13.

The next two years were very eventful for us. I'm writing this in retrospect so I'll greatly condense our activities.

I met a lady named Peggy who lived in another city.   Peggy became my fiance.She was nearing retirement  age  and eventually Mr Bear and I moved there to await her retirement and to search for our permanent retirement home.

We found a house that suited us just fine, located in a quiet small town. It is an old house built in the 1870's and it was just what we wanted. After our marriage, we  bought the house and began restorations. Peggy was still a few months from retirement so Mr Bear and I worked alone during the week and Peggy joined us on weekends. Mr Bear seemed to like our new home. While I worked, he followed me from room to room and from project to project, always scratching up a place to lie down close to my work area.

I must confess that I was a little irritated that Mr Bear seemed  to forget his manners in our new home, sometimes urinating on the floor. I thought this was because of the change to new surroundings so I scolded him several times for not asking to go outside for those personal moments. I was very busy with my work and perhaps I wasn't watching Mr Bear as closely as I could have, but I remember now that his eating habits changed also. He was still active and playful but he wouldn't eat or drink much. Again, I thought it was because of the move to our new surroundings.

One Wednesday morning I was hanging insulation in an upstairs room. I didn't want Mr Bear climbing the steps over and over as I made my many trips up and down so I left him sleeping downstairs. I went downstairs for some supplies  and to check on Mr Bear and something about him didn't seem normal. He had become lethargic. I knew something was wrong. I immediately took him to a local Animal Clinic. The Vet prescribed medications. In the next few days Mr Bear became worse. He wouldn't eat or drink and he wouldn't swallow his pills so I went back to the Vet and got the medicine in liquid form. Peggy and I tried giving it to him with a syringe. The medicine didn't help. Mr Bear grew steadily weaker.   
       
Mr Bear went from active and playful and apparently
healthy to almost lifeless in just a few days. I have a Vet friend who operates an Animal Clinic a few miles from us. Peggy and I decided to take Mr Bear to him for an examination.  

His diagnosis showed kidney failure which involved
all his vital organs and there was nothing we could do.
The Vet said that Mr Bear's age was a big factor in his illness and that he had no more than a few days to live. 

As I held Mr Bear on the examining table, I told the Vet about Ms Bear's death so long ago and how, this time, I was
strong enough to accept it because I knew that all the pain was in my own mind and Mr Bear would be so much better off than to live on as sick as he was and this time I'd simply give him up and forget about it because I refused to let myself go through all that pain again because it was an unecessary pain and it was all in my own mind - and - and -and - this time ... this time I would be strong because I realize that death is a part of life and we all have to accept it and we are silly to let such things disrupt our lives and after all this is only a dog and there are millions and millions of dogs who would like someone like me to take care of them so now I'm prepared to give up my little friend because life goes on and I'm not going to let this bother me because there's nothing anyone can do about it anyhow, and etc, etc, etc. The Vet agreed.
I numbly left his office with Mr Bear in my arms. 

Peggy and I tried to prepare ourselves for the inevitable.  

On Sunday February 9th, 2003 we had to give him up.
He died 1 week before his 12th birthday. When his last few minutes drew near we found that all our emotional preparations failed. When we drove away from that clinic we left a room full of people all crying. As soon as we got home I tearfully packed all my reminders of Mr Bear: his toys, his collar and leash, his pictures and everything else that reminded me of him. I would save them until another time when I could look at them without hurting inside. Its been almost two years now and even writing this is a painful task.  
 
I knew from my experience with Ms Bear's death twelve years before, that the only way I could clear my mind was to quickly find a new Scottie friend. Meanwhile, Peggy had retired so she was now in our new home full time. We began immediately searching all the kennels and shelters for miles around but there were no Scotties available. On the Internet, there were no Scotties available. I posted a want ad on the Internet and within a few days I received a reply from a lady in Illinois who operates a rescue kennel. She had just  rescued a female Scottish Terrier 1 & 1/2 years old from a puppy mill and would I consider adopting her? I said YES.  

The rescue kennel is located about 175 miles from us
so we couldn't see the Scottie but we did get a couple of pictures and a description.This Scottie's name is Chloe. Her entire life was spent living in a breeder's cage until she was given to the shelter.

We were anxious to get our new Scottie friend but there were some delays; she had to be examined and get her shots from their local Vet. She was scheduled to finish her preparations on a Saturday morning and we would complete the adoption at noon. That Saturday morning Peggy and I headed for Illinois to get our dog.

Meantime, while we were on the way to adopt her, the Vet discovered that Chloe had a prolapsed uterus and she couldn't be released until after surgery the next week. We arrived at the rescue kennel and got that sad news. We did get to visit Chloe and that first meeting was so sad.

Chloe was lying on a blanket in the corner of a kitchen, all curled up in a little ball of fur with one eye peeping out at us. I stooped down and told her that soon she would have a new permanent home and a new life that she couldn't even imagine. Reluctantly, we had to leave Chloe and make the trip back home without her.  

Meanwhile, work on our new home continued without
Mr Bear. Much of the happiness was missing from our home without him but I knew some good would come from his death: a sad, mistreated little Scottie would now have a new life with us because Mr Bear was gone. 

Ms Bear and Mr Bear will always live in memory; they
each were special. Now our attention must be directed toward the living.  

On March 15th, 34 days after Mr Bear died, we drove to Illinois (again) and picked up our new Scottie. She became Ms ChloeBear, the third in our MBear tradition. Her entire name is Ms ChloeBear El Doggo Dickens.

Our first months together were a real experience. An adult dog 1 & 1/2 years old who was confined all her life, had to go through puppyhood. It hasn't been easy on any of us but it's certainly worth the effort watching her develop from complete ignorance of the world outside her prison cage to life in the free world. But that is another story, which is now being written.
 
13.
Howard D. Dickens (Doug)

Chloe at Rescue Kennel
Chloe after 14 months in her new home.
Mr Bear helping me remodel.

Peggy and Doug

Our 1870's Home
Peggy with the old man, Mr Bear
Mr Bear liked Peggy's pampering.
Mr Bear helping assemble cabinet.
Meet Ms Chloe Bear
Mr Bear guarding Peggy.

Many life changes, Mr Bear dies, Chloe Bear is adopted.

Click the link above to visit Chloe's Web site.
This is Page 13.

This Web site is authored and maintained by Howard D. Dickens (Doug) and constructed using Web Studio. Copyright © 2004 – 2007.

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