Yes, I'm doing dogblogging this week, but this week's different.
This one's gonna be all about Theodore Samuel the Bear or, as y'all simply know him, Bear.
We got Bear at seven weeks old on election night 2004. I still remember the night really well. I picked up Jason from school and we headed over to Houston. We met my mom at her house and her boyfriend drove us over to Bear's breeder's house, which was on the opposite side of town and that I had no idea how to get to. We saw the little guy, the last one left in his litter, and fell in love instantly.
He spent most of his time that first week or two here in Jason's room under the bed, only coming outside once in a while to play for about 15 minutes before he got tired. He didn't bark for the first two weeks here so we were starting to wonder if he was capable of barking.
He got big fast.
Shelties aren't supposed to get taller than 16 inches at the shoulder but he got closer to 20. We joked that we might have fed him too well.
Of course, with his size, he couldn't be a stud, so we got him fixed.
We made the mistake of introducing Bruiser, our second dog, into the mix that day. Bear wasn't too happy about having an energetic little puppy around when he wasn't up to playing around.
He of course got better and had a good buddy to play with. One of his favorite things to do was to get Bruiser to chase him around the backyard.
His other favorite thing to do was chase tennis balls. We must have gone through dozens of them before I bought a package of Tuff Balls at PetSmart. I think the three that we pulled out of the package when I bought them are still in the toy pile... or at least somewhere in the house.
Even as a grown-up dog, he was still pretty laid back around the house with one exception: strangers. If he didn't know you he considered you a threat to his "herd" and would bark and bark and bark at you. On thanksgiving in 2005 I brought my then-girlfriend over to do dinner with the family (her first visit to my place) and Bear scared the crap out of her. I'd seriously never seen him freak out at a stranger that bad. Looking back, maybe he was just trying to tell me that she wasn't the one for me. She broke up with me less than a week later.
He was always a sweet, affectionate little boy, but also not one of those dogs that demands your attention all the time. When he wanted it though, well you'd better give him all the attention in the world!
Of course, if you knew him well enough that he didn't bark at you constantly you couldn't help but love him and give him all the attention he wanted. I don't think he ever met a human that didn't like him once they got to know each other. It was just that the whole getting to know each other thing was kinda difficult with all of the barking he'd do at people he didn't know.
Then he got sick.
He picked up a rare fungal infection from drinking out of a puddle in the backyard. We knew it was going to be a long road ahead of us, but we were optimistic.
As the disease progressed, he began losing weight and was a little snippy, but was the same dog he'd always been.
Here are some pics that I took of him last month.
Yes, I know I'm a handsome devil.
Was that a dog on the TV? I think it was!
It's naptime, you can leave me alone now.
Unfortunately, the disease wasn't responding to medication, so we put him to sleep on Tuesday.
As a final note, I want to thank all the people who have been sending thoughts and prayers my way. Y'all have helped to make a sucky situation just a little better.
Now that you've had all this to bum you out, go check out this week's Friday Ark to lift your spirits.