This is the story of our little toy poodle named Puppy and how she became known as Bear Bait.
In the year 1988 we purchased a camper van fully contained and we hit the road running.
Around the same time we bought the van, Puppy came into our lives. She turned out to be a super friendly dog and a ball of energy and attitude.
The family campgrounds was on a lake that was also used as a watering hole for cattle and wildlife.
Puppy, with her poodle cut pom poms created a spectacle when she joined with family hound dogs to chase cattle all the way to the F-Reservoir horizon.
One year we decided to skip the usual yours, mine and ours Thanksgiving festivities and simply run away for a while.
This turned into a nine day trek along Highway 101 from Bodega Bay CA to Mount Olympus in Washington State.
Turned out to be our favorite vacation ever. We stopped where ever we felt like stopping, parked along beaches, in rest-stops, parking lots and quiet back roads.
(And…discovered if we asked the park rangers nicely to drive through the campgrounds to see if we liked it…we could slip in the restrooms sneak a much needed *&^t, shave and shower in well under 15 minutes flat.
We spent a day or two in a beachfront cabin on the Quileute Native Reservation in LaPush, Washington State. Puppy chased every seagull and pelican within sight from horizon to another.
Still amazed an eagle didn’t just swoop her up.
Wrapped up Washington with a swing through Mount Olympus park.
W said he saw a bear cross the road way up ahead but we weren’t quick enough to see it ourselves. Disappointed.
Could have been a Grizzly bear. Large beasts – males can weigh as much as 800 lbs and stand upright 9 feet tall.
We parked at a small fresh water reservoir where we spied a maintenance path, and decided to take a nature walk.
Puppy was all over this walk. Under every bush, on top of every rock and log.
About 5 minutes into the trek we heard a huge crashing noise.
Stopped dead in tracks.
We look up at the towering sequoia trees on both sides of the path.
Each trunk had long, deep scars that each seemed to 10 feet long where some very big animal sharpened his claws.
Wayne reminded that he had seen a bear. Oh…
As we decided to back away slowly and get the H out of there, it occurred to us we had absolutely no defense.
We were the prey.
An interesting emotion. A life changing emotion.
Not a stick, not even a rock, nothing…except one little dog…we could throw at the bear for diversion.
Of course we instantly felt terribly guilty for this thought…but we would have thrown the dog to save ourselves.
Ever after that moment, Puppy was known as Bear Bait to remind us of the best Thanksgiving vacation of our lives.