8.

It was enjoyable watching Mr Bear grow up and to
see his personality develop. Like Ms Bear before
him, he did many unusual things. Some of his
antics were like those of Ms Bear but he
developed several behaviors that even Ms Bear
never thought of. One day soon after we got him,
Sarah bathed him in the kitchen sink. She wiped
most of the water off with a towel, sat down in
a chair and proceeded to hook up the hair dryer to
Blow-dry him with warm air. She turned the hair
dryer on and tried to hold him in one hand while
holding the hair dryer in the other. That was the
last time she tried that. We learned early that he
hates loud noises. If she hadn't stopped the hair
dryer I think he would have chewed it up. He threw
such a fit that she put him down and said, "Go then."
He went. I know many dogs would rebel at the sound
and feel of warm air coming from a hair dryer but
when Mr Bear doesn't like something he throws a
fit that you would have to see to believe. This
fit was many years ago and it made such an
impression on me that I still haven't forgotten.

He had his own kind of puppy games. I put a light-
weight eight-foot chain on him and we would chain
him to a kitchen cabinet. This gave him plenty of
opportunity to move around the kitchen. He would
back up from the cabinet and pull the chain to
just the right tension and then he would move his
neck from side to side until the chain was whirling
around like a child playing skip a rope. He did
this over and over. Wherever we were in the
house we could hear Mr Bear playing his game
with the chain going 'tap, tap, tap, tap' against
the kitchen floor.

Another of his puppy games was played with a shoe.
I've seen many puppies and older dogs chew on a
shoe. But Mr Bear had another shoe game. He would
find a flexible shoe like a house slipper and hold
one end of the shoe in his mouth and by rapidly
turning his head back and forth the shoe would hit
the floor on his left side then on his right side
and the sound was a 'tap, tap, tap, tap.' He loved
this game so I made sure that he always had an
old soft shoe around. When visitors came to the
house I would lead them quietly to the kitchen
doorway where they could watch his games.

When puppies are shedding their baby teeth they,
like human children, need to chew on something.
Mr Bear's favorite chew toy was human hands: my
hands and Sarah's hands. All during his puppy
months our hands were scarred with teeth marks.
He made a big deal about this chewing of our
hands. He had a mouth full of puppy teeth -- I
mean a mouth full of big dog teeth -- and he
was very proud of his teeth. How can I say that?
A dog proud of his teeth? How can that be? How
could I know? Well, he wasn't mean and he didn't
go around biting people but his teeth were so
important to him that I would hold him on my
lap and compliment him on his big dog teeth;
I would say things like, "Wow, look at those big
dog teeth," and he understood. After he got his
permanent teeth I continued to compliment his
big dog teeth. He has a mouth full of them and
that's one reason people don't reach out to touch
him without asking.

Mr Bear attracts a lot of attention. Scottish
Terriers are not numerous and Mr Bear as a puppy
was very cute with his traditional Scottie hair cut.
He looked like a cuddly stuffed toy and people
were drawn to hold him or touch him. He allows
that from some people but he lets you know if
you are not welcome. When he opens his mouth and
people see that mouth full of big dog teeth, they
back off. He was and still is very selective about
who can hold or pet him.

When Mr Bear was big enough to sit on the truck
seat outside his box, he would stand and stretch to
see out the window. His feet would slide off the
door frame so every few minutes he had to drop down
onto the seat. I got some wire mesh and contoured
it to hang from the window frame down the side of
the door. Mr Bear could then stand and look out the
window and his claws would grip the wire mesh so
his feet didn't slide down anymore. That was a big
improvement.

Mr Bear liked the truck. He could run from
one end of it to the other. I call it a truck. It's
a Chevrolet Suburban. Some might call it a truck
and some might call it a van. Mr Bear called it his
rolling dog house. Ms Bear had traveled with me
over 200,000 miles during her lifetime and it had
been her rolling dog house. Now Mr Bear had moved
in and it was his rolling dog house. There were
already all the furnishings a dog could want built
right in because I had set the truck up for Ms Bear's
comfort and convenience back when we had
to spend many hours on the road. Mr Bear fit right
in and made himself at home.

As smart as Mr Bear was, he had a lot to learn. The
car window was much lower therefore much closer to
the seat than the truck window was. When Mr Bear
rode with Sarah in the car, he would lean out the
window so far that he was in danger of falling out.
And that's what he did. One day Sarah came home with
the following story: "Mr Bear was leaning out the
car window. Suddenly he fell out of the window. I
thought he might be hurt or dead. I turned the car
around and went back to get him. When I got there
he was sitting in someone's front yard waiting. I
opened the car door and he jumped in." Mr Bear was
fine but Sarah was unnerved.

Loretta dog had grown into a big, heavy (fat),
black Labrador. She would eat anything that smelled
like food to her. I had to feed Mr Bear some place
where Loretta couldn't get to the food bowl because
she would push Mr Bear aside and eat his food.
Mr Bear didn't like that but Loretta was a big dog
and Mr Bear was a little puppy. Loretta ran over
Mr Bear like he was a ... a... well, like he was a
little puppy. In a few months, that reversed. Mr
Bear lost his puppy teeth and they were replaced
by Big Dog Teeth. He also developed a deep, mean
sounding growl. Loretta decided to move aside and
give Mr Bear plenty of room.

Loretta was too fat. She also developed arthritis
and she just didn't get around so easily as she
once did. She spent most of her time sleeping in a
big chair. Despite her weight and arthritis, she
was still very much a dog and she didn't hesitate
to show her lordship over neighborhood cats when
they came close to our yard. Mr Bear also liked
cats. That is, he liked to chase cats. One event
I'll never forget happened on a summer day in our
back yard.

There was a gentle slope from our driveway, across
our back yard, down to the neighbors yard. Beside
our driveway there was a small tree. About fifteen
feet down from the tree there was a picnic table
and benches. I was siting on a bench. Mr Bear
was wearing his twenty-five foot tie-out cable
which I had secured to the small tree. Loretta
was sitting on the driveway. Mr Bear had wandered
over to me, where I was sitting on the bench.
Mr Bear went under the bench and came out with his
cable looped once around the bench leg. Suddenly
Loretta spotted the neighbor's cat walking across
the yard. Loretta jumped up and started full speed
down the slope toward the cat. Mr Bear, upon
hearing Loretta's bark and seeing her jump up and
run, tried to join the chase. With his cable
looped around the bench leg he couldn't run but
instead, his attempt stretched the cable right in
front of Loretta at the precise moment that
Loretta's front legs reached the stretched cable.

I never saw anything like it except maybe in
the movies. It couldn't have been staged to
work more precisely. Suddenly there was a large
black dog tumbling headfirst down the slope,
legs flying in the air, big body doing a perfect
front to back heels over head flip. It could
easily have broken her neck. Or at least a leg
or two. But before I could get to her she jumped
up and started walking. I could tell that she
was OK but I checked her over to be sure. Only
then could I think about what happened and why.
I put my arm around Loreta's neck and I asked
her if she would please do that again after I got
the Camcorder running because people would never
believe the story. She respectfully refused.

8.

Mr Bear at 11 years old.
My faithful old dog.
Some baby pictures.
His first bathtub is the sink.
His first bath.
About to meet the hair dryer.
This session lasted a few seconds.
Mr Bear pup and Loretta Dog are great friends.
He never liked getting a bath.
This is Page 8.
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