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In Memory of Your Beloved Pet
Bear I got Bear when I was 13 and Dad wanted to teach me something about responsibility. I just knew I wanted a dog. What really happened, though, was that I learned about friendship. I named Bear because he was just what I imagined a bear moved like – big, lumbering, thick-furred. He was a grown dog already when we first got him, so maybe he didn’t have the puppy energy of a younger dog. I think, though, that he knew one high strung teenager was enough for any home. When I came home after a failed test or an argument with bullies, even though I was ranting and raving, he would just lumber over and lay down next to me. It always seemed to calm me. How could I go on like that with big brown eyes like his looking at me? I guess you could say he kept me grounded. And, of course, he was a chick magnet. Girls who probably would never look twice at me loved him, and his gentle nature meant he didn’t jump all over them and spoil the introduction. I think he loved the attention as much as I did, too, because he used to love coming to the beach with me and whichever girl I happened to be dating at the time. And, he didn’t take sides when things didn’t work out. When I left for college, I was devastated that Bear couldn’t come with me. Looking back, I guess it was a good thing. He was there for my parents while I couldn’t be. I thought for sure that he wouldn’t be ‘my’ dog anymore, so much as my parents’, but I was wrong. He seemed to know when I was coming home, because he’d be waiting for me in the driveway, just like when he used to wait for the school bus. I still look for him when I drive up to my parents, even though I know he won’t be there. I guess that’s because I’ll never forget him.
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