Merry Christmas

This will be my first Christmas in my forever home.  Actually, my first Christmas in any home.  I am warm, dry, safe, and best of all, loved.

I have been enjoying my home and all the attendant accoutrements that go along with a forever home.  I especially love my mom and dad and all the attention I receive.  I am brushed, petted, walked, and get to play with lots of toys.  I get kisses and hugs for no reason at all, that’s the best part. 

I have a warm place to sleep, actually lots of warm and comfy places to sleep (you can probably tell that by my photo).  My belly is full of good food and there are treats as well.  Even my cat sister, Maya, is getting used to me.  She’ll stay on the futon when I jump up for a nap and she’s even come over to sniff at my ear a few times.  She doesn’t want to play though, I’ve tried.  I hope she’ll come around in that area as well, but for now she’s accepted me in the house and that’s great.  Mom called me a ‘couch potato’ today, not sure what that means, but I like potatoes so I guess it’s OK.

We have had a few really cold nights and I am grateful for a warm place.  It was tough finding someplace warm when I was running free on the reservation in New Mexico.  I don’t have a long, thick coat of fur and I get cold quickly.  I hope those I left behind on the res have been as lucky as me and found forever homes.

At this time of year, it seems customary to give and receive gifts.  I have been so lucky to receive the gift of a forever home where there is unlimited love.  I try my best to give some love back and show how grateful I am.  If you have a furbaby in your home, give them an extra hug, let them know how much you love them, and that you will always be there to take care of them.  Believe me, we understand when you talk to us and tell us these things.  Look into our eyes, there is understanding there.

If you can find it in your heart to give a home to a homeless dog (or cat, they need homes too) and help them know there is love and kindness in the world that would be great.  I know there are so many out there who would love to have a forever family.  And remember, older dogs/cats are just as cute as puppies/kittens.  The older ones need homes too, and probably have the most difficulty finding one. 

There is a new year coming soon, wouldn’t it be wonderful to start off sharing it with a dog or cat who desperately needs a home.  Adopt, there are plenty of shelters and rescue organizations out there and they have the perfect companion for you.  I know, I found my perfect home.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.


Final Thoughts

I’ve been writing this entry for some time now.  We’re never sure how much time we have on earth and with our loved ones, and I wanted to be sure to get these thoughts written out.

I talked to mom about it and she agreed to post this for me, you see by the time you read this I will have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  Mom got a little upset while we were talking and I did my best to console her.  She asked if she could add a post script to this final post and, of course, I said she could and that I would be honored if she would.  It will be nice for you to hear from my mom at this time.  If you have a little bit of time, I’m sure she’d appreciate a comment or two.

Well, here goes. 

I loved my life and the ones who shared it with me.  They were caring and fun to be with. 

I went on a few adventures with mom and dad.  I loved camping with them.  We would sit outside the camper and enjoy the outdoors.  Those were some of my favorite times.  I wish I could have done more of that with them, but I am grateful for the memories we made.

I appreciated all the good food and the wonderful care I had over the years.  It’s tough getting old and as we age we need more medical attention sometimes.  My mom was always keen to my medical needs.  She knew when I wasn’t feeling well or when something wasn’t just quite right.  I had a wonderful Vet, Dr. Julia Lynn at Kachina Animal Hospital.  She, and all those who worked there were fabulous.

I loved my dog brothers who went before me (Taz and Joey) as well as my cat brother (Dante) and cat sister (Maya) who I left behind to comfort mom and dad.  I hope they are up to the task.  Dante was sad when his dog brother, Taz, crossed the bridge.  You see, Taz used to clean Dante’s ears all the time, but I think you may already know that.  Anyway, after Taz passed, I took up that job.  Dante seemed OK with it and we bonded over many an ear-cleaning session.  Maya never liked her ears cleaned, but she would occasionally lie on the dog bed with me.  She was nice.

I enjoyed playing in the snow, even though we didn’t have much in our area.  When we did, mom would run around with me out front, throwing snow balls for me to either catch or find.  You know, it’s tough to find a snowball after it falls in the snow.

Mom took lots and lots of photographs of me.  Besides being a Personal Trainer she is somewhat of an amateur photographer.  I didn’t really enjoy having my picture taken, but I tolerated it, for mom’s sake.  One thing I want to pass on to you is to take lots of photographs, there are no cameras at the Rainbow Bridge.

Last but not least, my mom.  What can I say about the human who loved me unconditionally and provided for my every need throughout my life with her.  I wish we could have found each other sooner, so we would have had more time together, but the time we did share was absolutely wonderful.  I love her with all my heart and I hope that someday I will find my way back to her, and she to me.  If you recall in an earlier post I talked about us exchanging pieces of our hearts, so we are able to keep each other near, now and in the future.  I just wanted to let you all know that I have a piece of mom’s heart with me, something I will cherish always.  She has a piece of my heart as well.  She said when our hearts beat together we are always together, regardless of time and distance.  I like that.


Post Script:

I stroked his fur until it no longer felt familiar.  I breathed in his scent until it no longer held his essence.  I closed my eyes, let the tears fall, and said my last goodbye.

I knew this day was coming.  I was not prepared.

Hi, Bear’s mom here.  The journey with Bear has been difficult for me but he was strong throughout it, so I did my best to be strong for him as well.  Thank you for your care, concern, comments, encouragement, and sharing of stories.  I have read all of Bear’s posts and the responses by his many followers.  I cannot begin to express my appreciation, and love, for all.

