After running and feeding the puppies this morning, I grabbed a container, hopped on my Quad, called Bet and headed off into the woods to do some berry picking. Bet happily roared out of the yard beside me looking forward to a good run. She was rather puzzled when I stopped after a short distance and started walking into the woods.
She stood on the trail staring at me for a long time before realizing I was fixing to stay put for a bit and drifting over to the general vicinity I was picking blueberries in. She sniffed the ground for a bit but was clearly confused by what I found so interesting on the forest floor. I explained that her job while I was out in the woods was to do 'bear patrol'. She gave me a shocked look and suggested that the 'contract' she had agreed to come live with us under didn't mention bears. "Running with puppies and holding down dog beds" seemed to be all she could remember. I told her that 'bear patrol' fell under the "and various other tasks" clause.
She was disgusted and was muttering about 'small print' and 'signing contracts without consulting a lawyer' while wandering around in the woods.
I picked like I normally do early in the season - pick for a bit in one spot, then move to another. That works well when the berries aren't all ripe and gives me a good feel for where the good patches will be in a few more weeks.
Bet and I worked a few patches and were finding more blueberries then I thought I was going to find, when I noticed her rolling around on the ground. I headed over to see what she had found. FRESH BEAR SCAT - which was now smeared all over the side of her face and caked on the white part of her neck. She was very proud of herself for pointing out the fresh bear signs, after all wasn't that her job??? I suggested that she stay downwind of me. She rolled her eyes and insisted I was impossible to please.
We finished up picking and headed back to the house for lunch. I raced Bet the last bit into the yard to make sure she didn't dash into the house through the 'cat door' and threw her in the bathtub. Much to her dismay, I scrubbed her face, her ears, her neck and all the rest of her body THREE TIMES before setting her free.
Mark and I had lunch. Bet joined me on a trip into Perryvale for a mail and I did a few other tasks around the house before decided to head out and do a bit more berry picking. I decided to leave Bet home this time, as she was still damp from her bath.
As I headed out the door, Bet shot me a glance as she readjusted her position on the Cloud. I could swear the look and matching smirk said "Watch out for bears".