Though Bear was a mutt not able to be entered into any shows,
he was a star in my heart. Ironically, after his death he won an
award: The Carolmana Pet Page Award! Okay, it is not from some
big well known organization but just from a great human being
who cares, it still warms my heart. If you'd like to check out
other winners of this and other awards or a great site, click
Bear was a black and white Husky/Malamute that was born the day the Bears last won a Super Bowl (thus how he got his name). He arrived at our house eight weeks later. He had an over sized head and paws (like most puppies do). The first day he spent with us was a Saturday. I had just came home from working the grave yard shift. He was whining because he missed his mother (like most puppies). So my first thought was: Great! I'm never going to get any sleep! (And I was exactly right). As I laid down my mom brought him in and placed him in my bed, she had been up with him all night so now it was my turn. Of course, he whined and whimpered all morning. Finally, around noon, he wanted to get down. I was more than happy to help him off the bed. As he scampered away I heard him take a pee on the paper we set down for him, go a get a drink of water and then he did something really odd. He raced back into my room and wanted to come back to bed with me. I hauled him back up. It was then and there we formed a special bound. For the rest of his life he would either sleep with me in my bed or on the floor in my room. He would run to greet me when I came home and saw me off as I left. He knew exactly when I was putting on my shoes to leave the house or to take him for a walk. You see, in our family we believe pets are more than pets: They are family. They live with us, they eat with us and they sleep with us. They are a member of the family. The love that we poured onto Bear was not in vain. Not only did he give us love back, but he also gave us object lessons. Later on we got another younger dog (Grisly), so Bear had to be a father figure to him. He would show us how to be patient, discipline, loyal, caring, innocent, joyful, tolerant, playful and a host of other emotions. He was the best dog we had ever had!
But, like all living creatures, as the years went on Baby Bear become old Bear (but we still called him Baby Bear until the end). Two days before his death, Bear had some major problems. My parents rushed him to the vet and preliminary tests indicated his heart and liver were enlarged (this would later be diagnosed as an infection), but also his lungs were covered with spots which most likely was cancer. If it turned out to be cancer Bear would have to be put to sleep. That night I prayed to Christ to heal my friend, but if this wasn't in his design to take Bear quickly from us. Two days later Bear died of a massive heart attack. He fell over, breathed deeply twice and died. He did not yelp or cry out in pain, but died as I had prayed. There were a lot of other ways Bear could have died, the worse I could think of would be a stroke (paralyzed and in great pain) we would have been forced to arrange for Bear's death. I cried heavily when I heard the news and on and off for the next couple of days.
Yet, I do not hold God in malice. Bear lived almost 11 years (that is 77 in dog years) and it was a healthy, happy life. A lot better than most dogs. The Lord allowed Bear into our lives and he touched us all in a positive way. I'll remember how he always had to bite onto his leash and pull on it once (though I never understood why), I'll remember how he would eat from his bowl laying down, I'll remember how he got all excited when he got a bone (and the dirty face he'd get burying it), I'll remember how he use to howl at sirens or after my parents would go out, how he liked to watch a fire works show (we took him to one) but would be afraid of lightning, how he would bark at inanimate objects, how he just had to lay his neck on my leg (to make sure I was there), how when something puzzled him he would stare at it and cock his head, how he loved to be vacuumed with the hose attachment and how he loved the snow (he could lay and play in it for hours). But most of all I'll remember him running, quick and swift. He really loved to run and we gave him every chance we could. Plus his sudden death helped me focus on the important things in life. Not Cd Players, Money, Television or Computers. But of the living things: Other pets, siblings, parents, friends and the Living God. I vowed to spend more time with them and so far I have succeeded. Plus, even through I claimed to be a Christian I still practiced a lot of things no Christian should ever part take in. After Bear's death I have been able to reframe from these things. Our dog's death was a blessing all around. There is no direct scripture in the Bible that says our pets will or will not be resurrected with us in the Second Coming. But my personal belief is that God's original design was for us to live with all the animals of the world in the Garden of Eden, just like we will at the end of time. I firmly belief that the God that gave us our pets will again return them to us in heaven. Baby Bear will run again!!!
Once I somewhat got over the death of my friend (you never fully get over it), I asked God if I would really see him again. His response was in a vision. I saw a very tall mountain which peek was obscured in the clouds (like MT. Sinai). But I was allowed to look through the clouds and see the very peek, on top was my Bear howling (just like wolfs do when they want to call the pack together), he was calling me. Suddenly, I was lifted up and carried to the top of the mountain (by angels is my guess). There I was placed in a large open field and came face to face with my dead dog who was very much alive. I hugged and squeezed him and told him how I wish I had spent more time with him. Surprisingly, he spoke to me and said something like "Fear not. When the end of the age comes we will be together for all eternity." But then I was lifted away and Bear turned and joined a pack of dogs. Some I recognized as other dead pets, some I did not. He romp and played with them like he use to and then I came out of the vision. Now some may say this vision was a hallucination or hopes of a broken heart. But when I came out of it I was calm and very much at peace. I felt God was there with me. I have felt this way ever since. I know this to be the truth: Baby Bear will be with me in Heaven!