Every morning around daybreak, Lilly (our Great Pyrenees) and I take our walk
. This exercise is as much for me as it is for her, because the trip home is all up hill for about 1/3 of a mile… a real heart-pumper.
At the end of our 1/3mi. drive is where we keep our trash bins because the garbage trucks can’t navigate our ‘hill’ (mountain) in the winter. Anyway, it keeps the trash away from the house, which means this also helps to keep the bears away from the house (most of the time).
This past spring was the first time in years that the bears stayed away from our trash. I was mildly insulted thinking that maybe our garbage wasn’t good enough for them any more, but a local ranger told me that our wet spring meant that there was plenty of food available and no reason to bother the neighbors. This was the first time in years that I did not need to hook up my electric fence around the trash area.
The bears have no table manners, so the way to tell that they are raiding the trash is obvious… our garbage bins will be tossed about and all the non-edible items will be spread over 1-2 acres. This brings me back to our early morning walk yesterday. When Lilly and I reached the base of the hill the telltale signs of a late night bear raid were everywhere.
Lilly picked up the smell of bear (or maybe it was garbage), but she assumed her aggressive-protector role and began to snort and sniff everywhere. She continued to sniff, snort, bark and pace while ‘ol dad righted the trash bins and cleaned up a week’s worth of smelly trash.
I feel better now knowing that the bears still like my garbage, and the semi-annual game of keeping the bears away is now on. The hot wire went live yesterday afternoon and during this morning’s walk Lilly and I saw no bear signs. As the official protector of the trash, I won round two.