Bear’s Official “Gotcha” Day

Every family has its special days, and four years ago today, I brought my Bear home from the shelter for real. It was the most painless puppy integration I remember, though Teddy has been easy, too. I wasn’t sure about having a giant breed dog, but Marilyn of Serendipity told me what that kind of dog is like and I was persuaded. Bear was four months old and already had the gentle wisdom of a livestock guardian dog. Her very first night, when dusk arrived, she went outside to guard. She gave Dusty time to get to know her and there was a magic day when, for the first time in his life Dusty played. Bear taught him how. She treated my old Aussie, Mindy, with gentleness and respect.

I have enjoyed getting to know her. She’s not the dog to do tricks or anything like that. She was born with great self-confidence and inherent knowledge of who she is. There are things she will never do — so she’s always leashed when we’re out and that’s OK with both of us. Teddy is already learning to stay with me without a leash.

I love her, but I also like her in the way you might like a human friend. We’ve shared so many experiences and feelings. Back when I was suffering from advanced osteoarthritis in my hip, before my surgery, it was Bear who helped me understand WHY I should persevere with an operation I’d already experienced (the other hip) and dreaded with all my heart. “Because I’m here,” she said one afternoon when I was really in despair. Pain fucks with our minds; never doubt it. Somehow Bear reminded me of my “job” which is to be her human, caring for her and loving her all her life. I was truly standing on a precipice and Bear pulled me back. ❤

When we go out and ramble in the snow we share the experience and, I think, enhance the experience of the other. Bear loves snow as much as I do and as soon as she smells it, she’s outside, letting me know our “bliss” is falling. She’s an amazing being. Her beauty attracts people when we take walks and little kids always have to meet her. She’s gentle and slow moving around them and while, generally, I wouldn’t let a little kid hug one of my dogs, I don’t worry about Bear. I am sure the little kids believe they’ve entered an enchanted fairytale world when they stand beside a gentle creature as large as they are. When the little kids at the end of my alley get to walk her, it’s as good as a parade.

So, to honor her day, we went out to the slough to walk, something we haven’t been able to do because the river pretty much covered the first parts of it. The trail hasn’t been mowed and the weeds are high. There were mosquitoes everywhere and flowers — that’s a good description of life, I think. We had a great time.

Getting Bear in 2015

13 thoughts on “Bear’s Official “Gotcha” Day

  1. Happy Gotcha Day to you and Bear. As I read this, I was hoping that you would take her on a long anniversary walk — and then I saw that you did just that! A fitting treat for both of you!

  2. I hope you had a great day celebrating Bear’s Gotcha day, Martha. What a great anniversary to celebrate – the start of a beautiful relationship. Animals can be the best companions, and they give us strength to go on when we feel weak. Sounds like you had a great time. She’s gorgeous, and the perfect companion. If only humans were as good! 🙂

  3. What a happy day and a great picture of the two of you! Dogs really can help us humans through life’s us and downs. They are always ready to give us love without judgment.

Comments are closed.