I just minutes ago put some cracked corn out for the sparrows( Its 6am) and right after the dog and I came in, a big dark brown animal with an arched back and a long tail loped in to look from the front of the house- we are on a cliff facing deep water- sniffed at the feeder area and quickly loped back again. I think it must have been an otter, I can't think of what else it could nave been, Certainly not a possum. Big strong animal, three feet long including the tail. Short legs and smallish head, sleek and smooth looking. Made me nervous about the dog. How fast can they move on land?
Sounds like an Otter, Joyce.
At that size, I would bet that it was an Otter.
They can move pretty darn fast but an Otter shouldn't be a danger to a dog as long as the dog didn't attack it or get it cornered.
They're smart, curious and lots of fun to watch.
The only real conflict that they have with humans is about fish, their staple food. Aquaculturists and fishermen often persecute Otters, believing that they hurt fish populations. They certainly have cleaned out more than one fish pond.
Maybe they are here because of the salmon farm proximity. This one looked well fed. They might be able to cut their way into the salmon cage through the nets or find a way over the top. This is also a scallop bay and they may eat scallops.