My best friend was laid to rest today. He fought a courageous battle with
cancer and never complained or faltered. Bear was brought to me by a very special woman one day when he was just a puppy – merely weeks old. He looked so much like a grizzly bear that his name came naturally. Bear was a chow/shepherd mix with a big piece of greatness blended in for good measure.
Bears disposition was that of a proud lion or a watchful parent. He rarely
ever barked, he walked with a gait like a lion, and he spent many days
watching the neighborhood children and families go about their daily
routine in our small court. He truly was a neighborhood dog, and was loved by all that knew him. For that I am thankful.
Bear and I traveled to the Midwest together to visit the home I grew up in,
he visited the Outer Banks of North Carolina on occasion for beach weekends with my friends and I, and most often – we would simply walk the northern strand of sand and water in Virginia Beach together after a long week. Oh – how he loved to walk on the beach.!.

In his final days, Bear began to cyclically have moments of lethargy and
inactivity. He did not eat, and lost about 10% of his body weight. For a period when it was worst, I resorted to feeding him with a very large
syringe and pureed food. This was not an inconvenience, and I committed to doing whatever I could to ease his suffering. His eyes were always bright
and reflective of those around him. He tried his best to keep pace with
all that was happening around him, and like dogs everywhere, he would pick himself up and go wherever I was. He was my shadow… I knew that he was slipping and that this would be the routine until his last day.

I have just spent the best (and most difficult) time of my life with my best friend. While I say “best” and mean that I would not have wanted it any other way, I also found that this past week I have been truly torn apart at the fact that my puppy has left me.

This past week has allowed Bear and I to spend quality time together and for all our neighbors to stop by with their children as they walk to and
from the bus stop each day. We’ve taken numerous car rides together this week and spent some nice quiet time at the beach as well. A close friend took several photos of us at the beach and she is giving me one of the nicest gifts imaginable with these photos to remember Bear by. I hope to put them into an album and a photo collage to hang on the wall of my home.

Bear has been nwavering in his loyalty and unending love. Like most dogs,
Bear always greets with a wet nose and a wagging tail. Every day that I
came home from work he’s stick his head under the garage door as I pushed the door opener button. Stretching as he came out, he’d wait in the grass until my car turned off and he’d poke his head inside as I opened my car oor. That greeting can never be replaced.
I know that Bear is going to a place where he will find his play pal Buster
(who preceded him by a few years) and I pray that he will wait for me
wherever he goes. My puppy deserves eternal happiness and comfort, and I know that this is what he will have now.

Body by tree, heart at the sea… Someday my friend – together we’ll be…

Scott from Virginia


One Response

  1. Diane Miller Says:

    Your Bear sounds like he had the exact same disposition as my Bear, also a chow mix. And boy do they look alike! I hope I can recognize mine when I get to where he went someday. I guess that shouldn’t be a problem, though. My Bear will know me and come running as yours will to you. Right now I just know he’s happy playing with one of his best friends, Rocky. It’s been over five years since my Bear left and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. Soon I will add my wonderful story about Bear to Marks column. For now just be grateful you had the time you had with him. How boring would life have been without that?
    Diane in MI