Knitting the Light Fantastic

Knitting, spinning, dyeing and other crafty goodness

The Story of Bear

Posted by notthatkat on December 19, 2007


Bear 4 weeks

Shortly before Thanksgiving of last year, an older couple brought a young puppy into my office because they were concerned that his eyes had not opened.  He was 4 weeks old at the time and not much more than a little ball of fluff.  When I checked him out, I could tell that while his eyelids had opened, he did not have anything resembling normal eyes behind those lids.  He was blind, and would be for life.  The couple immediately wanted to put him to sleep, but I convinced them to let us have the puppy and try to find him a home.

Bear 8 weeks

As the weeks went on, he grew as puppies are prone to do.  We (I) named him Bear and showered him with love.  While he occasionally bumped into things, he got really good at finding his way around.  He could be a bit clumsy, but so are a lot of sighted puppies at that age.  Since he was blind from birth, he knew no different.  (Dogs that lose sight later in life adapt very well also.)  He went home with one client for a week, only to be returned when she decided that raising him was more of a challange than she wanted to take on.

Bear 12 weeks

He was vaccinated at the appropriate times and made as ready as possible for placement.  As time went on, I began to think that we wouldn’t find a home for him, and he would probably come home with me.  (The local rescue organization I work with was no help.)  I am generally particular about the homes I place animals in, but in Bear’s case, I was especially so.  Since he is blind, he needed to be an inside dog, and when outside on a leash or in a fence.  But I didn’t want him to be a yard dog, even in a fenced yard.

Shortly after Valentine’s Day, a couple came in our office, asking if we knew of any kittens for adoption.  We gave them a couple contacts for kittens.  Then as our usual, we let them know that we were looking for a home for this blind puppy (the more people knew about him, the more likely someone would know someone that would give him a good home).  It turns out they had recently (6 months earlier) lost a dog of similar bloodlines to Bear (we suspect he comes from German Shepherd and Collie).  They immediately fell in love with him, and took him home.  He came back for neutering and has been in a couple times for boarding.  They take him to work with them on a daily basis and shower him with love.  I could not have imagined a better home for him.

Bear 14 months

He is staying with us this week while his owners are out of town.  At just over a year, Bear is a normal happy dog.  He is still totally blind, although his “eyes” don’t appear abnormal unless you look really close.  He is able to navigate our yard with ease, including a fairly steep set of steps out the back door, and rarely bumps into anything.  He feels with his nose and also throws forward his front feet if he is unsure about his environment.  He loves to have his  neck and chest scratched.

Bear will always have a special place in my heart.  I could wax lyrical about animals not needing to be perfect to be good pets, or being more accepting of deformities and physical problems than people.   But instead, I think I’ll leave you with my all time favorite picture of Bear, taken by his owners at about 6 months of age.

Bear Chillin'


4 Responses to “The Story of Bear”

  1. 1craftyboy said

    Thanks Kat! I already cried once today watching the “Today” show this morning,and now you had to get me going again with this!

  2. Donna said

    Kat, he’s beautiful. You know, I admire you and other vets so much. A lot of people take animals for granted and don’t realize how special they are and how much they need us humans to look out for them. I’m so glad that Bear came into your office and that he found a family to love him like he deserves.

  3. savasana said

    *sniffle* What a beautiful heartwarming story!

  4. KnittySue said

    He is absolutely adorable…Bless you for finding a loving home for this sweet baby. Merry Christmas and many more Blessed New Years to you and your family.

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