The bittersweet story of Bear

When this email and photo arrived, I knew I had to help.

My name is George and i am writing to you hoping that i can find a home for an older German Shepherd that i found on a country road in western Minnesota last Saturday.

He was severely covered in matts and burrs and terribly skinny and weak. I brought him back to my place and cut out most of the matts and burrs and gave him a shampoo to clean him up. I then took him to the animal hospital in Hopkins MN to have him checked out.

That is where he is now and he only has a few days left before they cant take care of him anymore and they will put him down. I'm not going to let that happen, he's an older dog they said around 8 years old and he has a really bad bone growth on one of his hind legs so he doesn't walk very well and it looks like its painful to sit or get up. Who knows how long he has been wandering around he was in bad shape when i found him.

I would love to take care of him but i already have 2 dogs. He's a big dog so i have been calling him Bear. He is in no way aggressive at all, he didn't make a sound the whole time i had him and just wanted to be petted and around people. I have contacted the Buffalo humane society and the Annandale police station hoping that someone would have reported a lost Shepherd but no one has, and judging by his appearance he was out on his own all summer.

I will take him from the hospital before they put him down and try to find him a home but i know what its like trying to find older dogs homes. I wish i could care for him but it just isn't feasible.

Please get back to me or call me as soon as you can so we can get this big guy a home.


After many, many emails and phone calls, the organization MARS (Midwest Animal Rescue Services) offered to take him. This was my first report from them:

Just wanted to let everyone know, George has dropped Bear off with us. Our Vet has examined him, and he has a spinal issue that is degenerative. His spine is fusing together down his back. He has a lump on his leg we will x-ray to make sure it is not bone cancer. He has arthritis in his front shoulders, and other than that the BEST personality in the world :-)

We will keep him comfortable in one of our foster homes that deals with seniors and health issues until it is time for him to cross the bridge. He will not be placed for adoption as he just needs to be in one home on a soft bed with lots of love for the amount of time he has left.

I want to thank you all for looking out for this boy, especially George!

We will keep you updated on his condition as it progresses. Unfortunately, there is no fix for his health issues but to keep him comfortable and well-fed until it is his time.

The Vet as estimated his age at 12-14 years old. He has lived a very hard life by the looks of him. He has cataracts in both eyes so he doesn't see as well as he used to, but his nose works great. He likes salmon treats. :0) He is a very sweet boy and Karyn (his foster mom )was getting his room and bed ready for him when I called to tell her he was here.

Sincerely,
Amy
Midwest Animal Rescue
Director of Operations/Intake/Adoptions




I heard from MARS again they received a donation from Friends of Flicka for Bear's care:

I can NEVER thank you enough for your donation to help Bear. I really wanted to call you or send a more formal Thank You card but sadly time kept getting away from me and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to sent my heartfelt thanks.

Bear is doing great. He is resting comfortably in his foster home and he is really enjoying life. Since starting the pain medication, he is doing great. He moves slowing, which is to be expected, but you can almost see happiness and peace in his eyes. We are working on sending you pictures :)

I will never understand how someone could throw away such a devoted and loving pet like Bear. Your donation will help us to keep him comfortable until his time comes to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

Thank you again, with all my heart.

Kind regards,

Heather
Director of the German Shepherd Dept.
www.MidwestAnimalRescue.org

~When I win the lottery, there will be many unhappy relatives, but LOTS of delighted German Shepherds.~


And then the final note:

I am emailing today to let you know that Bear has passed over the rainbow bridge this evening. He was with his foster family who adores him, and held him while he went. We were all there also, so he went with all of us who took over his care.

He was to the point where the pain meds were not working and he was dragging his back end to try and walk. It was time.

I just wanted to personally thank all of you who had a hand in giving Bear a wonderful few weeks where he got to have bacon sunday brunch and pot roast dinners. A soft couch of his own, and fourlegged siblings who loved him as much as the humans.

Friends of Flicka, thank you for the wonderful donation for his care.

Bear gives all of you a big bear hug and loves each and everyone of you!

Amy
Midwest Animal Rescue
Director of Operations/Intake/Adoptions

Having a bad day? Pet your dog, you will immediately feel better.