(I wrote this article as soon as I returned home from moose hunting, after two weeks of watching this young dog’s remarkable alertness and sensitivity to danger in the wilderness. Whether she is reacting to an animal intruder– moose, bear, or caribou– or to a sudden switch in my bipolar moods, Lapua’s intense sensitivity has been remarkable since she was an eight-week old puppy.)
While I helped set up our moose camp deep in the Talkeetna Mountains, my 10-month old puppy, Lapua, a lanky, 50-pound, Great Pyrenees-husky-boxer mix, set up her own vantage point at the top of the knoll.
From her spot, she could watch for any moose, bears, or caribou that might walk up from the ravine below through the swamp east of our camp, and up the hillside. Lapua knew that this was the entrance to our camp, and what would be the main trail for any intruder, and so she sat, on alert, ready to warn us of any danger.
Although we never saw a bear near camp during those two weeks, she always woof-woofed her alarm when a moose or a curious caribou ventured through the shrubbery along the mountainside above us.
Lapua is not a guard dog, by any means, and she certainly is not highly trained. But, like she did in moose camp, she is somehow able to sense anything that is out-of-sorts in her environment, and she always alerts me and my husband to its presence.
At home in our living room, where she cuddles on a blanket in the corner with my old dog, Ruby, she somehow senses, and responds to, any shift in my bipolar moods.