This article was written in collaboration with Karly, owner of @fluffy_boy_bear on Instagram.
My name is Karly, and I live in Canada. I currently own an adorable pyreneesXpup named Bear.
2 years go, my family and I watched as the pandemic in Canada approached us like a tidal wave. Every day, we monitored the news and heard about how close and how fast the virus was coming. We stocked up on supplies and got a new job that wouldn’t be considered non-essential so we could maintain working. We also chose to pull our daughter from school and homeschool her after the shutdowns.
We had no sense of certainty on what the next day would bring in terms of laws, freedom, travel, product availability, etc.
Our previous cockapoo was named Bentley. He was our first family dog. We adopted him at the age of 7. He was my shadow, my best friend, my security guard, my comfort. He was extremely under-socialized. We made it a goal to ensure he would not bark at every person that walks by our house. He was a challenge but one that we accepted with lots of love and determination.
He did not eat or drink during his first week at home. We vaccinated him quickly, put him on good food, took him for grooming, cuddled every night in bed and eventually managed to gain his trust.
After that, he was like a missing piece to the puzzle. Once he became himself and showed us his personality (as undertrained as that may be!) we were obsessed.
Unfortunately for us, he passed away. When we lost him, I felt like I lost my best friend. My shadow disappeared. My days felt empty. I stopped going for trail walks. I stopped going outside first thing in the morning. I stopped looking at other people’s dogs and cried when I did. I had never been so heartbroken in my life. I tried to cope with the grief by believing that he had the most amazing end of his life he could have possibly wanted. Filled with love, energy, health, exercise, treats, cuddles.
Yet with grief, we knew we needed to somehow fill his void.
Adopting Bear was not a decision we took lightly.
When Bentley was around we would conspire to get another Cockapoo (dog breed) after him. We loved the breed. But when the time came, it hit too close to home for us to even consider thinking about the same breed. We needed a complete change. So we settled for a Pyrenees cross, either a puppy or an elder, large dog.
We took our time to search for a suitable dog. It took a while, but eventually, we saw Bear for the first time and knew that he was what we needed.
We instantly set up a meet and greet. His previous foster home consisted of 7 year old hence we felt assured that he would be good with our oldest daughter. We also brought over our newborn to see how he acted with her.
When we first met him he gave us a jump, hug, kiss, and instantly we were sold. The first thing we noticed was how big he was. We were warned he was big. But he was huge.
Secondly his hair. He has an Einstein hairdo, that you can’t help but love.
Third, how happy his energy was. He was exactly what we were missing and the energy we wanted back in our home. He was in our car on the way home that very same day. We met his foster mom outside of a school, took him for a little walk, gave him some love, then loaded up.
Healing during a Pandemic
Bear’s arrival helped to provide routine through uncertain times. We were happy to be back outside in the morning, at the park in the afternoon, going into pet stores, going to dog parks. We regained forms of socialization that we thought we lost.
Bear also promotes calm and happy energies which was a refreshing take amidst the annoyance and unsure ways of the pandemic.
Most importantly, having Bear helped to clear my impressions of love and grief.
Truly, I would never have Bentley back and that fills me with grief, but Bear provides a new kind of love. With him, we are constantly discovering new traits and routines to love.
Of course, we miss Bentley and will always miss him. He was our “grumpy old man”. He would bark at anyone and anything he didn’t know. He curled up on the couch and slept. He never ran always walked with us. He slept all night in our bed. He lost lots of teeth and could only consume soft food.
But, Bear is our energetic baby boy. He helped us to find, such a different form of love.
* This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Pawjourr. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.