, that puppy cuteness is what I'll hang onto all day... not irresponsible dog owners.

    Cherish the goodness around you.

  5. What a cutie he is. That last picture is my favorite, I've had a few days where I wish I could bury my head because I was just so tired­čśë

  6. Why is is that some people don't understand that dogs/pets are family/children? They have to be taught right from wrong, disciplined & cared for properly, and given boundaries? I feel more for the dog than I do for the owner. Poor thing just didn't have the proper education.
    Just looking at Connor the Cutest is the perfect answer to what ever ails you!

  7. It is always the dog's owners who are at fault! There are crazy idiots living right around us that I would like to, as you said, shake the hell out of! Those two part pit bulls that came running at me a while back have now killed a small dog that belonged to a couple at the end of the road. The dog's owners have put their two dogs on chains out back. Your sweet puppy can surely cheer you up. He is so precious!

  8. Sounds like quite a problem all around. Why do people that live in the country think they can let their dogs run??

  9. Connor is just so endearing! He's going to be a blast to watch grow up!
    Regarding the dog who was injured - it certainly could have been a bear but given that Saturday was opening day of gun season (and just the dog's history) I'd guess that someone tried to put an end to his predatory ways and missed a clean shot. So sad he had to suffer because of his owner. At least he made it home rather than die slowly of injuries that he couldn't travel from.

    1. That was one of the first things that I thought of. I'm really surprised that someone hasn't shot this dog already, I've heard people talking about it. However, the other dog was taken to Cornell and the vets there are the ones who say it must have been either a bear or mountain lion. Those are the only things that could have left such large claw injuries. The black dog was also injured, he had claw wounds on his hip, but is not injured severely. It could have been a lion, they have been spotted in the area, but they are rare and elusive. I know there is a bear in the area though as I have seen his tracks and scat. He is making the rounds of the local bird feeders. I too am glad the dog got home and didn't suffer any more. I do worry a bit that the bear might have been injured by a hunter and could still be wandering around. An injured, angry bear is not something I want to run into.

    2. Ah. Well, then. With additional claw type injuries that changes the scenario. Eeesh. Be careful out there. Bears are occasionally seen around us but knock wood none have caused problems thus far. I would think that our corn cribs would be kind of a canary-in-the-coalmine warning device.

  10. you saw it coming. chances are the surviving dog will met similar fate, by mauling or bullet. and it IS such a shame and sad. unfair for the dogs as they just do what they can...not knowing any better. really shame is they did not listen to you and your helpful warnings. but not surprised. well, you have your baby who loves mama's shoes...focus on that and your happy family. you cannot save the ones who do not wish to be saved. but bless you for trying!

  11. That puppy cuteness has a +10 factor. Gun Deer Season starts on Saturday morning. For 9 days I stay out of the woods and like you dislike the clueless inept hunters that are out there. The DNR boss lady stopped in to look at my mules this summer and asked if I was careful of the neighbors during the deer season.
    I said I was.
    She issued 13 citations last year on that place alone.
    As for dogs running?
    I have no tolerance for dogs on the run. It is irresponsible. My once new neighbors let their dog run.
    He nearly met his fate with our mules.
    So since they were clueless with the first dog, the got a puppy.
    They can't figure out how to get him to the vet to get him neutered. He too is a nice dog, but once the collars battery dies, off they go together looking for trouble.
    Not everyone in the country lets their dogs run. Most are responsible owners.
    Alas those who do end up losing their dogs.
    I feel for the dogs and not the owners....
    I could go on and on....

  12. PS...with your permission...I'd like to link to this blog while doing my own blog on dogs on the loose...

  13. An American in TokyoNovember 18, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Some dog owners are terrible. To think they put that dog's life in danger by allowing it to roam around! What a sad story. These kinds of people should not be allowed ot own pets.

    Your puppy pictures are too cute!! I hope Connor stays small for a little while so we all can enjoy his cuteness!! I also love the picture with the three amigos!!

  14. Awww . . . I see you saved the best for last! ♥

    Too bad those dogs have/had the misfortune of ignorant owners. :-(

  15. Two cliches that I like are: You can't fix stupid. and Common Sense isn't all that Common.
    Sheepmom and I were thinking the same thing---I'm glad the poor dog made it home instead of dying a slow death out in the woods. I hate that any idiot can own and animal. It's been going on since the beginning of time, but it still makes me cringe.
    The last picture is priceless and sweet and happy.

  16. They wouldn't have lasted long in our area - farmers shoot loose dogs. I had a neighbor who let her pug wander all over God's Green Acre and it wandered in with my sheep and llama. I was just able to rescue it before the llama stomped it to death. As I returned her unchastened doglet to her, I said that the next time I would look the other way (I wouldn't, but she didn't know that). I never saw the dog loose again. What an adorable puppy!!!

  17. Love the pictures of your pup! Did you have a good time with Sara and Tim? They sure loved meeting you and Farm Buddy.