The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Gardening Chores

It’s late summer. It’s been very hot, and not very much splashy wet stuff has been coming down from the sky. That doesn’t mean much to the green things growing in Kay’s and Elizabeth’s gardens though. Elizabeth drags a long snakey thing from garden to garden every morning. It’s full of splashy wet stuff that Elizabeth can command at will to squirt from one end. Sometimes she squirts it at me. I don’t like that very much, but sometimes I like to surprise Elizabeth by pouncing at the splash as it hits the ground near my feet. Elizabeth seems to really enjoy that game a lot.

Sometimes I pounce on the long snakey thing when Elizabeth is dragging it from one garden to the next. She doesn’t like that game nearly as much, although I think it’s far more fun than her sport.

I really don’t understand two-leggers, sometimes.

The other morning, Elizabeth was busy splashing the green stuff in the garden. Unlike me, it really likes to get splashed – just soaks it all up! I, on the other hand, was maintaining a discrete distance. I’d found a nice spot that the morning sun hadn’t discovered yet. It was still cool with dew. Anyone regarding the scene would have thought, “How bucolic (I love that word. Elizabeth suggested it. Doesn’t it sound… perfect?). Look at the big fluffy white dog asleep in the shade while its mistress tends the garden!”

I wasn’t asleep. This is the Boreal Forest, my friends, and danger is always lurking. I always have at least one ear open and a nostril twitching. Two-leggers seldom notice this though, until my senses alert me to something amiss, and I spring into action! I am like lightning!

And while Elizabeth, totally unaware of the danger just meters away (I’ll say it again… I don’t know how they’ve managed to survive as a species!), I’m ripping down the hill, toenails ripping the turf behind me.

Elizabeth says she heard me coming back up the hill through the woods beside her. She said she thought I was making a lot more noise than usual. In a moment she realised I was making too much noise. And… I wasn’t barking. She watched the hydro line to see what emerged. What on earth was I chasing?

But she didn’t stop splashing the garden….

This is the bear I was chasing, when he came to wish Elizabeth happy birthday earlier this year. He isn’t much bigger than me, really.

Suddenly, the crashing stopped as we erupted from the underbrush onto the grassy right-of-way. I was nearly on top of the bear at that point. Then we were into the woods on the other side. The bear began making a sort of hissing cough as we rushed up the hill toward the old gravel pathway. I let it go and ran down to the trees where I had found it eating up my two-leggers’ strange tasting red fruit. I ran back and forth, then down to the end of the bay. I had the feeling that there was another bear somewhere near, but I couldn’t find it.

Later that day, Elizabeth and I went for our walk. We got up to where the old gravel path meets my two-leggers’ grass-centered gravel path and I had to grin a doggy grin. I could still smell that bear. He’d run by this spot and all the way down the path to the big gravel path. And I felt really proud of my morning’s efforts. I could tell I’d scared that bear excrementally. The evidence lay in fruit pitted dollops all the way down the hill!


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