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Later that day we stop to rest on the driftwood piled up between the beach and where the river snakes up towards the glacier. Eating a snack we notice a bear off in the distance, on the mud flats, running our way. She is by herself, and there arenít any other bears in sight, but she is hauling ass across the flats! She has a bounce to her step, and the way she hops up high on her front legs reminds me of my dog Audrey who would kick her front legs up in excitement before going on a walk. When the running bear gets closer we realize itís Dots!
She runs up to the river and perched on the driftwood we have a perfect view. She dips her head down and takes a long drink. Then she runs into the water, splashing around as playfully as she ran across the flats. She pulls a log up from the water and starts juggling it in her paws while floating on her back. She chews on the log, throws it around, and is having a great time with this toy. Diving into the water she pops up like a cork with a long, thick piece of dark green kelp. Holding one end of the kelp in her teeth she thrashes it back and forth with her mouth. Dots entertains herself for a good fifteen minutes tossing the kelp to and fro, whipping it across the water in her teeth or in her claws. She has that boundless exuberance for life that overflows from animals at play. When she gets tired of playing in the water she swims back to the shore. She shakes off the water in a full body shimmy, and then promptly takes off running. She sprints back across the mud flats towards the beach. We wonder if our earlier assessment of her running as a sign of frustration was incorrect because it appears that Dots just likes to run everywhere she goes! And we smile at the sight of this wet, blond bear racing across the beach, running for the sheer joy of fast movement.
© 2008 Jessica Teel