He doesn't get nearly enough press around here, but Mr. Bear (more commonly known as Teddy) is a big part of the Ellingsen household and we just can't help but love him.
Early on in his life, things didn't exactly go his way. He was physically abused as a young pup, and a rescue organization placed him with my grandmother back in Kansas. He spent a couple happy years with her on her farm (my grandparents bred award-winning Arabians in their latter years, after falling in love with them when they lived in Egypt) with a herd of barn cats. We're pretty sure that's the cause of some odd behaviors he still has, which include this weird noise he makes that's got to be him trying to purr.
After my grandma passed in 2000, my mom went out to Kansas to help her siblings settle the estate, and lo and behold what should turn up at the airport with her but this sausage/Tootsie Roll of a dog! He soon became best friends with our chocolate lab, Hershey, and when she passed he was clearly in doggie mourning for quite some time.
This crazy pup has a lot of quirks. Some of them have passed in time (namely, his kleptomania and always squinting at the camera), and there are others I don't think will ever change (like his weird purring/talking, despising being picked up, constantly getting caught underfoot).
We're not the only ones who have fallen under this wannabe-Ewok's spell, just ask Katie:
And my uncle is the same way with him, although I'm lacking photo evidence at the moment. :) There's just something about Teddy, for sure.
He turned thirteen last month, so I suppose that and the health problems he's been having lately are making me wax poetic about the crazy pup. As horrible as his breath is and how grumpy he can be in the morning, you can't help but smile back when he's got his heat-induced panting grin on:
Or when remembering how possessive/protective he gets whenever we bring new kittens into the family (that would be Puss in the photo below, Ted dogged his every move the first few days after we found him and growled when he wandered on the counters, out of sight):
Or thinking how content he is just to sit at the end of the driveway and watch the world go by,
And how patient he is when I want to play dress up for the holidays.
Wow, I guess the little bugger has grown on me, after all. Especially when he sits in the perfect spot. ;)