Remembering Bear

Copied from Love always, Bear (

Copied from Love always, Bear

Even though I live in South Louisiana and he lived in Southern California and more than 1,700 miles separated us and we never actually met, Bear was my friend . . . and he was special. Bear loved the beach. He called the ocean his, and it was. Last October, when Bear had tweeted several playful beach photos, I tweeted back that I loved the photos and I was with him in spirit, romping through the waves. I still love Bear’s response: “So glad! I’ll put you in my mind next time I go to the beach so you can come with me! BearHUG!!!”

Copied from Love always, Bear (

Copied from Love always, Bear

Bear loved tennis balls, too. He was almost always pictured with one, either in his mouth or at his side. If you look closely at this photo, you’ll see Bear’s tennis ball sitting right next to him in front of his tail.

Copied from Love always, Bear (

Copied from Love always, Bear

One of the few things that could make Bear drop his beloved tennis ball was a good slice of pizza. He liked Chicago-style-deep-dish pizza and he liked New York-style pizza from his favorite Del Mar Pizza.

Copied from Love always, Bear (

Copied from Love always, Bear

When it came to dressing up, Bear was a very good sport (and a much better sport than I am!). He had an outfit for every holiday and special occasion, and he always looked dashing.

Copied from Love always, Bear (

Copied from Love always, Bear

Bear had two sisters, Rosy and Annie, and he adored them. He was the perfect big brother.

Copied from Love always, Bear (

Copied from Love always, Bear

This past  May, Bear found out that he had cancer. His incredibly loving human mom and dad did everything they could to make him better. But perhaps more importantly they did everything they could to make Bear happy. Bear ate pizza. He swam in his ocean and he chased his tennis ball. Bear enjoyed dinner from Smashburger. He dressed up for opening day at Del Mar Racetrack. He visited his favorite park and he rolled in the grass. Saturday evening, my mommy read this tweet from Bear:

Woof bye anipals. I am going to see Fuzz & Oliver real soon. Thx for being my friends. #bearHUGs

My mommy hugged me, and she cried, and she cried, and she cried. And I knew that I had lost a friend. One day, Bear, I will visit the beach and I will put you in my mind so that you can come with me.

A Note from Harper Lee’s Mommy: If you knew Bear, I have no doubt that your heart is breaking also. If you didn’t, I hope that you will visit his blog Love always, Bear. His mom posted the most loving and moving letter to him yesterday. It is the letter that we all dread having to post one day. Bear truly was a very special boy.

71 Comments on “Remembering Bear”

  1. Maryanne says:

    Aw, so sorry for your loss, Miss Harper Lee. My sister had a pug named Bear who also passed away recently. Hugs to you and your Mommy. xox

  2. The Big Dogs says:

    Sounds like Bear left a wonderful pawprint on everyone’s heart.

  3. Miss Harper Lee that was a lovely tribute to your blog friend. You are a wonderful sole and Bear sounded like just the same. May his family have peace knowing he is in a better place and was well loved.

  4. I am so sorry about your dear friend. I didn’t know Bear, but after reading your post I feel that I did, I am so very sad for his family and for you. My deepest sympathy. Barks and licks and love, Dakota (and Mom too)

  5. PigLove says:

    aaww sniffles. I am so sorry to hear about Bear. Your post was a wonderful memory to him. Hogs and snout kisses to you and Bear’s family. My shoulder is always here for you Miss Harper Lee – always. XOXO – Bacon

  6. We didn’t know Bear, but he sounds wonderful. I better not read the letter right now, I don’t need to cry so early in the day.

    • I promise that Bear’s mom’s letter will bring tears to your eyes, and that those tears will roll right down your cheeks; but when you’re ready, you really must read it because you will be so touched by the love.

  7. We will all mourn the loss of your friend Bear with you, Miss Harper Lee. Casa de Canterbury is observing a moment of silence in South Carolina for the California Bear.

    • Oh, Red Man, you and your humans and the entire Casa de Canterbury gang are so sweet. After your moment of silence, I hope that you’ll tune into the U.S. Open and think of Bear fondly as watch those tennis balls bounce back and forth.

  8. Lynda says:

    Awwwww, you described him perfectly. We miss him greatly too. Always brought so many smiles 🙂
    Thankyou XX

  9. I felt about Bear the same way you did. You’ve written a great tribute to him and you’ve done a great job of capturing his spirit. Bear’s mom did such a great job of typing Bear’s thoughts for him and making him come to life for those of us who never had the privilege of meeting him in person. I sure felt like I knew him in person. I read every post on his blog, and I looked forward to tweeting with him when I could. I will miss him, and his beautiful spirit. Thanks for the great tribute!

    • It says so much about Bear and his mom that we all felt like we knew him. He will be greatly missed by people from all over the world. I’ve said this before, but it bears (no pun intended) repeating: Bear was special.

  10. Thank you SO much for this amazing tribute. It means so much to our family. Even though you only knew him virtually, you captured his happy life and beautiful spirit. Bear and I always loved hearing from you and seeing your pretty face pop up on twitter and also considered you an extra special friend. I will continue to follow and enjoy your blog and share it with Annie and Rosy. Bear’sMomHUGs to you and your family.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful Bear with the so many people (and animals) who will miss him so much. I hope that all of those wonderful BearHUGs that sweet Bear sent out to the world will come back and hold you and your family (including Rosy and Annie) very, very tightly.

  11. I’m so sorry for the loss of Bear, he was most handsome! I read his mom’s letter and I know exactly how she feels. I believe it was Emily Dickenson who said that dogs’ short lives are their only fault. But the joy and love you guys bring to us humans in your short lives is a tremendous gift!

