For anyone who has ever had the pleasure of having an animal touch their heart knows that love can be instantaneous, that love doesn't know time. And every now and then one will have a connection to your soul. Bear touched my soul.
Bear's life started out difficult. Then at One year old he found himself in the Shelter. Suffering from a skin condition and very depressed. I took him home as a Foster dog. After spending time putting weight on him and getting his skin cleared up and his hair grown back he stayed with us, adopted.
Bear, even though he was afraid of many parts of the shelter, still came to work with me on many occasions. My partner. Keeping my truck cab safe and keeping me company of late night calls. His favorite thing was to stretch out across the seat and sleep. Or leave his slobbery prints of the windows. He loved to play with his best friend Chuck, 467's shelter dog. He looked so forward to romping with Chuck in the officer area of the shelter. He loved going to work.
Bear got to go to Bear Camp 2011. I don't think he had ever experience being in the mountains and forests before this.
At home Bear was the devoted Uncle Bear, guardian and protector of puppies. He twice protected the puppies from harms way when he saved them from being trampled by a horse and another time with a strange dog got into the yard where the puppies were playing. Bear was ever vigilant with "his" adopted puppies. He was frequently the bottom of the puppy pile, allowing them to do whatever they want to him.
Bear lived with his adopted sisters, Hera and Milly. The girls were often bossy, but he blew them off with his good-natured goofiness. He was well spoiled by us humans in the house. He would sleep in his crate at first, but preferred to sleep on the couch, with "his" pillow. If someone was sitting on his pillow he would sit as close as possible to them until they finally moved and he could get to his pillow.
Bear could act spoiled, precocious, fearsome and hilarious. No matter what he did or how he acted, I adored him.
Bear began limping, minor at first. Then a little more. He became uncomfortable, and depressed and then the leg suddenly swelled up. Trip to the vet. No know cause. Anti-inflammatory and antibiotic and xrays. After couple days and the swelling was gone. He seemed to be more comfortable and moving around a little more. Then he started vomiting. I took him off the meds and he continued to decline. Anti-vomiting meds started. He seemed to feel better again. Then the diarrhea started.Tests for Parvo and Giardia were negative. His symptoms all indicate Hemorrhagic GastroEnteritis (HGE).
Aggressive fluid therapy, strong antibiotics and meds to help relax him and his intestines. He seemed to be getting better. It seemed to be working.
Early this morning I woke up suddenly for no reason. Something was wrong. Bear was crashing. There was nothing I could do. I lay next to him, comforting him, telling him it was alright, that he can stop fighting, to go ahead and let go. And he did.
Bear was not quite 2 years old yet. And He was part of our family less than a year. But what we gave him was a lifetime. We gave him love, we gave him a home and a family. We gave him adventures and a job. He may have not been in our lives for years but we didn't need years to love him and him to love us.
My handsome boy Bear Bear, my Smooshie Face, piece of my soul. Forever you'll be with me.