9.

Mr Bear continued to grow up into a fine companion
while Loretta, now about eleven years old grew
weaker and lethargic. The Vet examined her and
he said that she wouldn't live much longer.
Loretta had never been the companion that Ms Bear
was and that Mr Bear had grown into. She was a
big, lovable homebody who never strayed out of
her own yard and who was a good watchdog at night.
One day I called the Vet and asked if they could
come to our house and euthanize Loretta because
she was in great discomfort and she couldn't walk
or even stand. They said, "Yes". The next morning
Sarah left the house with Mr Bear and I waited for
the Vet. None came. I called the Vet. They couldn't
come to the house because they were too busy and
I would have to bring her in. But how?

She was lying on the den floor and she was in pain.
Sarah was gone. The neighbors on both sides were
gone. How could I get Loretta to the Vet? I tried
to comfort her and I felt great pity. She was
obviously suffering and I had to do something
quickly. I backed the truck up to the den door
and I picked her up. How? I don't know. She was
very heavy but I managed to get her into the truck.
I drove her to the Vet and sure enough, the office
was full. They rolled a cart out to the truck and
we loaded Loretta onto it and wheeled her in to the
operating room. I softly talked to Loretta while
petting her until she closed her eyes for the last
time. This time I hadn't dug a grave or built a
casket. I left her remains with the Vet and I
stifled my sad thoughts and tried to think nothing
but good, positive thoughts. This didn't hurt me
nearly as much as Ms Bear's death hurt. Loretta
had been a good friend and we gave her almost
twelve years of good stable life. She never did
have to go to the Humane Shelter. That was not a
bad life for the little black handful that I had
rescued from a ditch on a country road where she
had been abandoned many years before.

After Loretta was gone Sarah and Mr Bear came home.
I knew how hard it was for Sarah when we lost a dog
so neither of us mentioned Loretta again. Life goes
on. So Mr Bear was our only dog and he was about
two years old by then.

Mr Bear traveled daily. If Sarah went to the
grocery Mr Bear went to the grocery. If Sarah went
visiting, Mr Bear went visiting. Sarah began taking
him to the Nursing Home when she went to visit
relatives there. I was surprised because, well, he
had a mouthful of those Big Dog Teeth and he enjoyed
flashing them in the presence of strangers. I was
afraid he would be hostile with the patients at the
Nursing Home. But Sarah said he was a perfect little
gentleman in the presence of the patients. He
allowed them to pet him and even hold him in their
lap. She said he acted like he knew these people
were special and he conducted himself accordingly
and only showing those Big Dog Teeth when smiling.

Those Big Dog Teeth have always served other
purposes in addition to intimidation. When he is
pleased he snaps his teeth. If I stoop down and
scratch his back he goes snap, snap, snap.
Sometimes when I am talking to him he goes snap,
snap, snap. He also loves to catch flies and bugs.
When one of them gets close to him: snap. Gone.

Sarah and I were conducting a small real estate
rental business. One of us was always home when the
other was out. So Mr Bear was on the go most of the
time with one of us. On weekends he always went to
work with me at the radio station.

While he was a puppy I kept him in a big cardboard
box which I set on the control room floor. He never
made a noise while I was on air. My audience knew
that I had lost Ms Bear and they knew that I had
adopted Mr Bear so I got many phone calls from other
dog owners inquiring about my new puppy. In a few
months, Mr Bear outgrew the box and he was content
sleeping on the control room floor. Often people
stopped in to visit and pet Mr Bear. He loved the
attention.

9.

Loretta Dog dies at 11 years. Mr Bear grows up.
This is Page 9.
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