The Bear and the Pomeranian: A Fish Story?

If you are going to show up for coffee at seven on Saturday morning-- especially a dark, stormy November Saturday morning perfect for sleeping in-- then you better be cheerful and have something interesting to say. That's why I like Don Nash. There's a a gale blowing up  Lynn Canal so the guys are waiting to leave on his boat for deer hunting until it dies down, they hope tonight-- But since they are all packed up, they might as well drink coffee, eat oatmeal and discuss this week's Chilkat Valley News in my kitchen at the crack of dawn. Don looked at the picture in the paper of the dead bear someone left in the river, and shook his head. We all did. We agreed that bear-human encounters have been way up this year and that's not good.  On the plus side, Don said he heard a great bear story the other day. He said a fellow fisherman's wife's little dog "a Pomeranian or Peek-a-poo, or some such little fluffy thing" was out in the yard at night. "At least I think it was night, it might have been day, but night makes more sense." When the owners heard it yapping like crazy, and the fisherman ran out in time to see a brown bear grab the pup in its jaws and run off. "Being the kind of guy he is, he got a gun and took off after it," Don said. He ran across the street and through the neighbor's yard, but didn't catch the bear, or see the dog. On the way back home (or maybe he was still searching,  Don wasn't sure, this was his story now, and that detail wasn't all that important to the conclusion) anyway,  Don said the fisherman stumbled on a freshly dug hole, covered with dirt and sticks. It looked like the kind bears make to cache food. So he reached in and felt what was left of his dog, and kept digging. He figured at least they could give the poor pup a proper burial. "But guess what? The little dog wasn't dead," Don said. "It was whimpering." So the fisherman gently carried the injured pet home, nursed him through the night, "at least I think it was night," Don said, and flew him to the vet in Juneau at first light.  "It sounds like the little guy will be okay, how about that?" Don said, reaching for the coffee pot. 


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