It seemed like time stood still. The moose and I were staring at each other through the snow fall. The dogs were barking madly and lunging for this huge beast. I was shaking and not from the cold. In fact, I began to feel very hot in my face. I picked up my right foot, keeping my eye on the moose, and began to step backwards. Very, very slowly I inched back. Moose were known to be meaner and deadlier than bears. I certainly didn’t want to provoke this antlered animal. I would be clumsy and awkward trying to retreat in the snow and he would be absolutely in his element. I reached in my pocket with my free hand, only to realize that I didn’t have my bear mace. I had to rely on the mercy of this beast.
The moose snorted causing plumes of white vapor to blast out of his nostrils and his eyes glared. He took one step closer to me, lifting his muzzle into the air and sniffed. I was still backing up and the dogs were lunging and barking ferociously. Step by step, I inched backwards, ever closer to safety. This moose was clearly disturbed by the dogs and yet I was powerless to stop them or quiet the dogs. I continued backing up and the moose continued snorting and stepping one tenuous step at a time closer to me. Duke and Bijoux really wanted me to let them go. That probably would have kept the moose occupied while I made a hasty retreat but I couldn’t even consider letting them go and risk the possibility of them getting hurt. I continued backwards till finally there was about 10 yards between me and the moose. At this point I turned my back on the moose and started back towards our apartment. I had a lot more control over the dogs moving forward. Now I was dragging them instead of the other way around.
With more distance between me and the moose I risked a glance back over my shoulder. The moose was following. I was now doing war with my dogs, tugging mightily on the leash to get them to come with me. I had run out of patience…this was for their own good, I took a deep breath and simultaneously screamed at them to COME while I gave Duke a swift kick in his backside. It worked!!!! Somehow a swift kick in the backside broke the spell under which Duke was bound. He looked at me with such hurt in his eyes as if he was saying to me, “Sheesh…did you have to kick me?” I would apologize later. Meanwhile, it was imperative to put as much distance between us and this ticked off moose. After what seemed like an eternity we arrived back at the apartment and neither dog had done any business. I sighed a deep sigh of relief and leaned against the front door.
I unclipped their leash and let them go. They began to dance wanting their usual goody they got after a walk. There would be no goody!! We just tangled with a moose and lived to tell the tale. As I got out of my outdoor gear, I realized I was shaking from head to toe and it wasn’t because I was cold. Holy cow!! Or should that be Holy moose?? At any rate, we were indoors behind closed and locked doors. Safe….at least for now. Safe until Alaska decided I had become to complacent and threw me another curve ball. Still after it was all said and done…I was more in love with Alaska than ever.