04
Apr
09

Dear Bear, Goodbye sweet puppy…

Dear Bear,

As I am writing this to you, your mommy and I are in a hotel at Pokagan State Park near Angola, Indiana.  Bear, this is where you took your first boat ride with mommy and I.  You were so scared, but soon got use to the noise and movement of the boat.  The weather is cold, but the day is beautiful, except you’re no longer with us.

You left us this morning at around 9am with your work completed on this earth.  Mommy and I tried to go home and resume our lives, but the pain was too great.  Somehow without your presence we couldn’t stand being there…so we left to clear our heads…and came to James Lake for one night.

We’ll never forget how it all started…

We found each other after you had watched over an Air Force family who were to move out of the country.  You were at SICSA in Dayton, Ohio sitting in a kennel with 200 barking dogs.  We were looking at some black lab puppies, but you stirred and grabbed our attention.  You looked so completely confused and helpless, but were sitting quietly…while the other dogs barked for attention…and just looked as if you needed to find a home.

We walked the grounds and quickly found you to be a fine dog, and hoped you’d make a nice addition to our family.  We had no idea how much of an impact you would make in our lives.

We signed the papers, and paid the money…and then went to the store to buy the things doggies need.  You looked so unsure of your future as we pulled out onto Wilmington Avenue.  I was unsure too.  You were my first pet.  Erin laughed as I drove home like a new father with his infant child in the car for the first time.  I drove so slowly, we almost never got home.

When we got to our house, you began to ease up, and in your typical manner, became our companion, and so much more.

We sat on the futon for a bit, and we bonded very quickly.  Truth be told....I was head over heels in love with you from the start.

We sat on the futon for a bit, and we bonded very quickly. Truth be told....I was head over heels in love with you from the start.

 

You eventually got use to your new surroundings.

You eventually got use to your new surroundings.

 

You even used mommie's chair for quiet reflection.
You even used mommy’s chair for quiet reflection.

We soon moved to Toledo for a new job.  You were used to moving having come from an military background, and went with the flow like a trooper.  This gave a chance to expose you to a different way of life.

We all settled in at the Park Lane on the eighth floor and youlearned what it was like to work with someone who worked very odd hours.

We all settled in at the Park Lane on the eighth floor and you learned what it was like to work with someone who worked very odd hours.

Mommy taught you and I how to enjoy the outdoors around Toledo.  We would grab food and visit a local park.  You always were happiest with us in the great outdoors!

Mommy taught you and I how to enjoy the outdoors around Toledo. We would grab food and visit a local park. You always were happiest with us in the great outdoors!

Most dogs like water, especially Labs.  You tickled us with your "lady-like" way of getting your toe wet!

Most dogs like water, especially Labs. You tickled us with your "lady-like" way of getting your toe wet!

But you eventually got used to the ideal of playing in the shallow water.

But you eventually got used to the ideal of playing in the shallow water.

Then the unimaginable happened.  Our world was turned upside down when mommy got sick with cancer.  You continued to be a loving and wonderful companion for us both.  You looked after mommy when I had to work.  You made sure she was okay when the surgery came, the chemotherapy, the radiation.  You didn’t care that mommy was sick or bald, down in the dumps or just tired.  You stood by and made sure your love was always available when needed.
Two happy girls, companions in the park during the toughest of times.

Two happy girls in the park during the toughest of times.

Oh Bear, your still would try to steal daddy away for yourself...and even gloat to mommy about it!

Oh Bear! You still would try to steal daddy away for yourself...and even gloat to mommy about it!

Summer trips to the ice cream shop, with you sporting the latest ice cream mustache would inevitably end with fall and then on to winter.

Summer trips to the ice cream shop, with you sporting the latest ice cream mustache would inevitably end with fall and then on to winter.

 

Despite our harrassing you with holiday headgear, you kept quiet and played along while mommy and daddy laughed.  You survived eating two-thirds of a pound of Belgium chocolate your Granddaddy Lee left under the tree.

