Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Bear Market - Part 1 (CAMPING STORY Summer Rerun!)

(Inspired by a post about dog peculiarities.)

No one loves their dogs more than I love mine but, the reality is, JoJo, our Border Collile/McNab, is only incensed about people breathing or moving when she's wide awake. At that time, she's all guard dog and barks faithfully at all our friends. But when she's asleep and no friends are around, all bets are off.

I once called her to give her a hug goodnight. The rest of the inmates here at the asylum had already bunked down. No Jojo. I called again. Nothing. I searched from room to room and called outside, up and down the street. MIA. I shook the over-sized bed bugs out of their sheets and mounted a posse. I didn't want to panic alone. Flip flops were employed. Car engines started. Frantic hollering commenced. No Jo. In one final moment before complete bedlam prevailed, my son, the Wild Man, threw his covers around looking for his coat. There was Jo, tucked in, eyes rolled back in her head, sound asleep, and oblivious. She lifted heavy lids and peered out just long enough to say, "HeLLO. I was warm. Could you knock it off and put the blanket back?"

It was just this type of edge-of-your-seat, sound-the-alarm guarding that allowed a mother bear, and her two cubs, to grocery shop in our car one night while we were camping.

I don't know about you but I think most moms sleep with one ear open from the minute the doctor says, "It's a girl! Or a boy! Or this shouldn't be such a hard call!" Dads, on the other hand, tend to only wake up in the middle of the night when you, sleep deprived and weary from nursing the baby, roll over and latch that baby on to HIS chest. If you haven't tried this, you should. Thus, my now normal sleep state is to hear dust collecting on the furniture.

And when you are camping in the black of night, in the middle of the forest, and you hear a "thunk" in your sleep, even though neither of your two watch-less dogs perk up an ear, and your husband snores on in near comatose disregard, you trust your gut.

"Grizzly.....did you hear that?"

Now, I have to tell you that Grizzly may sleep like the dead but the moment there is an opportunity to use flashlights, guns, knives, bazookas, or inter-gallactic missiles, he is awake. Immediately. And armed.

"What'd you hear?!" he immediately interrogated.

"Well, I don't know but I just thought I heard a "thunk" outside, by the car," I stated cautiously as he seared my retinas with his flashlight. Now he was ripping open the zipper on the tent.

"Robynn, stay where you are," he ordered, staring through the door flap. "There are bears in the car."

It would seem relevant, at this point, for you to know the dogs still weren't barking and were, in fact, snoring right beside the kids.

Now the statement, "There are bears in the car" is not a sentence I had ever considered forming or hearing. So I had never presupposed my response. I did, however, immediately know it did not include staying where I was. I don't tend to run away from things that scare me anyway; I run toward them because being scared just makes me spitting mad. And I had children to protect.

And Cheetos. And Hostess Ding Dongs.

What I wasn't prepared for was what I saw next.......

To Be Continued......

Copyright 2009


  1. Yikes!! YOu didn't really run towards the tent did you????

  2. Oh my! suspense in the deep woods! We all wait with great expectation for the next installment!


  3. Looking forward to the sequel Robynn!
    Nothing like camping and bears!! I grew up camping at least twice each summer since I was a baby. Mom & dad started me out ( I was the oldest of 5 ) camping when I was 6 months old.
    As we all grew and 7 of us slept in a tent together my sister and I had our sleeping bags next to each other against back wall ( me right at the wall ). I was not uncommon for the nightly bear tours...every single camping trip a bear walked right along side the tent rubbing it's furry body up against the tent wall! Dad being the Boy Scout he was ( he had been a Scout Master ) - had a pulley system he hiked up the coolers of food up in a branch that the bears could not even get to each night.Years and years later mom and dad's camping trips minus all of us grown kids...had my dad video taping a bear inside the neighbors car at the campground they were at...bear went in one window, sniffed around and came out the other.. SO DON'T leave your windows open camping.

  4. Oh ha ha ha! "There is a bear in the car..." Too funny...from my safe spot sitting at my computer desk waaaay over here.

  5. Oh! Boy! something to look forward too! Can't wait!

  6. Let me guess - the bears changed all of your radio presets? I hate when that happens!

  7. At the edge of my seat!!! While laughing my face off!