I know what you’re thinking. It’s Christmas in July. Well, it is for Bear.
So, my friend (who happens to drive like my grandma), Brofessor Steve Halpert, with Friends of BARC was driving to BARC and found a black Chow mix he named Bear wandering around The 5th Ward, a place notorious for stray dogs. Of course, he stopped and picked up this lonely boy. Steve brought him to the shelter and checked him in. Not ideal but better than being run over on the street or getting beat up by other dogs or even people.
Once admitted to the shelter a stray dog has to go into the Evaluation Building, waiting for three days on what is called a stray wait. This is to give a chance for the owners to come claim their dog before they are put up for adoption, or worse, put to sleep (PTS). No one hardly ever comes for them.
I just happened to be there one day when people were trying to take Bear outside. The only problem was that Bear didn’t know how to walk on a leash. He just pancaked on the ground and refused to move. If we wanted him to move we would have to pick his big butt up. Not good. He wasn’t budging.
Brenda, in the rescue office was watching and I could already read her body language. No doubt in my mind Bear was going to end up on “the list”. But then I decided to get down on his level and sat down across from him. I wanted to coax him to stand up and walk over to me. He didn’t. But what he did do is army crawl his way over to me, climb into my lap, and turn over like a little baby, wanting a belly rub. He looked longingly into my eyes, just wanting to be loved.
Brenda’s facial expression changed at that moment. She was smiling and said she would send a plea out for rescue groups to take him. However, she said I would have to get him to walk on a leash first. Challenge accepted.
I got a pack of hot dogs, leashed him up, and left a trail of hot dogs for him to follow. It took a little while and he certainly could win any hot dog eating contest but within 10 minutes he was walking properly on a leash. Oh, we walked all over the place. Yes, we did. Then we walked by Brenda’s office. She was happy. The plea was sent out.
And when I told Bear that Santa was at the shelter, he insisted on walking over to show Santa he had been a good boy and learned to walk on a leash. Even Santa was impressed but then again Santa already knew, because Santa knows who’s naughty and who’s nice. When Santa asked Bear what he wanted for Christmas Bear told him he wanted a human of his own.
After we took our picture with Santa, Rescued Pets Movement tagged him. Santa timed it just right and Bear received his Christmas miracle.
A sweeter more gentle soul you would not find. Bear left the shelter and went into foster care. Several weeks later he traveled to Colorado where he went into foster care and completed his Heartworm treatment. Now he is Heartworm free. And just like Santa promised, he has a human of his own now.
Here is what his foster said of him:
I just wanted to let you know that Bear completed his Heartworm treatment, got neutered, and this past Sunday got adopted by a wonderful couple and their Chi mix, Scott! I had a poster I circulated at a library where I volunteer with 2 of our dogs, and one of the girls there adopted him. By the time he left our house, he was walking a mile with me in the mornings – with some heeling and sitting. He is very passionate about bunnies, squirrels, and our Chi’s. But mostly he just loves everyone! Such a great dog and again, so appreciative for your efforts to save him. I’ve attached some pictures – one of him playing with our little dogs, one with our black dog, Osito (little bear), one on squirrel patrol, and one with his new family.
Yes, Bear, there is a Santa Claus. And a whole lot of people working behind the scenes to make sure you received the life you deserved. And many of your cousins and friends as well.
Oh, we still get updates of Bear sightings in Colorado. Beautiful Bear from BARC finally made it home. Right where he should be with someone who loves him. And he will gush love for the rest of his life for his human – and everyone else. But maybe not squirrels of bunnies…
Its a beautiful thing. The next time you see a stray dog wandering around on the street just remember, that could be your Beautiful Bear.