OK — it was a fair fight, since the battle was on land and the seal was dead.
I took Scout out for a midafternoon hike around the Albany bulb. The last time we were out there, about five weeks ago, it was high tide and much of the outer ring of the old dump was submerged. Yesterday we visited at low tide and could pick our way all the way around the concrete-and-asphalt-strewn perimeter.
When we got out to the edge, Scout went ahead of me, exploring. I kept an eye on him, but didn’t think there was a lot of trouble for him to get into. A couple of times, he stuck his nose between rocks and drew back quickly after discovering something that wasn’t to his liking. He was 50 or 100 yards ahead of me when we got to the northwestern corner of the outer bulb. Up to that point he’d been relaxed and nonchalant; abruptly he became alert, almost rigid, and started backing up. When I got nearer, I asked what he’d found. Maybe because he felt like I was his backup, because at that point he started to bark at whatever it was he’d found. Nearer up, I saw that he’d discovered a dead seal, about a seven-footer, lying on the rocks. It was mostly intact; intact enough that Scout was apprehensive of it even when I was standing right there; he’d edge right up to the carcass but wouldn’t touch it. I’m sure he was smelling something I couldn’t and can’t.
[Above: Scout and marine nemesis, and nemesis alone. Below: western edge of the Albany Bulb, afternoon low tide, October 3, 2006. Click for larger versions.]