Taco and I went on a trail run to Sill Branch Falls. On the run back to the parking area while pondering the vanishing flow of the parallel creek bed, I saw what I thought was a black dog through the branches around an upcoming corner. About 300 feet away, I saw that the black blob cleared into a black bear cub! Taco and I came to a halt and slowly stepped backward. I feared that another mama may not be too far behind this baby cub. The cub was cute and small and curiously trotted closer to Taco and me. We carefully stepped backward and I grabbed a thick stone with a sharp edge in the unwarranted scenario that mama bear was nearby. Taco and I stepped into a small opening in the trees between a steep incline and a creek. We kept an eye as the cub stopped and looked around. We did not want to go backwards to the falls and further away from our transportation wondering where the bears may be so we stood ground and studied as the cub studied us. Taco and I walked a few steps forward and Taco growled spooking the cub to run across the creek to the other side. We steadily walked by and observed the cub from a distance and continued forward. Taco kept an eye on the cub, and I studied the woods for a bigger black blob as we kept pace. We picked up speed with no animals in sight and arrived safely to our car. I was so proud of Taco for keeping calm and standing between the bear and me in protection mode. He did not bark nor hesitate in running to a bear on the trail. It was a safe passing as we entered a new state of mind while studying the cub and allowing our instincts to promote a natural awareness that we are sharing these trails with other animals.
Dogs & Diapers