Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Prepare to be inspired!

Let me tell you about my friend, Bear. Despite his name and some ursine features, Bear is a dog, and a very admirable dog, at that. His owner, a member of our board, adopted him last year in January from Gentle Giants Rescue of Norco California. Bear was fortunate to have found such a loving and committed owner because he needed lots of help. He had allergies, a worsening limp and his fur had all but disappeared. Thanks to some very talented veterinarians, Bear’s health problems are behind him, and, as you can see from his pictures, he now enjoys excellent health.
Bear hasn’t forgotten his struggles along the road back to good health, so his owner and he have decided to help others who might need their spirits lifted by joining the Love on 4 Paws program. Through the program, Bear and his owner travel to hospitals, schools and nursing homes spreading the kind of good cheer only a big furry dog can provide. (Love on 4 Paws is located in Los Angeles and works exclusively within the greater Los Angeles area.) Bear doesn’t do many tricks, but he doesn’t need to. When you’re as fluffy and loveable as Bear, all you have to do is show up. Everybody loves him, and how could you not?

Bear says the toughest part of the job is slippery floors. His feet are great for traversing the rocky terrain of the Pyrenees Mountains where his ancestors lived; however, linoleum is a different story. He sits for lots of pictures with kids, but because his paws can’t get traction on the slick tiles his front paws slide out from under him and he flops on his belly. He gets embarrassed, but everyone else finds it’s hilarious. Personally, I think that qualifies as a trick.

Bear is a rescued dog who now helps others. I think we can all learn a lot from him. Thanks, Bear. Keep up the good work!

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