Despite our harrassing you with holiday headgear, you kept quiet and played along while mommy and daddy laughed. You survived eating two-thirds of a pound of Belgium chocolate your Granddaddy Lee left under the tree for mommy.

 Spring rolled around again, and we had more fun in the sun…

Summer trips to Thomson, Georgia to visit mommy's grandparents, and walks at nature centers.

Summer trips to Thomson, Georgia to visit mommy's grandparents, and walks at nature centers.Days at home showing the squirrels what you thought of their acrobatic leaps into the trees after you would chase them across the backyard.

 Bear, I write this reflection on our life together to let you know you were a perfect companion for the seven short years we were able to spend together.  You didn’t bark unless something was out of the ordinary.  You loved us unconditionally regardless of how good or bad we were acting.  You helped us get through hardships by offering your heart without strings attached.  Many nights you kept us warm by jumping into bed with us…right between us…so you were the center of our attention.

Mostly, Bear, you gave to us so much happiness and joy that we will never be able to repay.
Today, mommy and I sent you home to heavn to be with a force that is greater than we mere mortals.  The same force thatbrought you into our lives.  A creator who will look after you and keep you safe.
We struggled with the decision to put you to rest and out of your pain due to back problems.  We can only hope we made the right decision.  We hurt so deeply for ourselves, but feel we owed it to you to do right by you as you have done for us.  We were honored to be your stewards for seven too short years.
As I said before Bear, your work on this earth is done.  Your mission complete.  Mommy and I only can hope to be reuited with you at a later date.  We hope to see your wagging tail and smile when we come home to be with you.  In the meantime we hope your pain has ended, and you know we love you very deeply…and miss you more than words can ever tell.  There is a void in our hearts that can never be filled…a pain so deep…it will never go away.
Bear...We miss you.  We love you. Goodbye sweet puppy.

Bear...We miss you. We love you. Goodbye sweet puppy.

With love and sentiment,
Mommy and Daddy
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8 Responses to “Dear Bear, Goodbye sweet puppy…”


  1. 1 MOM
    April 6, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    here’s to love shared by amazing dogs and amazing people. hugs to you both and thank you to Bear for being there.

  2. 2 codger
    April 8, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    That was beautiful and almost unbearable to read. Bear was a great dog. Even though I didn’t see her often, I will miss her.

  3. June 2, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I’m sorry bear had to go. My lab (who your photos and commentary made me think they were related)helped me through cancer and tough times and was diagnosed in March 2007 to have 30 days to live. After tons of vet bills and $500 a month in meds she lasted two years and passed May 9th. http://www.youtube.com/nailsoup is full of her videos. I was searching for photos of something and came across your site and it made me smile to think of the love bear gave you. Take care.

  4. 4 wolfcrochet
    March 17, 2010 at 6:55 am

    I just lost my sweet pup, Bailey, and have been so heartbroken that I am trying to find comfort in the experiences of others who have gone through the same thing. Your tribute to Bear is simply beautiful. Thank you for such a sensitive and loving portrayal.

    • 5 conductorjonz
      March 19, 2010 at 11:00 pm

      I’m sorry for your lost. It will hurt for a while, then the hurt will fade a bit, but the memories linger on. Be grateful we have time to be stewards of our little family members.

      We found a new member for our family named Remy. He’s a real character! A happy older lab-chow mix from the animal shelter. He loves to go to work with daddy, and hangs out with me almost constantly. Bear taught us how special she was, and now Remy is getting spoiled rotten because of all the things we wish we’d done differently with Bear.

      My sympathies are with you and you family. Time will help, but never forget.

      Best wishes!

      Greg

  5. 6 Kim Domokos
    April 27, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Wow, Greg, what a neat and beautiful way to commemorate Bear. I truly enjoyed reading all of it! Amazing how our pets creative such a special place in our lives. My parents have two yellow labs who have been part of our family since 1997…..they’re getting old and they are the biggest babies. My sister’s basset hound was brought into their lives when their children were 3 and 6. So the kids grew up with a “sibling” dog that is now in doggy heaven with Bear. Thank you for your kinds words.

    Kim


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