This is my Bear

Bear's life did not start out very well. I do not know the specifics but this is our story.
Christmas Eve Day 2002, I spotted a dog by the side of the road. I cautiously approached. There was Bear lying there unable to move. He was emancipated, filthy; hair matted looking at me with pleading eyes.
Bear is a not a small dog. There was no way I could move him by myself. I called every vet in the area and no one was open. I called the police and they suggested the Fire Dept. The wonderful heroes of the Fire Department came, put Bear on a stretcher and brought him to my house.
I made a bed of blankets, dried him off, gave him water, boiled some chicken and rice and hand feed him for 2 days. The first thing on Thursday morning, I called the Vet. Actually I called more than one vet, they all said the same thing, bring him in. So I called the Fire Dept. again. And again, they came to Bear’s aid.
Bear had a spinal cord injury, pneumonia, ear infection, eye infection. The Vet recommended cage rest, steroid medication to reduce the spinal cord swelling and the “wait and see” prescription. As he improved he would need to be contained so I borrowed a play pen and Bear and I spent the next weeks getting to know each other. He was not fond of some of the care, like drops in the ears and pills down his throat. Little by little he started gaining movement, first standing then walking slow then steadier and steadier. He still spent a lot of his time in the playpen to limit he movement and prevent a renewal of his injury. But he watched me and grew to love and trust me.
Today, he still has some problems, he cannot run in circles, he doesn’t pick up his front right paw completely and while he walks his back legs are spread for more balance.
In 2007, I got lung cancer. I was very fortunate it was caught early and I had one lung removed. I did not need chemo or radiation. Lung removal is a major surgery and it was a long recovery. My Bear stayed by my side. He did not fuss over lack of attention that he was used to.
No, he did not prepare my meals. do the laundry, drive me to the doctor or rescue me from eminent danger. But he did give me love and comfort during my months of recovery.
Today, he is my best friend. I would not trade him for anything.
Bear was Christmas present in 2002 and he continues to be the bow (beau) on my Christmas ever since.