A note from Bear's adopted Family:

In July of 2001 I adopted Bear, a 7 month, 70 pound owner-surrender. He was passed almost directly to me via Kathy Ferragamo (if my memory serves me correctly), spending only an hour between his previous home and his forever-home. It was an immediate connection and our bond grew quickly. However within 5 months it was obvious something was terribly wrong.

Bear had dropped to 60 pounds and all food passed through his system quickly, resulting in liquid stools. He was, as the vets termed, "ravenous." He ate everything; rubber work gloves, 10 lbs. raw potatoes, a whole tennis ball, roadkill, roadside mushrooms, disposable razors/pens/cameras, etc, plus anything else that was actually "food." After four months working with a fabulous Kennebunk vet and process of elimination (no pun intended), we discovered he was allergic to gluten. His intestines were shot so we had to heal them with a special diet and meds. I cooked pork, rice and tilapia for him for 8 months. He recovered fully, gained weight, and transferred to a gluten free commercial dog food.

As the years passed, we made many friends in Kennebunk, went on many adventures, and had the occasional visit to the vet for the usual malamute shenanigans. When he was five, my work took us away from the beaches, trails, and canine friends we had grown to love, when we moved to the mid-coast area. I purchased land on a pond which abutted several hundred undeveloped wooded acres, laced with snowmobile trails, which entertained us in all but the hunting months. Our house was built and my life was filled with Bear's company, humor, and encouragement. He welcomed friends to the house and enjoyed going places for the many compliments he would get. He was even tolerant of the felines that came and went over the years.

As time passed, he suffered with a pinched nerve in his neck, deteriorating eyesight, and sore hips. It was difficult to tell sometimes when he was in pain, but we learned to read his "tells." The local vets were extremely helpful in managing his pain and maintaining his quality of life, as were the Portland Emergency Clinic folks, on his occasional visits there. Having been to the vets' 21 times in the first 12 months I had him, he grew to enjoy the experience, especially when he knew there were treats. The clinicians were so always to happy to work with him. It was these kind & compassionate people that helped us say goodbye to him on Thursday, November 30th, just two weeks shy of his twelfth birthday. His digestive system gave out on him, as I had always feared it would. He hung on to the end, hiding his pain and going on as if he were still a pup.

His companionable talking, dependability at knowing exactly when he should be fed, ferocious loyalty when I was sick (or sleeping), goofiness, joy of being with just about anywhere with us, and quiet strength and beauty will live on in our memories for the rest of our lives.

With sincere thanks to all of you who have compassionately cared for Bear over the years

Nina and Louis


Contact Us Volunteer Login Alaskan Malamute Rescue of New England, Inc. Resources News and Articles Malamute Education Donations Events Our Dogs How To Help How We Work Who We Are