this is a bear
this is not a bear
A post from an old friend brought back what I thought was an amusing tale. He had heard my story about the worst advice I had ever received and his recollection of a similar incident jogged my memory. I had been wondering where the worst advice story came from and it probably found it's roots in the following story.
Jim and I had gone for a backpacking trip into the wilds of Wells Gray Provincial Park and I had brought along my trusty dog "Tess". Now Tess was trusty in terms of you could trust her to eat whatever wasn't tied down. She was also a very good companion and would warn you when bears were around. Her warning signs were usually a hasty retreat or to squeeze in between your legs in the mistaken belief that you had some magical power over bears.
Anyhow, Jim, Tess and I were camped on the banks of the Murtle River and were enjoying life immensely. Fish were rising to the fly, bacon was cooking in the skillet and cold beers were getting colder in the fast running mountain water. We would fish hard through the day and then retire to our little pup tent alongside the river to catch some much needed sleep.
Tess figured, that since it was called a pup tent, that she should sleep inside and would curl up on top of my sleeping bag as there really wasn't a lot of room to spare. The first morning, about 4:30 or so, with the daylight just thinking about creeping into the valley, Tess had got up to go out for a patrol around the tent.
I must have been awoken by her movements and in those foggy moments of wakening, I looked out to see a dark form on all fours walking beside the tent.
"BEAR!" I yelled with enthusiasm - Jim, who had been peacefully dreaming about fishing, bolted upright with the speed that one would expect from an Olympic athlete. At that point I realized it was only Tess, just said "Nope, dog." and immediately went back to sleep. Poor Jim's heart must've developed an arrhythmia of considerable proportions because he couldn't get back to sleep no matter how much he would try.
I have received considerable ribbing from that day forward mainly about my inability to distinguish between the not so dangerous Golden Retriever and the more aggressive Grizzly Bear. We never did see a bear that trip but it has always been referred to as "Frank's bear trip"