I believe Bear wrote about anthropomorphism in his first blog in January of 2017.  He was correct when he told you about my academic writing and how I had to be extremely cautious to avoid anthropomorphizing things that were not human.  I succeeded in my academic writings but not in my personal life, but that’s OK, and I would have it no other way.

We are all connected in this universe, at a molecular level.  Everything in the universe has an essence, that’s what makes them what they are.  Bear had that, which is why anthropomorphizing is not applicable to him.  He was family and always will be.  I have had a number of fur-babies pass through my life; they never stay long enough.  And, although my heart is breaking and a piece has left with Bear, there will be another entering my life in the future.  I am sure of it; and, this new family member will join a heart that is comprised of many, many pieces of those who have passed through on their journey.  I don’t know who it will be, when or where, but it will be soon, of that I am sure.

Bear started something here that is important and I’m sure he would want that to continue.  I don’t know who will pick it up, perhaps Dante or Maya will begin to express their thoughts, then perhaps another who has yet to join us will take over.  Whoever it is, someone will step in.  They will never take Bear’s place, but they will add to the essence that remains in our home, the essence of all who have passed through as well as those yet to come.

I will leave you with a few thoughts of others:

Search for and read Rudyard Kipling’s “The Power of the Dog” and you will find the following lines near the end of some stanzas, (

Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware

Of giving your heart to a dog to tear. . . .

You will discover how much you care,

And will give your heart to a dog to tear. . . .

So why in — Heaven (before we are there)

Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear

I believe, giving our heart to a dog to tear makes us whole, makes us care for others, makes us genuinely compassionate.  And while the pain is unbearable as our heart tears at their passing, we are stronger for it.

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”  Pericles (495 BC – 425 BC)

With any luck, you have had, and will continue to have a fur-baby who has woven itself into your life.

My Cat Brother – Dante

Hi everyone – Bear here again.  It’s been a while since I last wrote, but things have been a little hectic lately.

I finished my final scheduled IV chemo treatment on May 2.  The few days afterward were a little rough.  Mom had to stay with me to help me get through them.  Unfortunately, that meant she missed her most favorite trip, Special Olympics State Competition.  I felt bad that she decided to stay home, but I’m glad she did.  I do so much better when mom is with me.  She got updates throughout the weekend about Bradshaw Mountain Special Olympics and how they were doing.  Apparently, they did very well, most of them having their best scores (time and distance) in their events.  Josh and Ryan, mom’s pentathletes, beat their scores as well.  She was very happy for them, but I know she missed seeing it first hand, and taking photos of all the activity.

I had a 2-week wash out period before I could begin my low-dose chemo pills.  Those started on May 16th, and so far I’m doing OK.  I’m still a little fussy about what I like to eat; things just don’t smell that good to me yet.  Mom has an infinite amount of patience with me and sits on the floor trying to get me to eat.  Sometimes it takes 4, 5, or 6 tries of me sniffing at the food she offers.  Most times I end up finally eating, and it tastes really good.  Mom is still cooking my meals and giving me a variety of protein and carbohydrates.  There is love in her cooking.

This past Sunday we had some trouble, this time with Dante my cat brother.  That’s him in the photo.  Dante has renal issues, that’s kidney problems, and was diagnosed last year with lowered kidney function.  Well, his kidneys must be getting worse.  This past Saturday, mom and dad couldn’t find Dante in the house.  They were calling and searching for a while and I was getting worried.  They finally found him, tucked in mom’s closet, on top of her shoe boxes.  Mom brought him out and sat with him in the living room, brushing his orange coat.  He was purring loudly, I could hear him across the room.

On Sunday he ended up hiding again, this time under mom’s printer table near the computer.  When mom reached under to get him she said he was wet.  Poor Dante had actually peed on himself.  I felt really bad for him as I know that’s not good and he must have felt terrible not being able to make it to his litter box.

Mom grabbed the cat carrier, put Dante in it, and then called the Emergency Vet Office.  Luckily we have an ER Vet in the area.  When she put Dante in the carrier, I knew something was wrong and I got really anxious.  I was pacing around and sniffing at the carrier.  I tried to tell Dante that mom would take good care of him and that he should try to relax, but he was meowing a bit.  That made me a little upset as well.

Mom took off for the ER Vet and left me home.  She said she’d be right back and that dad would be home soon.  Sure enough, dad got home a little while later and together we waited for mom and Dante.  Well, when mom got home, she didn’t have Dante with her and I was a little confused.  I was wondering where he was and when he would be home.

Mom sat down with me and told me that Dante was very sick and had to stay in the hospital overnight.  He need constant care and some medical attention.  She said he would get the best care possible and I know she was telling me the truth because, well, look at me and the care I’ve received.  Then she started talking about that bridge again, and that there was a possibility that it may be time for Dante to cross that bridge, without us.  She was crying as she was telling me this and I tried to comfort her.  I stuck close by her side for the rest of the night.  We were together until about midnight when I went out for another pee-break and she finally went to bed.

Mom called the ER Vet Monday morning for an update and told me that Dante was resting, that he was not in any pain, but we wouldn’t know much more than that until they did some blood tests later in the day.  Mom’s crying a little today as we talk about it, but she’s holding up pretty well.  I’m going to stick close today as well.  I ate all my breakfast, and then all my mid-morning snack.  She feels better when I eat, so I’m doing my best to help her through this.

I guess we wait now.  I hope Dante is doing OK and that he realizes that mom is thinking about him and making sure he gets whatever he needs at his point in his life.  I hope he doesn’t have to cross the bridge, I like hanging out with him and cleaning his ears.  I trust mom to make the right decisions.  Her decisions are always made out of love.