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11/11/06 Bear passed away early this morning from injuries he received yesterday evening. We aren't sure exactly what happened, but when we got home from a short trip into town to run some errands, we found him in severe shock and pretty badly mauled all over. Seven other dogs were also injured, though none anywhere near as seriously as Bear. Our best guess is that a cougar got into the yard with the dogs, and that Bear being the protector he is, got the worst of the encounter. Sadly we will never know for sure what really happened,  as the heavy rains have already washed away all traces of any sort of encounter, and whatever the animal was, it managed to get away.

Bear was a wonderful dog. He was one of the unadoptable dogs that we seem to specialize in. He certainly had his difficulties in life. But he had a positive, happy, joyous personality. And just a few months ago we finally found a commercial dog food that Bear could eat. He was thriving and looked better than he had ever looked since we got him. Bear was the happy dog, always looking for loves from us, and to play or just hang out with his rescue buddies. We had always expected he would die here with us, as there was little chance he would ever find that very special home he needed. And that was all right with us, we were glad to have him here, even blessed. But we always expected him to die of old age someday in the future. We are devastated that he went this way, and so soon. There is a huge hole in our hearts today. Good-bye old friend, you were the best. Our Beautiful Big Bear Boy.

  • Gender - male
  • DOB - Aug 21 2000
  • Height  at the shoulder -
  • Weight - 135
  • Spayed/Neutered - yes
  • Taken in on  - 2/22/04
  • Available as of - Now
  • Housebroken - Yes
  • Obedience trained - some
  • Good with other dogs - yes
    • with cats - yes
    • with kids - yes not small kids
    • with the elderly - maybe
  • Temperament - Big easy going guy at heart. Gets worked up sometimes when stressed. Can be a bit timid or fearful at times. Can also be joyously happy and exuberant.

  • Comments
Bear (whose name used to be Shaggy) came to us on Sunday the 22nd of Feb. He came with a torn ear that was bleeding constantly. Each time we would get it stopped he would get excited, end up shaking his head and start it bleeding again. He also came with a sore on the end of his tail. He is a tail bleeder and We will have to see if this heals or not. If not, like Milo, he will get a tailectomy. :-)

He is a big mastiff type Dane  with a big square head and lots of extra skin. He came to us intact and so he had some pretty strong hormonal drives, and that coupled with having been an outside dog, means he is marking the house liberally, and is not housebroken. It will likely be a while before he is let loose in the house. He is reasonably well behaved and very sweet even under all the stress he is suffering from right now. He is likely to turn out to be a big cuddle toy and lap warmer once he settles in.

Update 4/15/04 - We have found out that Bear has issues with strangers petting his head or ears. He will snap at them if they do. Once he knows you, he will let you do pretty much anything to him, but he does not trust strangers to be messing near his ears. This is a shame, because otherwise he is the sweetest most lovable guy you can imagine. Another problem we have found, and we think this is why he was kept as an outside dog all his life and eventually turned over to us, is that he has chronic diarrhea. We have had him tested for parasites and infections and he comes back clean. We tried him on two different special hypo allergenic diets, duck and potato, and trout and potato, and neither has helped. We are going to try enzyme supplementation in case his pancreas is not producing enough digestive enzymes. However despite his bowel problems, he has not lost any weight, which is common in dogs with this problem. Other than the lose stools, he is healthy as a horse. His ear is almost completely healed now, as is his tail. And he is such a big strong boy. You look at him and you can not imagine he could possibly have any health issues. Bear has quickly become a favorite around here. His happy, joyful, loving personality and big goofy look are just endearing. He is a great dog with a few problems that we can hopefully get resolved.  His tail has healed up completely and is no longer a problem, which is a good thing because he is a very happy boy and wags his tail a lot.

Update 12/31/04 - Bear is a great big baby. He is such a sweet lovable guy, and he is so easy going. It breaks your heart to think he was an outside dog the first 3 years of his life because he simply adores being with people. He just lights up when he gets even the slightest bit of attention. He is on a home cooked diet and will have to stay on it the rest of his life. He has suffered from diarrhea from the day we got him, and we suspect his whole life. Despite our best efforts to treat the problem medically, we never really had any success and eventually he really started to lose weight. We kept treating him periodically with Flagyl, which would help while he was on it, but soon afterwards the problems were back. We put him on Pancrezyme, a pancreas digestive enzyme therapy. It helped some but was not the answer. We added fiber, which helped some too, but still he was losing weight. We ran all sorts of tests, all of which were inconclusive. Both we and our vet were a bit stumped by his problems. As a last ditch effort, we started cooking fresh food for him, and his problems have gone away completely. He is doing really well now and has put back on all the weight he lost. He has been neutered, and we are working on his marking territory in the house. But a lifetime of being able to mark everything in sight. is going to take a while to overcome, especially with so many other dogs in the house.

Update 3/10/05 - Bear has gotten over his marking behaviors. We haven't seen any of that in the house in about a month. And he has been accident free in the house for a month now too. He may not be perfectly housebroken, but he is well on his way. He is doing so well on the home cooked diet. And he is much calmer now that he has free run of the house. He still gets wild sometimes, especially around mealtimes, but he also has his quiet, loving times too. All in all he is a wonderful dog, and a real favorite around here. He does still have some issues, but he will make someone very, very happy.

Update 6/10/06 - Bear has some special needs and some issues. He is a wonderful dog and a joy to be around, but he will require a very special home.

He can not tolerate commercial dog food of any sort. He must be home cooked for (he might be okay with a raw diet, we do not recommend them nor do we use them, so we can not say for sure). His diet consists of cooked chicken and vegetables, ground up (bones and all). We have tried all sorts of commercial foods, including dehydrated raw food, and none of them have worked for him. The home cooked diet we have him on now is the only thing that has worked.

His other problem is he is not good with strangers and will bite. He is a doll with his family and once he gets to know you, but he is unpredictable with strangers.

Most rescues would call him unadoptable because of his problems, and have him put to sleep. We have decided to keep him here as a sanctuary dog, in the hopes that we will eventually stumble on that perfect home for him. We will keep him here as long as we can, and continue to list him, on the off chance that someone comes along who is able and willing to give him a good home.

I am not discouraging anyone from considering him, but you will need to realize what you are getting into with him. He will be an expensive, time consuming dog to own. And he is not the sort of dog you can have loose in the house when there are visitors, or take to the park without a muzzle. On the other hand he is a great dog to have around, he is so loving and devoted, and he enjoys life so much. 

Click here to fill out an application to adopt Bear or any of the DDRI dogs.
We will post additional photos of Bear as time goes by, so check back often.
And if you have any questions about Bear or any of our dogs, email us or call us at 541-782-2242

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" Never trust a dog to watch your food." - Patrick age 10 Advice from Kids.

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