7.

Welcome, Mr Scotty Bear El Doggo Dickens:

Ms Bear died in March of 1991.
I don't know the exact date now but what happened
next reminds me of a passage in the book of Jonah.
When it was necessary to cast Jonah overboard into
the angry sea, the Bible says, "Now the Lord had
prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah". No one
knows what the Lord has prepared for us from one day
to the next. But we know this: God watches over his
own and "all things work together for good to them
who love God, to them who are the called according
to his purpose". Romans 8:28.

The Lord already knew that Jonah would be cast
overboard and the Lord already had a great fish
just waiting for Jonah. What I didn't know when Ms
Bear died was that in Columbia TN a pair of Scottish
Terriers became the parents of a litter of Scottie
pups on February the 16th, 1991. Among those pups
was a male that no one had adopted. He was the last
of the litter. While I was preoccupied with Ms Bear's
demise in March, this little Scottie was growing and
waiting for a new home.

Sarah wanted me to adopt another dog. I refused. I
said there would never be another dog like Ms Bear
and I wouldn't even consider it. On April 11th,
Sarah appeared at the door of my room holding my
jacket. She said I should put the jacket on and get
the car keys because we were taking a ride. One
didn't say no to Sarah so we went out to the car.
I still didn't know where we were going. She said
that I should follow her directions. Finally she
said that we were going to Columbia to get a dog.
I said emphatically, "No". We went to Columbia.

On the way, Sarah lectured me about the new dog.
"This is not a little Ms Bear. Ms Bear is unique.
This dog will have it's own personality and it will
be unique also. You will love this dog just as you
loved Ms Bear." I just grunted my doubts. We arrived
at the address and rang the doorbell. We were met
by three of the cutest Scottie dogs. Mom, Dad,
and Pup.

After all the greetings were accomplished, the
owner brought the Scottie pup to me. I didn't like
him. I didn't want him. I did like the Mom dog. I
guess she reminded me of Ms Bear. The owner began
a sales pitch which I didn't believe. "This male
is the smartest dog of the entire litter," he said.
"He is very intelligent," he went on, "he is healthy
and playful. He will make you a fine dog." I thought,
"Lies. He's trying to sell the last pup of the
litter. No one bought him because he was the most
undesirable of the bunch. And now they want to
unload him on us."

Sarah took the pup and told the owner to prepare the
adoption papers while I played with the Mom dog. We
got the papers, paid the owner, and Sarah carried the
pup to the car. She insisted on driving home while I
held the pup. I disagreed and I reluctantly held him
in my hands. He was very small and cute but I was
determined that I didn't want that dog. I opened my
jacket and set him on my stomach with his head
sticking out of the jacket and he was content to ride
like that all the way home.

When we got home I put him on the floor of the den
and Loretta dog gave him a once over. She didn't like
him either. I got a large cardboard box and made him
a bed in it. Sarah brought in a small collar and some
puppy toys which I put in the box. Linda came to see
the new addition to the family and of course, she
loved the little Scottie. What to call him? Well, what
about Mr Bear? We had a Ms Bear and he could be
named Mr Bear. Mr Scotty Bear El Doggo Dickens.
OK. That's settled.

After Mr Bear had been around for a couple of days I
decided that he could ride in the truck if he stayed
in a box. So I made a travel box for him and he began
to ride with me and he, like Ms Bear, loved the truck.
He was small enough to fit in the pocket of coveralls
so he rode there when I cut the grass. Also I noticed
his intense interest in rabbits and squirrels and cats.
Like Ms Bear, Mr Bear was a natural born hunter.

Within a few weeks Mr Bear had become my companion.
I didn't forget Ms Bear, not at all. I explained to him
that Ms Bear was his grandmother and she was buried
under that little mound in the flower garden. On
weekends Mr. Bear, in his cardboard box, went to the
radio station with me and sat in the control room
while I did my work. People just loved that little
Scottie pup. As time passed I found that Mr Bear
had many of the traits that Ms Bear had.

He, like Ms Bear, wanted to be with me all the time
and he didn't like a lot of petting. He, too, was
aloof, independent, and polite with good manners.
He, too, would eat from my hand without touching 
my fingers. He, too, would touch my leg with his
nose in acknowledgment when I did something
for him. Even as a puppy I could see that he was
intelligent. For instance:

He had grown enough to stand on a stuffed toy and
climb out of his box. But when he got out of his
box he would turn around and look at the box as if
he was thinking about something. Once, when he
climbed out of his box I immediately put him back
into the box. He then got on top of a stuffed toy
to climb out again. As he pulled himself up, he
stopped as if thinking about what he was about to
do. He dropped back into the box, picked up his
toy bone in his mouth, then proceeded to climb
out of the box carrying his bone. I was as proud
as any parent could be. My dog is smart! He can
think!

7.

Mr Bear at 10 years old.
My companion for the next 12 years is welcomed.
This is Page 7.
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