The world's best dog died today. My pal Bear. My most favorite running buddy. He was a great dog - the kind of dog who only comes along once in a lifetime.
I have some really great dogs now but Bear was something different. From day one, it was clear he was special. He was the best combination of retriever and Chow chow. He had the disposition of a lab and the black tongue of a Chowchow. He never missed an opportunity to grab a snack or a belly rub. He tried desparately to run with me every chance he got. Leaving the house for a run with another dog was the worst kind of betrayal.
Bear loved most everyone but he hated other dogs venturing into his yard. He was incredibly gentle but I just knew that he would lay down his life for me. I remember one of our runs where he bolted after a groundhog - clearly protecting me. The groundhog never had a chance.
I'll miss Bear terribly. And he leaves behind some other very, very good dogs.