Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

The man who I never saw smile...laughs with Bear

Earnie looking proudly at Bear

I guess the feeling I had when I took him on his visit....he really gets it, I sense he really understood, just like Opie, this is my intention for you, and you have this in you, and he does. Not every animal is prone to this. It instills what I already voiced...Bear was meant to find me and I was meant to find him at the exact time we did. It's called grace.

I took Bear to Cove's Edge on Thursday for his first outing. I had a secure little red wagon for him if he got overwhelmed. I did not want to overdue it, as he is still very young but I want to acclimate him to the wheel chairs and sounds, and he can begin meeting people. He had no fear there of the wheels.

The first person at the front to greet was was...Earnie! Of course, it was Earnie and that was perfect. Earnie held Bear easily, even with one arm, and it was a good start because bear could snuggle and get used to things. Of course he was a magnet for the staff, who need animal therapy as much as the residents. He was calm, steady, and I must say...focused.

I also was pleased that he knew my voice and knew he was safe.

We went around in the cart and then I'd put him on people's beds or laps. There was not an incidence where he squirmed [this might change as he matures!].

One of my most moving encounters was when a gentleman was wheeled over, by his wife who visits twice a day every day, and I have never seen him smile. He is usually slumped in his chair sleeping, and he can't talk. But when we put Bear in his lap he smiled, and smiled, and held him, petted him looking at him with a smile the whole time. His wife told be they had a lab at one time. That was so beautiful. He did not take his hands of that pup, nor did he stop smiling.

Another gentleman came out of his room to see Bear. I was told he usually does not come out much, but he had owned a pet shop for 30 years. He came to see Bear. It was beautiful too.

I was so proud of him. I really wasn't sure how the day would go and again, I knew it might be a short visit. I did not want a bad experience for him, nor did I want him over handled or over stimulated. But none of that happened. He sat on his last lap after about an hour visit there, and I could see he was getting a bit unfocused, so we put him in the cart and he fell off to sleep. We could still visit with people, but it was hard to get out the door with him-people kept wanting to pet him. I allowed that even though he was sound asleep.

He did great in the car too. He is doing really well with house training thanks to my crate and little pen in the living room. I am up and down a lot and he has not pooped once in the house, thank you Bear, or his crate. His worst hours are 5-6 pm, because it is dinner hour making for us, and he wants to be part of the activity, which he is in his pen by the fireplace, but any activity and I have to get him out to pee. He's getting it though.

The man who I never saw smile...with Bear

Focused on his work