By Carol McCracken
It was such a brave thing to do – even for giant Polar Bears accustomed to frigid northern weather. It wasn’t so much about the frigid weather, however. It was more about the dog pack that cornered the two Polar Bears and paced back and forth in front of them barking all the while at the edge of the East End Beach earlier today. The Bears could have escaped by retreating into Casco Bay. Rather, they stood their sand and waited to be rescued. The Polar Bear Dip was hosted by the Natural Resources Council of Maine- although no one anticipated the Dip would be this authentic!
Manny and Maiya were among the eight or so dogs that slightly delayed the start of the noon swim – until their owners could round them up and Free the Bears from the waters’ edge. One of the two Polar Bears, in an aside, said she had purposefully left her dog at home because he notoriously barks at cows – the Mrs. Bear could not anticipate how her Fido would respond to the sight of two life-size Polar Bears. Neither Bear seemed the worse for the experience.
The other brave participants of the Polar Bear Dip numbered twelve. Matt Scease, a fundraiser for the Council, upon his return to the East End Beach said: “My feet are cold. Next year I’ll wear shoes. But I’d recommend people do it in August.” This while his family threw layer after layer of towels over him. The Council earned about $3,000. from this fundraiser. Most of it will go toward its energy agenda.
“We didn’t have to work today,” said one of the two Polar Bears. “So this was a good place to be.” The event was a kick-off to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Natural Resources Council of Maine as well as a fundraiser. (Please see the previous post for more info.)