Monday, May 4, 2015

Bear and the Cocker Spaniel

I wrote this on the date below after jogging with our dog Bear. He walked up to the house one day in 1990 and just stayed.


December 29, 1993

Bear, our dog, has character that a human should be proud to possess. He is part German Shepherd, I think, tall, yet skinny. 

This isn't Bear, but he looked similar.
Yesterday I went running at about 9 a.m. He went with me. We ran about three and one half miles, a loop that is almost one mile on each side. The block we live on. 

He usually goes with me. He likes to run up to fences where dogs are and bark at them, but he doesn't like to fight, and he doesn't like to hurt little dogs. He doesn't back down easily when big dogs come at him, but he avoids them if they are loose.

There are four legs (lengths of road) on this run we go on. We went East first, less than half a mile on Avenue 104, then south for about a mile on Old Stagecoach Road, then west for a mile on Avenue 96, and then north for the last mile on Road 264 back home.

On the second leg about a third of the distance there is a fenced yard with a giant dog and a little dog. Bear always runs the length of the fence at full speed barking, and the dogs bark back. They run at each other and bark like they want to tear each other apart. Even before the big dog was there bear would tear out after the little dog, but one day the little dog got out. Bear didn't even bite at him.

About another third of a mile down this road are two more little dogs. They came running out and barked at bear. The hair on his back lifted a little, but he ignored them and trotted next to me.

At the end of that second leg there is another fenced yard with some big dogs. Bear ran at them too, barking. On the third leg there are more dogs, medium size and little ones. Bear just trots along and lets them bark.

At the beginning of the last leg two dogs came out. They haven't been loose before. One was a small blonde cocker spaniel, and the second was a bigger dog, maybe a part Boston bulldog. The bull ran at bear and bit at him. Bear turned and fought. The bull backed off, and bear turned to trot by my side. The bull came at him again and bit bear on the behind. Bear turned and started chasing the bull and bit him sharply on the back, then let go and trotted with me. The Boston bull chased again, but when Bear turned to face him, he backed off and went home.

The cocker spaniel who had been barking all the time must have thought that he chased Bear off because he kept following, barking. Bear ignored him like he does all the little dogs, but the cocker got closer and nipped bear on the behind. Bear just speeded up and kept in front of him. The cocker believed that he had Bear on the run, I think, and ran up and tried to nip Bear again. Bear looked back and saw him coming and speeded up.

By now we were almost a quarter mile down this leg in front of the house with three whitish grey dogs that look like German Shepherds mixed with wolves. They look mean and Bear used to stay with me when we went by this house, but he decided it wasn't worth the bother because they always come out and fight, so he started running out into a field and then in a large loop to avoid the dogs.

There's one big one that always attacks Bear. If Bear stays and fights then the other three jump in and bite him too. There's a red Irish Setter who also comes out and jumps in when Bear is trying to fight off the big one. So bear usually takes off at
the corner about a quarter mile in front of that house and runs out into the field and makes a huge circle around the house, runs through an orange orchard and meets me on the road almost a quarter mile past the house. The dogs don't run up that far, because then they will be there one at a time and Bear can handle that.

Well, that little blonde cocker spaniel had made Bear forget about this house, and he was just trotting along beside me, looking back at the cocker keeping him a little behind him. The cocker was feeling like he just drove bear a quarter mile away from his corner house, I guess, because when he heard those big dogs start to bark he turned and ran at them like he was going to drive them away too.

By now Bear and I were about a hundred feet passed the house, free from the big dogs attacking Bear. The little cocker ran up to them, barking, and the big one turned him over and started biting. The other dogs ran up. 

It looked like they were going to kill him quickly, but Bear started back. I couldn't believe he would go back to help that little dog who had been annoying him for three or four minutes, and I was sure he wasn't going to help the big dogs. 

The hair on his back stood up, and he ran full speed up to within ten feet and suddenly stopped, realizing what he was doing. He turned back away, and started back toward me, then turned back hearing the yelps of the little cocker. He hesitated for an instant, and then ran close around, trying to draw them off the little dog, but they didn't pay any attention. 
This isn't Bear either. He wandered up like Bear.

He made another pass and bit the big dog in the back of the neck. The big dog let go and ran after bear, but saw who it was and didn't chase. The little dog ran home as fast as he could, and Bear followed him a ways, looking back at the German Shepherds, warning them not to follow the little dog, then he made a big loop across the street, around the dogs, out into the field,  and caught up to me, walking proud as could be.

He didn't want to fight any of them. He loves to bark at dogs penned up, but doesn't like to fight. The little Boston bull dog bothered him, so he bit him and stopped him, but the little cocker was only an annoyance so he humored him, but when the little cocker was in trouble Bear ran to the rescue, hesitated, but went ahead knowing that he could get hurt by those big German Shepherds, but wanting to help the little dog. 

Aug 8, 2000

Bear was killed a couple of years ago while we were jogging. He ran into an orange orchard and came out full speed, chasing a rabbit across the street. He was hit by a car.

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