That’s no dog on the deck!
At first glance it looked like a neighbour’s dog had come for a morning visit. We soon discovered the animal was much more impressive!
What’s sleeping on the deck?
A thump and a bang on the back deck aroused us from our summer sleep at about 5:30 in the morning.
As usual, my father was the first to investigate the scene. All cottagers know there is a wide variety of possible reactions to unannounced early-morning visitors. Fortunately, Dad has a good danger radar and his instinctive moves normally result in an appropriate response to the situation.
We don’t keep a gun at the lake so Dad grabbed the next best thing, his camera.
As he approached the disturbance and peered out through the door window, I heard a familiar sound – the sigh of relief mixed with disappointment. It was just a big black dog sitting on the back deck – or so he thought.
Several of our neighbours have pets and this one must have wandered off during the night and decided to find a familiar spot to sleep.
Angry that he had gotten up for nothing, Dad took a picture with the idea of politely letting the owners know they should keep their pet tied up over night. He then planned to head back to bed.
But that’s not what happened.
The sleeping dog decided to move and Dad suddenly decided he wasn’t tired any more.
It wasn’t one of the neighbours’ dogs, it was a big black bear!
I arrived about this time and the two of us watched in awe as our visitor lumbered off the deck and slowly headed back into the woods. We then noticed the bear was missing its front right paw.
Dad took a few more pictures – this time to show his friends back home – and then decided he was still sleepy after all and went back to bed.
I though it best to put on a pot of coffee and watch to see if “3-paw” decided to double back. Fortunately, he continued on his merry way.
Bears are common in cottage country and they can be dangerous in some situations. Check out our bear tips page to get all the information you need to avoid a bear encounter.
You can also find tips on what to do if you happen to find yourself face to face with one of these wonders of nature.
A black bear comes for brunch is the story of our editor’s last encounter with a bear at his cabin.