The Pain of Loss
Most of you who read my stories know that I am not a blogger for such as a blogger is.Instead I write stories about my life in Alaska. Not stories that I make up, but real life stories of every day adventures and the life that we live here in Alaska.Some folks question where I come up with this stuff and if I have checked out the sources.Well, there are no sources, just my life adventures. You can choose to believe my stories or not, that is certainly up to you.No, I can not spell very well and I can not type worth a snot, but I do manage to get the job done with these two fingers. This is one of those stories that I would just as soon not write, but it has hurt me and my friends next door very badly, and I guess I just need to try to blow off some steam to someone. You are it!
Today started at 02:30 AM.My friends next door have three of the greatest kids that I have ever known. I have watched them grow up and they have considered us to be old Grampa Bubba and Gramma Lin.The family have two carillian ?? bear dogs that they raised from puppies. One is Dolly and the other is Striker, her three year old pup.Those two dogs have chased the big brown bears out of our yards many times over the last few years.I have written old stories: Bad Boy Grizzly, Here We Go Again, etc. in old posts about the problems we have had with the brown bears.Our town has had many bear problems again this year. Three weeks ago the police had to kill a 1200 pound, 10 feet brown bear down town. Also, there is another giant bear ripping up stuff behind the hospital and knocking over fences, as we speak.The fact is, we have far too many bears here on the Kenai Peninsula. The local Fish&Game officials have failed miserably to control the bear population.I am in the process of going to war with those greenie officials to get them to reduce the population of bears before they kill or hurt anyone else.Our moose herds are almost wiped out due to wolves and those starving bears.This is the time of year that the salmon are gone from the Kenai River. The frosty nights have destroyed the remaining berry crops and the bears are out trying to find something to eat before they hibernate for the winter.This is the time the big brown bears come into our subdivision 4 miles up river from town.We live just across the road from the Kenai Wilderness Reserve, which is stocked full of those hungry bears.Since we live with the bears, we always try to keep our yards free of garbage or anything the bears might want to eat.I even have an electric fence at the bottom of my stairs to keep the bears off of my porch.Otherwise I will have big nose-smears on my sliding glass doors in my kitchen.Dealing with those bears is just one of the things we do if we are going to live in a wild place like this. We certainly don't have a grudge against those bears. Actually we kind of like to see them wandering around the yard once in a while.What I'm saying is we have learned to co-exist fairly well over the years.However, once in a while we do have bad experiences with them. Today was one of days to have a bad conflict with them.Early this morning two very large bears came up from the brushy river bottoms and entered my neighbors yard.The two dogs came out of the "doggy door" and made an attempt to herd them back out of the yard.These are the same two dogs that I watched stand between a cow moose with two little calves, and a brown bear who was trying to kill them.They fought the bear for hours until the moose left the safety of the yard. Then the bear killed the cow and one of the calves.These two dogs have done many very heroic deeds to protect the kids and the property from the bears.Today Dolly and Striker once again tried to protect the yard from the bears. I don't know what actually happened, but Striker never came back up the hill. It looked like they had cornered him in the heavy brush and killed him. Then they carried him off into the dense brush and probably ate him.I understand that my neighbor noticed that Dolly had been barking an aggressive bark, and then she began to bark like she was afraid. I'm sure she had watched the bears kill her pup, and carry him off into the brush.We looked for several hours in the brush until it was just too dangerous to proceed farther into the tangled willows.After we gave up searching, we returned to their house to find all three kids waiting to see if we had found Striker.When they saw that we did not have Striker, the look on their faces broke my heart.They had counted on us to bring him back and we had failed them.It was hard to tell them that Striker had died trying to protect them.It will take a long time for them to cope with the loss of their dog.I'm having a hard time of it myself.George"Bubba"Hunt, walking "The Wilderness Trail".