Hi! Bear here.
Sometimes I just get too comfortable with my life. I think I know what each day will bring – I get up every morning when dad wakes up and watch him make the coffee, then I sit around with him for a while. Then when I think I just can’t wait another minute longer to go outside, I go jump in the bed with mom and wake her and Maddie up. Once Maddie’s awake, I know we’re going outside pretty fast, because that little girl can’t wait like I can. When she wakes up, she’s gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!
When we come back in, dad gives Maddie and me a bacon strip out of a bag (he thinks I don’t know it’s not real bacon, but I’ve had real bacon before, and believe me – that bag stuff is not real) But, I never refuse food, so I eat it. Then mom feeds us, and she and dad sit around and drink coffee, or go out on the deck and watch the people go by. At some point, mom gets her Activia out of the big box with doors, and Maddie and I wait while she eats it. We know when she is finished because she always scraps around in that Activia carton with her spoon. When we can hear the spoon hitting the sides of the carton, we know that’s all she’s gonna get out of there. Then she takes the spoon out and sits it down. That means she’s done, and we can move in close and clean out that little bit of blueberry or strawberry Activia that she has left – I call it breakfast dessert.
Then we settle down for a morning of rest – inside on the couch, out on the deck, or my personal favorite – right in front of that whirly thing that sits on the floor in the bedroom. If I lift your head up a little, that wind can go right through all the fur on my neck and really cool me off. The whirly thing is GREAT!
Sometimes I have to get up when I hear dad come back from town on his bike. I love that I can look out the back bedroom window to where he parks his bike!
And so the day goes. The only real change from the routine comes when I go get a shampoo and grooming. I can tell those mornings because when mom says, “Let’s go”, she gets my shampoo and conditioner out of the closet and puts them in a bag. Then I know I get to go for a ferry ride and a truck ride, and then I get pampered all day by the nice people at Bark, Bath, and Beyond.
So this morning mom’s reading her email, and suddenly she says, “Oh my gosh Bear, we’re going to be late!” She jumps up, throws on her backpack, and says, “Let’s go”, but she doesn’t stop at the closet for my shampoo. Instead we run downstairs, she puts on my collar, attaches my leash, and off we go down the hill. I think to myself, “No worries, whatever it is, I’m sure it will be fun!”
As usual, when we walk down the hill we pass lots of people who say how handsome I am and want to pet me. Mom is really in a hurry, but she stops long enough for a little girl to say hello. She knows how much I like little kids and how much they like me ’cause I’m so soft and cuddly – just like a teddy bear (which is kinda how I got my name).
Before we get to the end of the street, mom says, “Here we are.” Here? Where’s here? We go inside this fence and go toward an open door in this building that’s like a big barn, and then I suddenly “get it”. Mom brought me here last fall when I was sick. This is where Doc Al takes care of the sick dogs on the island (he might take care of cats too, but I don’t want to think about that).
Doc Al is a vet, and I know that he mainly looks after all the horses on the island. But, if one of us smaller animals gets a tummy ache or something even worse, Doc Al is who everyone on the island calls. If he’s nearby on his bike, maybe at one of the stables or barns, and someone calls him with a sick pet, he will just get on his bike and make a house call! He will do the same thing if an animal is too sick to get to his office. You see it’s different here. Mom and dad can’t just put us in the car and rush us to the vet when there is an emergency. And carrying a 90 lb. golden retriever down the hill to Doc Al’s office would be a little hard , even for my big, strong dad. So, when he needs to, Doc Al comes to your house on his bike. How cool is that!
When we get to the open door, Doc Al is on the phone, but we go on in. I’m still wondering what’s going on because I’m not sick! I feel great, in fact. I know I have to take 2 pills a day because something in me called a thigh-roid gland doesn’t work right. If I don’t take the pills, I get sloppy fat – would you believe I weighed 103 lbs. last year! But it was this gland thing I had going on that was making me gain weight – it certainly wasn’t because they give me too much to eat! Good grief, you’d think I was a Yorkshire Terrier by the amount of food they put in my bowl.
Anyway, Doc Al gets off the phone and gets down on the floor with me. He’s telling me how nice I am and how good I look, then all of a sudden I notice he has this HUGE NEEDLE in his hand. What the heck is that for? He asks mom to take off my collar and hold my head because he’s going to draw blood OUT OF MY NECK! Are you kidding me! My animal doctor at home in Georgia has done this before when she was testing my thigh-roid gland, but she always stuck me in the leg. My NECK? Mom is holding my head, and Doc Al is trying to find my skin under all my fur, and I’m thinking, “Geez I wish I was back home in front of my whirly thing!”
Doc Al finds what he is looking for and sticks me. I hold very still because mom and Doc Al are telling me over and over again how good I’m being. That’s because I’m so scared I can’t move. If someone was sticking a needle in your neck, you’d be scared too!
He’s finally done, and I’m still breathing. He stands up and puts all my blood down on the table (I’m pretty sure he took at least a quart!), so I figure I’m safe again. Then he writes a bunch of stuff down and tells mom that he should have the results back tomorrow. I guess then we will know if I have to change the number of pills I take for my thigh-roid condition. I still like Doc Al though, even though he did kind of surprise me with that needle. It really didn’t hurt a bit – I’m a pretty tough guy.
We’d started back up the hill for home when mom takes out her camera again (can you believe I belong to someone who takes a camera to the vet’s office?). She says it’s been too long since she took any good pictures of me, so today’s the day. I’m happy about that – I love to pose for pictures! When we get to the big yard in back of the island school, there are a bunch of geese there. I LOVE to chase geese! But what does mom do? Gets me up as close to them as she can, then tells me to sit and stay! Stay? It’s GEESE, for pete’s sake! So there I was, a few yards from about nine million geese, and I have to stay! Why did I learn that command anyway?
After that, we just walked around the grounds at Grand Hotel, and mom took lots of pictures of me in front of lots of big flowers. Things were going pretty well until she told me to down/stay in front of this HUGE bed of flowers out in the road at the Grand. As soon as I started to lay down, I smelled something in the grass that I really liked. I smelled it some more, then I just HAD to roll in it. Mom didn’t get mad though ’cause she knew it couldn’t be anything bad smelling at the Grand – they wouldn’t allow that. Man, that was some sweet-smelling grass!
She took one more picture over in front of the Grand’s Flower Shop, then we went across the street to the Pro Shop and took a breather before going home.
So it’s been a pretty eventful day for me. Mom asked me to write about my experiences on her blog, so after I went for a long walk with mom and dad and Maddie this afternoon, we had supper, and I sat down to think about all that had happened. I came up with three lessons I learned that you should write down and maybe put on your refrigerator – ’cause they are pretty important.
1) You should always leave the house looking your best, because you never know when you might have to pose for pictures in front of nine million geese, even when you just want to be chasing them into Lake Huron.
2) If you are going to roll in something that smells good to you, always make sure it is on the grass at the Grand Hotel – seriously, I didn’t even get in trouble.
3) You should always be ready for anything and always be alert, because when you least expect it, someone might stick a needle in your neck.
Well, the whirly thing is calling my name – talk to you again soon!