Almost three years after bringing Josie home to Virginia, Bear joined us. I got him from the same cousin I got Josie. The same time of year too – during the holidays. The day I picked him up is the only day I ever heard him howl. I hadn’t figured out a good place to keep him and was afraid he would run off. So I tied him up and walked out of sight. He howled. And howled. I quickly returned and he just silently looked at me, as if to say, “What? Wasn’t me.” Never heard him do that again.
When we got home, I had the problem of figuring out how to confine him. My backyard was fenced in, but had gaps between the boards and between the bottom board and the ground that any dog could easily get through. Josie knew better than to try to escape. Bear needed to learn. Before I had a chance to teach him, I had to rig something up so he wouldn’t run off. My first attempts did not go so well. He had 50 feet of cable – and proceeded to wrap himself up around two trees – usually doing figure eights around both. And then he would sit there, silently, staring at the door, waiting for me to come untangle him.
He’s a cute pup – but his name does not fit. Eeyore would have been better – he perpetually looks sad. Even when given a bone to chew on. I also thought Crush would work – like the turtle from Finding Nemo. When he’s not looking sad, he looks very chill and relaxed. Sometimes, I almost except him to lean back, close his eyes and say “Duuuuuuuuude”.
He’s really quiet, often just watching what is going on around. Only when he gets really excited (usually at a squirrel or deer) does he bark and run around. A bark from Bear is a rare treat.
Sometimes, I forget I put him outside. When I go to check on him, I find him on the deck watching over the backyard. He looks at me, with those sad eyes, as if begging me to just let him be – he’s having fun.
He’s also extremely gentle. When offered a treat, he’ll usually refuse to take it. If it is offered a second time, he’ll very slowly take it from you – barely biting the food as if he is terrified of accidentally biting the hand that feeds him.
Although Bear is younger, he looks older these days – sporting a grey muzzle. He hasn’t changed much – he’s still my sad, quiet, gentle puppy. Well, he has changed in one respect – he smiles lots more.