Crafts are my passion, Cats are my obsession

My crafting adventures, my cats, my dogs, my opinons - I never did keep a diary as a child, but I'm doing it now!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Put it off long enough.

This post should have been made six and a half months ago. It will be a long post, and a painful one. I'm dealing with a lot of depression over it....

It all started some 12 or so years ago... I was going through a rough time in my life. Things were starting to look up, but I still had issues to deal with; baggage, if you will. I was avoiding that, as most people might do, because it would mean thinking about issues from my childhood, painful memories, etc.There was a pet store near the bank we dealt with (both have since moved to new locations, not that it is terribly important to know that bit) and I would often like to pop in there to look at the kitties. One visit, I saw some adorable puppies - of course, back then, we had Spud. But she was three years old then... Anyway, I decided I wanted a puppy to look after again. DH nixed the idea...

Soon after that, I found myself in a self-help group that made me realize that I had some self-esteem problems, and that the whole wanting a puppy thing was really just a way to avoid looking at myself - I'd be too busy house-training and other training, and wouldn't have time to focus on myself.... So, since I was now getting those issues dealt with, I no longer desired a distraction (aka a puppy).

A couple months later, DS (who still lived at home then, but was an adult and had a job) decided that he wanted to own a border collie. He called me on my cell phone to ask when I was coming home from work that day, because he wanted me to drive him to the local humane society. I informed him that I had just parked on the street in front of our house, and that I wasn't going to drive all the way across the city on the off chance that there might be a border at the shelter. BUT, I did have to go to the bank, and since the pet store was also a no-kill shelter, that he could come along if he wanted....

What are the odds that on that particular day, there was one border collie puppy left from a litter at that store? Of course, you all know the answer, if you've ever read this blog in the past.

So. DS got himself a puppy. I made him do all the housetraining, cleaning up, chipping in money for food and vet care, etc. After all, it was his dog, and his responsibility. Even though I had thought I wanted a puppy, this was to be DS's dog, and I had other things to work on.

First couple years, everything went according to plan. At one point, DS had moved temporarily into an apartment with a guy he worked with, until the guy's lease ran out. He had to leave Bear with us. I think that was the beginning of when Bear became my dog, even though DS moved back home for a while and was only gone a couple months. He was home another year, then met DIL. Ok, of course she is DIL now. Anyway - he met her, and they decided to buy a house together. By then, she already had two children, and Bear had not really been exposed to young children. Now, my grandkids have all had exposure to animals throughout their lives, and are great with them. BUT - Bear did not have experience with kids, and whenever they visited in those early days, he went into "deer in the headlights" mode, and panicked, and needed to be outside if they were in the house and vice versa. So, when DS and DIL moved in together, they left Bear here.

I knew for sure that Bear was no longer DS's dog one time when DS was visiting, and Bear was laying on the floor, and DS stood over him with one foot on either side of the dog's body... Bear curled his lips up and growled. It was like, "you don't live here anymore, and you don't get to dominate me in my own home. :)"

Bear always loved going to the country. He loved to swim in the river. He loved to go for walks, and to play Frisbee. He also loved his cats. And he got used to the grandkids. He even got protective of them when they came to visit.Bear didn't get a chance to herd sheep, but he was a working dog just the same. His job was to play Frisbee:This is a picture of "the stance" - the border collie stare just waiting for the command to herd the sheep... or, in this case, the stare that says, "c'mon, Mom, throw the Frisbee - never mind the camera..." And, funny thing - I suspect there was species memory. Even though he'd never been around sheep, if I bought wool yarn that was lightly processed, or when I bought a sheep fleece to spin, Bear would go into the stance and stare at the box or bag. Seriously - he even poked at one box with his nose, as if to make it behave, lol. When he was over the idea that the box or bag or fleece or ball of wool was going to be herded, he would then stick his nose in, and inhale the sheepy smell.

He did love to swim, too - was often disappointed when the river was too high and just not safe.
I do have a video of him swimming; uploaded it to Youtube. I'm "CatsrmeCatlady" on youtube, if you want to search it out. I could, I suppose, find the link, but honestly, now is not a good time for me to do so. It is taking me especially long to do this post as it is....

I mentioned Bear got used to the grandkids, protected them even. Here's a picture of Bear and GS:
He did become very protective, as well, of his kitties. Started when Mica was a kitten - even though until then, Bear hadn't been quite sure of cats. When we got Ashleigh, he had pretty much figured them all out. I have a picture somewhere, can't seem to find it right now, of Ash eating out of Bear's dish, with Bear eating at the same time. At one time, that would never have happened - Bear didn't like to share his food.... But, he got to where he loved the kitties...

He was also very protective of me. I started taking him with me for "truck rides" when I had some errands to run. Despite being a friendly, loving doggy, when he was told to "watch" the truck, he did. He would even bark menacingly at friends if I was alone, and they did something "out of character". I remember one time, a particularly close friend came to visit, and entered our home without knocking (something which was perfectly acceptable to us). It just so happened that it was a time when I was home alone. Bear decided that maybe coming in without knocking was not so acceptable after all; at least, not while I was alone.

Somewhere in there, Bear and I developed a very close bond. Which is where a lot of the depression comes from.... I was working full time.. still spending as much time as I could with Bear, of course, but less than before. DH mentioned that Bear seemed to be getting like Spud was... when I came home, though, I wouldn't notice anything wrong. Bear was always happy to see me home, and would do anything to please me. :) Sweet dog that he was - typical border that he was. Never show a weakness, never let on that you can't do your job....

Well, one day I got a phone call at work. That was at the end of December... the 29th. I left work, and rushed home. This was what I found....
With me home, he did rally - he tried. At one point, he even got up and went outside.... he lifted his head a few times.... he really wanted to please me.....

I had hoped that he would be all right, but when I went to bed that night, I told him that he should do what he had to do. I hoped he'd be all right, but that it was OK if he had to go. That I would see him at the Rainbow Bridge. I told him, "That'll do, Bear". (even though he'd never been trained with that phrase). I gave him a final kiss and hug, and went to bed.

Sadly, he slipped away during the night.....

Rest in Peace, My beloved Mr. Bear.

January 26, 1998 - December 30, 2009

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