The last couple of days, there’ve been moose tracks in the yard whenever I go to take the dog out. (Nothing at all unusual about this in Anchorage, AK.) Anyway, the dog always sniffs around the tracks, very curious about them, but so far hasn’t seen a moose. Until today.
I take her for a walk around the neighborhood, and as we walk down a little side street, she starts growling. I figure it’s just a dog in someone’s yard, because she’s very frightened of other dogs. Nope! I look up just as a baby moose (toddler moose, really – born summer 2005 but not full-grown yet) steps out from behind a tree.
First thought in my head? Oh, shit! Where’s its mother? I look to my left and realize that I’m standing directly between the mother and her calf. Perfect! That’s the worst place to be when it comes to moose. It’s amazing how quietly these huge animals can be, when you think about it. I didn’t notice either of them until I was standing five feet away.
Now, I don’t scare easily, but growing up in Alaska, you learn to have a healthy respect for a 1400+ lb. animal. Especially ones known for kicking people to death (this happened at the University of Alaska Anchorage a few years back when a man inadvertently stepped between a mother and her calf – she went ballistic and stomped him to death). If you frighten a moose, they can go from docile to lethal in two seconds flat.
Hoping the dog will have enough sense not to bark her fool head off and piss off the mother moose, I walk away quickly, pulling the dog’s leash to get her the hell out of there. But the dog seems completely absorbed in staring down the moose. Probably thinking, “That’s the biggest dog I’ve ever seen!” or something. She digs her paws into the ice and won’t budge. Luckily mama moose gave us only the briefest glance and went back to eating someone’s apple trees. I gave up, picked up the dog, and hightailed it out of there.
It probably doesn’t sound very dramatic, I just had to laugh because the dog’s reaction was hilarious. 15 lb. dog sizing up a gigantic moose and not running away in fear. She was more upset/frightened by the neighbor’s tiny dog than the two moose. Huh.