    • Bear was indeed a very handsome boy–and I have an eye for handsome Golden boys! Thank you so much for sharing Emily Dickinson’s beautiful thought. It is so sad but true that short lives are so often the most tremendous of gifts.

  12. Betsy Kiehl says:

    What a very touching tribute. I never met Bear and his family, but by reading his blog, I felt as though I did. My heart is broken over his loss, and I feel so deeply for his family…especially his mom. I found out about Bear’s passing yesterday… tribute to Bear and his loving family I have begun to read each and every blog post starting from recent to as far as I can go. Many I have already read, some I haven’t. Bear was a very special dog to me, to all of us, but mostly to his family. As long as I will live, I will never forget this lovely golden boy and how he entertained us everyday. I will so miss his posts…..

    • You are so sweet. Mommy and I looked back through his posts last night. We cried and smiled and laughed all at the same time. Isn’t it such a gift from Bear and his mom that we have his beautiful posts to keep him alive in our hearts forever and ever?

  13. Marylin Warner says:

    Thank you for sharing such precious stories about your friend Bear. I didn’t know him before I read the stories, but I felt like I’d lost a wonderful friend. I cried, too.

  14. Paws It On says:

    So sorry to hear that! Such a truly emotional thing to go through. Thoughts with you and his family.

  15. crying now…
    lovely story and Bear sounds like a wonderful friend
    I hope he is happy now and most important pain free
    Take care Bear and say hello to other friends under the rainbow bridge

    • You are so sweet, and I have no doubt that Bear is pain free and running through the waves with a tennis ball in his mouth. It just makes me sad that I know he misses his family and they miss him.

  16. Rebekah says:

    I don’t know Bear, nor his blog, but I have tears in my eyes. I’m off to visit it, now.

    • Bear was one of those extra special dogs, and I know that you will see that, too, when you visit his blog. We are all so fortunate to have that permanent reminder of a life lived with great joy.

  17. Wow. Dear friend, this is a beautiful tribute to a truly special soul. Thank you for sharing.

  18. Gail & Buddy says:

    We miss “our” Bear too.

  19. Oh Miss Harper Lee that was a beautiful tribute to your furiend!! Bear sure seemed like a FABulous guy. I’m sorry I didn’t gets the chance to meet him ~ I thinks we would have gotten alongs swimmingly since I loves my balls too!
    Sorry for the loss of your sweet furiend.
    {{{{hugs}}}} to his family….
    Ruby ♥

  20. What a beautiful boy and a beautiful tribute. I’m so sorry. Cancer sucks. It looks like he had a wonderful life.

  21. June says:

    I’ve cried & cried & thought I was getting stronger until I read Miss Harper Lee’s “Remembering Bear”. The tears are back Such a beautiful tribute. How I loved Bear. Knowing him but for a short time, I felt that we had been friends forever. I’ve asked Bear why I was so attached to him but I know why; his sweet, sensitive, gentle ways, how much he enjoyed his wonderful life, his smile & how he loved his tennis ball. He persevered as time was winding down. I cried when for the last time when he took his ball to the love of his life, Mom, as if he wanted her to throw it. Maybe it was to give it to her for safekeeping until they could throw it at another time when they would be together again.

    As I’ve told you Bear, I want to meet you, Fuzz, Oliver & other loved ones in heaven.

    Until then, June

    • And now my mommy’s tears have returned as she reads your lovely thoughts about our dear friend Bear. Sweet, gentle, sensitive: those words capture the essence of beautiful Bear.

  22. Ogee says:

    A beautiful tribute to a beloved Bear. Hugs to you both.

  23. We are so sorry to hear of the loss of your furend Miss Harper Lee. Mom is having a little cry as she types this for us. Sending you and Bear’s furmily our love xxx

    • My mommy has had several little cries, to say the least, but your kind words make her feel so much better, and I know that they will be much appreciated by Bear’s family. Thank you, boys.

  24. Terry Cramer says:

    I am so sad to hear about Bear. I went to his blog and read many of his posts and saw his lovely costumes and his ball. Now I too am crying.

    • I am happy that you got to know sweet Bear through his blog posts. We are all so fortunate that his mom shared her special boy with all of us, and sometimes tears are the nicest thing you can say. Thank you.

  25. evi says:

    i’m so sorry for your loss, bear seems to be a wonderful soul! this is a beautiful tribute, miss harper lee, i have to fight some tears…

  26. Dogs N Pawz says:

    So sorry about your friend. He looked like he would have been and awesome friend to have. Love that banana costume! Sending lots of hugs your way as we shed a few tears ourselves for Bear.

  27. OhMelvin says:

    This was so lovely and heartfelt. Bear made a difference, and it sounds like he was very loved!

  28. 2browndawgs says:

    So sorry to read about the loss of your pal. 😦

  29. It is very hard for me to write this reply. I have such a fondness for Golden’s it hurts just a little too much to read this post all the way through. But I did. You did a wonderful tribute to Bear. I’m sure he is having a nice life in Golden heaven. We will all meet him one day.

  30. Jan K says:

    What a beautiful post, Miss Lee. Bear was a very handsome boy and sounds like a sweetheart. I am sorry you lost your friend, and I am so sorry for his family also.

  31. Sage says:

    I have been dreading this day and am so sad about Bear. He put up the good fight and loved life (and his pizza) to the end.

  32. dogdaz says:

    My heart is heavy for the sadness that those that loved Bear feel today, and with happiness for the great joy he gave them. They are here for such a short time. He looks like a really super friend. – Lorian

  33. RIP Bear. He was such a beautiful dog. The picture of him dressed up in a banana costume brought a tear to my eye.

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