Aki has temporarily abandoned me for my fishing partner. She stayed with him when I drifted downriver to try another spot. When we hike with another human the little dog trots back and forth between people, urging us to close ranks. This morning I expect her to show up after I have made a few casts. When she doesn’t, I remember the pile of brown bear (grizzly) scat that I had to step over to reach this spot. We are in prime bear country. They are also here to fish for silver salmon.
Aki has bluffed down several black bears in the past but the larger brown bears can’t be bluffed. I quickly reel in my line and start back to where I last saw the little dog. She is not there. Neither is my fishing partner. I look at the swift water undercutting the bank where they stood when I last saw them and start back down river. They could have easily passed me. I wouldn’t have heard them over the roaring river.
Aki appears at my heels, tail wagging. Should we head downriver or up? The little dog points her nose up river. I follow her to a barely discernable side trail now being used by my fishing partner to regain the main trail.