On February 10th 2016 I hugged, kissed and said goodbye to my 13 year old best friend Bear for the last time. After 2 long years of medications and doctor visits my best friend, in his own way let me know it was time. I called an amazing vet who came to my home and in the most peaceful, loving way - allowed myself, my wife and close family say goodbye to our furry family member. For 13 years Bear filled my life with so much joy. Through the countless walks and joy rides, our bond grew. I learned so much from Bear. He taught me what it meant to truly care and love an animal as a family member.
As i write this, i remember the very important lessons Bear taught me. He taught me to always be kind. No matter what dog Bear met he was playful and gentle with them. When we adopted our other “fur baby" Aiko he took him in, taught him the ropes of how to be a good dog, played with him even though he was older at this time. He gave Aiko all the energy he had, and showed him patience. Bear taught me to be patient. i remember the couple of weeks leading up to his passing. I would hear him crying for help because he needed to use the bathroom or get water. i would wake up at 2 am almost every night to help him up on to his feet. I would help him eat holding the food in his head. Our walks became less in distance yet longer in time. My buddy moved a lot slower but he enjoyed his walks. He taught me to enjoy the little moments in life. He loved his walks and loved car rides, taking in all the smells hanging out the window. He taught me to love and give love to those who especially need it. He was always there whenever i needed him and even though he wanted to be strong in front of me i know when he needed my help. My Bear taught me many things - patience, love, to enjoy every moment, loyalty, and many other life things. But one of the best lessons Bear taught me was to see every animal as a living being that deserves to live and to enjoy life.
Many of us have pets in our life that are considered our family. We care for them and love them, but many pets worldwide don’t know that feeling. Many die without ever knowing that kind of love and likewise many people never get the chance to learn what it means to be loved by a pet. We can change that. We as humans have the power to change the lives of people and animals alike. Many of us can’t be the ones doing the dirty work of rescuing animals and helping them find their forever homes. However everyone of us can help organizations which are made of amazing individuals who give their time, energy, and resources to saving and giving a second chance to animals of all kinds. We can change the lives for millions of animals that need our help. Its our duty to help them. We are the only ones with the power to save lives.
The lessons I learned from my boy Bear will stick with me for the rest of my life and in his memory I will do everything in my power to give pets like him the chance to love and live like he did. Thank you buddy for the happiness you brought to me, I love you and always will. Goodbye old friend. You are forever in my heart.