The Chronicles of Little Bear, Part Two – Sad Sack
Did you miss the first installment of the Little Bear Chronicles? No need to worry, just click here to get caught up.
You all know me as Little Bear – happy, cheerful, lovable Little Bear. But It seemed like a dark cloud came over me the day Holly left and remained with me for over two weeks. When she passed over the threshold of our front door wagging her tail goodbye, the fig leaf I was riding on seemed to blow into a murk of sadness that lingered on and on.
After the car she was riding in drove away, we each drifted silently back to our jobs with heavy hearts. The lump in my throat at that moment was so big that if I had spoken, I would have completely broken down. I suspect everyone felt the same way. So off to our own areas we went, trying to keep a stiff upper lip. Boy dogs aren’t supposed to cry, you know.
The rest of that day and the days that followed, I spiraled into a deep sadness. Life wasn’t fun any longer. I used to love my jobs of guarding Mommy’s garden from the birds, picking up the balls that accidently came into our yard from the school, and keeping the neighbor cat out of the yard. For some reason though, it all became drudgery, and I half-heartedly did my work.
It just wasn’t fun anymore without Holly. When I was on my off duty time, running, playing, and burying my bones just didn’t interest me anymore, I preferred to slump in the chair and stare at the doggy door, wishing Holly would pop her head through. She never did though, no matter how hard I wished. Every time the telephone rang, I would hold my breath in hopes that it was Holly’s new mommy calling to saying Holly wasn’t a good fit, and she was bringing her back – but that never happened either.
While doing my jobs, I would start crying for no reason – or if thoughts of Holly came to mind, and that seemed to be all the time. When Danny or Smoke saw me, I would tell them my runny nose and watery eyes were from allergies. They would nod in agreement and say they had allergies too. I thought that their eyes looked puffy, and their noses were sniffy too. Even the cat’s eyes seemed watery and puffy most of the time. I guess we all suffered in our own ways. It was just too painful to speak of, so I kept to myself.
My body actually physically hurt. Breathing hurt, seeing hurt, talking hurt, moving hurt, and worst of all, my heart felt like it had broken in half and both pieces were pounding against each other. I dragged myself through each day. Oh, life had become so empty, and I felt suffocated with grief. I didn’t really want to do anything – I was just too sad. Oh, how could life be so mean to me?
I even started to feel angry at Mommy for letting Holly go. I had grown so sorry for myself and unhappy with everything that I pouted and dragged my feet when I was told that I had to go shopping with Mommy one day. I sat in my seat in the car with a sad sack face, wishing I was slumped in my chair watching the doggy door, when suddenly Mommy yelled “Oh, no!” and pulled over to the curb and stopped the car.
I looked out the window and it looked like two cars ahead of us had hit a dog. The poor dog just lay there on the street curb. Mommy grabbed the blanket from the back seat and got out of our car, telling me to be quiet and sit still.
Mommy and a couple other people went to the dog. I was shocked at what was happening, and watched wide-eyed while they checked the dog over. I could tell they were talking a lot, and I saw Mommy shake her head and glance quickly at our car. The other lady that had stopped nodded her head as Mommy wrapped the dog in our blanket. As Mommy pointed to our car, a man picked the dog up and started to walk toward our car.
Mommy ran ahead of the man carrying the dog and opened the back door. The man gently placed the dog on our car floor once Mommy had moved the seat back. I didn’t move or bark, I just watched – knowing this was serious – and I remained quiet, wondering what was going to happen next. I was a little anxious and frightened too.
Mommy got back into our car and off we went. Mommy shook her head and said, “The car that hit the dog just kept going, Little Bear. How could they not stop?” She sighed and continued, “Bear, we’re taking the dog to our vets to get the medical help he needs. Don’t bother him, just stay in your seat.”
I looked down at the dog and saw the fear in his eyes. I could smell blood, and he was starting to try and move. “Oh no, don’t move,” I whispered to him, “we’re taking you to the dog doctor, so lay still.” He laid his head back down and closed his eyes for a moment.
I thought about Holly and how she had been hit by a car, and I remembered when she told me how much pain she was in and how frightened she was. My heart went out to him, and when he opened his eyes again I said, “I’m Little Bear. Don’t worry, we’re going to help you. My Mommy is nice, she’ll make sure you get better.”
He weakly groaned back that his name was “Ralph” and he had been on the streets for about two months. No one wanted him anymore.
“Oh my,” I said as I thought, How terrible! How can this be? Then I told him, “We have a doggy foster home and you can come stay with us when you get better. Why, you can help to keep the birds away from the tomatoes and we can play. We even have plenty of food; you will like it at our house. So just do what the humans tell you to do and get better. I’ll tell my brothers that you will be coming to stay with us.”
He seemed to like the idea of coming to our house and said, “Thanks, Little Bear, I’d be happy to come to your house.”
We got to our vets hospital, and the nurses helped Mommy carry Ralph inside. He barked to me, “I’ll see you in a few days Little Bear.”
I barked back, “Great, see you later!” and remained in the car waiting for instructions from Mommy.
Mommy came out a few minutes later, and we both went into the vet’s office. I had to sit in a chair for a long time, waiting quietly. Mommy finally came back out of the room she had gone into, and we left. She said that Ralph was some kind of a Spaniel dog, and the doctor thought he would be all right. We went straight home instead of shopping.
On the way home, I looked at Mommy and thought how lucky I was that I had a nice Mommy who helped dogs. I lived in a great house, with a wonderful back yard, and I had forgotten how important our foster home for dogs was. I was an important dog because I helped other dogs. Why, I need to get home and do my jobs! I’m the best tomato guard dog there is, and my brothers, and the cats, they are my special family. We need to get ready for another needy dog. “Oh,” I whined, suddenly anxious to get home – I had things to do! When we got home, I ran into the house as fast as I could and hurried into Old Grandma’s room. There was Danny watching Grandma, and I joyfully barked, “Hey, Danny!”
“Hey, Little Bear,” Danny answered, smiling.
“You want to go chasing each other when you get off duty?” I said wagging my tail with happiness. Danny gave me a nod and a wag.
I felt so happy that I ran off looking for Smoker. I found him guarding the garden and excitedly called, “Hey, Smoke!”
“Hey, Little Bear,” Smoker replied.
“You want to run and chase each other after we finish work?” I shouted.
As I turned to go do my job of picking up the baseballs, I heard Smoke holler, “Good to have you back, Little Bear!”
I thought, It’s sure good to be back!