He was a 55-pound, fur-lined cannonball with a beaming grin cut into its face, barreling around the house with the agility of barcalounger. This was him at his most excited state. An eruption of excitement and energy affectionately referred to as “the butt-tuck thing”, and if you had ever seen this spectacle, you would have agreed that there has never been a more perfect name for anything in the entire world.
You see, Bear’s hind legs stubbornly believed he was made backwards, so every chance they got, they would try to outrun their forward mounted counterparts in an effort to right this egregious error. This would cause his butt to tuck underneath himself as he ran, hence the name “butt-tuck thing.”
The race between front and back was so close at times we felt as if at any moment his rear end would tuck so far underneath the dog, he would simply flip completely over.
Sadly, Bear’s back legs won’t get another chance to compete in this futile contest. Because on April 22, 2011, two days before Easter, Bear suffered a ruptured disk in his back. Emergency surgery at Auburn’s Small Animal Clinic was the only recourse, but it proved ineffective. The damage was done. And just like that, the curtain fell on the butt-tuck ballet.
From the day we brought Bear home from the Atlanta Humane Society, in November of 2006, until the day of his accident, Bear was about as perfect as a dog could be. Aside from a slight propensity for destroying every single, solitary toy that has ever been laid in front of him, Bear has been a joyous addition to our lives.
But it wasn’t until the days, weeks, and months following the accident that we came to truly appreciate what a special animal we had in Bear. Oh sure, we knew he was sweet, obedient, and down-right adorable. But we failed to notice Bear’s finer qualities. His strength. His courage. His patience. Oh, his patience. The good lord gave him the patience of job because he knew it would take Bear’s humans forever to figure out how to express a dog’s bladder. (Still haven’t quite gotten it down yet, but be patient. We’re getting better.)
Bear’s story is far from over. His life is just as full and satisfying as it was before his accident. The only difference is now he has to take his time over speed bumps. Bear continues to bless our lives, and we have AHS to thank for bringing us together. We are so appreciative of their service to the community and to animals that need their help.
Bear is honored to be the Grand Marshal of the 2012 Pet Parade. Since he was notified of his commendation he has begun a tireless training regiment. Long walks in his “wheels” (aka dog wheelchair), followed by hours and hours of deep meditation (aka sleeping). He looks forward to leading off this fabulous event, and looks forward to the ones that follow in the many years to come.
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