Thursday, May 16, 2013

Goodbye to Bear

Bear and Tashi in the studio
Bear and Tashi in the studio

I’m so sad to report that Bear passed away Tuesday night. Up until a few days ago I was still entertaining the idea that I might be able to have him with me for many more weeks, even months. Nothing about his illness has been linear, and after a few bad days his energy and spirits were up and he had been steadily regaining strength. He finished with crate rest and  was once again free to go about the house, having no trouble getting around, albeit slowly, even on the slippery wood floors. Then abruptly his illness changed course and he became so very tired, sleeping most of the time, and then seeming terribly weak. His breathing became irregular and suddenly this was bothering him – so much so that I took him again to the animal ER. They confirmed that the cancer was starting to pressure his throat, and it was time to peacefully let him go.


Bear was a steady companion, following me from room to room as I went about my day, or more often, anticipating what was next and leading the way. He liked to adhere to a strict schedule and would always prompt me when it was time for a meal, or a treat, or a nap, or a walk. Vocal, intelligent, and with a sense of humor, he made every activity he could into play. He would jump up on the bed so I could chase him off it while trying to make it – repeating as necessary, play tug of war with vines in the garden while I was weeding, chase the cat just because the vacuum cleaner was coming out of the closet and the cat was probably about to run, chase squirrels because they were chewing on the house, or chase squirrels just because. Without vacuums or squirrels present, it was fun simply running over  there in order to spin around and run back here – zooming back and forth. He was excellent in the studio, always supportive, never judging. He had a skill for kitten herding and supervision, and he was a great help in the kitchen.  He protected everyone from all the creatures trying to get in through the television, including dogs, cats, horses, and every other animal, as well as animated cartoon characters – he held them all at bay by barking at the screen until they went away. He was remarkably sweet and his loyalty was unfailing - I feel privileged to have had all the years of love and joy.

14 comments:

Seip Fine Art said...

Oh Katherine! What crestfallen news! It's never easy to lose the friendship and companionship of a beloved furry member of the family ... my heart goes to you. At least, Bear is in a peaceful place where the sunshine, open fields and tasty treats are abound.

Katherine Kean said...

Thank you Polly.

x said...

So sorry to hear about Bear! I know he was a big part of your life for a long time.

Katherine Kean said...

Thank you!

Vickie Martin said...

My thoughts are with you - but it was a lovely post, sad as it always is to lose - I don't want to say a "pet" - I can tell he was much more than that to you - as are my dogs to me! He was a companion and a guardian.

Kathryn Hansen said...

It's so beautiful to hear about your deep connection with Bear...he sounds like an awesome companion and friend. Again, I am so sorry for your loss.

Katherine Kean said...

Thank you Vickie, and you're right. "Pet" hardly describes the connection.

Katherine Kean said...

Thank you Kathryn. Animals are awesome, aren't they?

Dianne Poinski said...

Oh Katherine! I am so sorry for your loss! Take care of yourself during this time. Sending good thoughts and hugs your way.

Katherine Kean said...

Dianne - thank you for your thoughts. Hugs to you.

jeronimus said...

They leave a hole in one's heart when they go. I've never had a dog, only smaller animals, and losing them was tough enough, so I can only imagine how much harder it would be to lose such a loyal friend as a dog.

Katherine Kean said...

They do leave a hole, don't they? It seems to me that it may not be the size of the animal, but the depth of the bond that causes it...thanks, jeronimus.

Claudia Dose said...

So sorry for your loss Katherine, pets become to us like children, ugh! Take good care of yourself. Huge hugs to you! Love Claudia

Katherine Kean said...

Hi Claudia, thank you. Yes, they do become like children - fur babies. Love and hugs, Katherine