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 Bouvs & Bears
 Blue & Musqua
by Laine Ray


Excerpted from: bouvier@yahoogroups.com
Friday, July 20, 2001

Blue had spent much of her life in wilderness area and got along with most animals - even the feral cats. We caught her on quite a few occasions herding together the chickens, the cats and the deer that liked to gather on the lawn and they obliged her. But she didn't like bears, which we had a lot of in the area. Late one fall, hunters came in to the are and shot a female bear and one of her twin cubs. Somehow the other twin evaded them. He was so small and incapable of feeding and looking after himself. After a very short time, he was just skin and bone and very weak. It was time to intervene. We called the wildlife people and were told the best thing to do for him would be to shoot him. I just couldn't do it so I started putting food down for him to follow to get closer to the house. (Yes, I can hear the arguments about interfering with nature/wildlife etc., etc. but I had no intention of turning him into a pet, just to help the little guy survive until he grew up some and was big and healthy enough to look after himself.) Blue wasn't sure about what she should make of this little animal. It smelled like a bear and looked like a bear but it was sooo small. Still, it must be a bear but since he was so small she would just ignore him. With that, she plopped herself down and started making her little grunts that she would make when she wasn't too happy with a situation. When she started her grunting, the little guy came over and plopped down beside her. She was so shocked, I thought she would run. Instead, she just stayed there and let him stay cuddled up beside her. When we brought out the food we had made up for him, she gave him a nudge to wake him up so that he could eat. This went on for a few days with Blue not leaving his side for very long.

One morning I woke up to a terrible racket. There was thumping over the roof and Blue barking like crazy. I went outside and there was Blue, trying to jump up the pole which was right beside the house. I looked up and the baby bear was on the roof! He would go down a few feet, hang his head over the edge and look in the window, go down a few feet more and look in the window again. He did this until he came to the kitchen window. He saw what he was looking for and took off over the roof, back down the pole and around to the back door. He was looking for his breakfast and wasn't tall enough, even standing on his hind legs, to see in the window.

Blue was nattering at him the whole time - until my husband came out with breakfast for both of them. To make a real long story a little shorter, it was just the first of many Blue and Musqua (baby bear) adventures over the ensuing months.

Blue and Musqua stayed friendly, with Blue always looking out for him even when he got quite a bit bigger than her. We never took him in, etc. as we wanted him to be able to survive in the wild on his own, which he eventually did. It was a very interesting winter and spring to say the least. You should have seen us trying to teach him how to catch the spawned out salmon! Blue had to help too of course!

A second bouv/bear story: Kodiak (my oldest) is afraid of nothing. He even is affronted by having to stop for trains when out walking - thinks that all should give way to him (yes I know, not a good thing but I like his positive attitude and he doesn't get the opportunity to be hurt by it). Our daily hikes are taken in a 1000 acre wooded park just outside of town. On two occasions in the last year, Kodiak has stopped dead in his tracks, stared into the thick trees off to the side of the path and uttered the deepest, meanest growl that I have ever heard out of him. After blocking my way down the path a couple of times, he turned back toward the way we had just come and started off running. He stopped, turned around, came and gave me a push while at the same time woofing at Bailey. I clipped both of them to their leashes and as soon as I did, he took off running (running for me - fast trot for him). He didn't stop until we were back to the car, whereupon he wanted to continue our hike off in another direction. Silly-bean Bailey thought it was a game and wanted to do it again. Was it a bear? I thought so but wasn't real sure. The second time it happened though, I heard rustling in the brush and was a lot more sure.


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