Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Bear in My Backyard

It isn't that bears are common around here, but there have been a few instances of black bears heading into civilization in the last few years. One was struck by a car as it attempted to cross I-40 a couple years ago, and one seen about 5 miles from here as people came out of church a month later. This year there was an attack by a black bear in the Smokies earlier in the spring.

DH and I were sitting in our dining room finishing up lunch one day when I started as I took a look out the window. There was a bear in the yard behind us, lumbering towards the tree that borders both lots. Oh my gosh! Oops, not a bear, but a really big shaggy black dog. Whew, that made me feel better.

As the weeks have gone by, I realize the big black dog only appears with people. Turns out his name is Shadow and he is 11 years old and is part Lab and they think part Newfoundland. I still haven't ruled out the bear connection. His lumbering gait is due to hip dysplasia.

Last week, Shadow again made a move towards our lot - and I have to tell you I really HATE dogs that leave deposits on our lawn. Not to fear, Shadow's dad was heading him off at the pass.
I've been assured by Shadow's owners that he is friendly dog and they do not let him mess lawns other than theirs and it appears they don't even let him do that as they are there to clean up behind him. Such a change from our last dog-owning neighbor!

All in all things are pretty quiet here. When we first moved in, the big thing was to sit on the porch or deck and watch the grass grow. Unfortunately, most of that turned out to be crabgrass. Now we are looking for signs that it really is being killed off - grass and crabgrass in preparation for the re-seeding. That appears to go just as slowly! At least the weather has cooled slightly with nights cooling into the upper 50's with highs during the day around 80. I have to say I love it!

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