Bea: She Loved Life

Bea in leaves

We rescued Bea from the Johnson City animal shelter, shortly before she was scheduled to be euthanaized. Although she was a gorgeous dog, she had been adopted several times only to be returned to the pound. She had been horribly mistreated as a puppy; it showed in her behavior: when we tried to pet her she would wince . . . or growl.

The cure: a combination of exercise and drugs. I walked her several miles every morning; my wife would often take her on even longer strolls in the nearby National Forest or on the VA grounds. We also had her on an anti-anxiety meds for nearly a year.

Despite her initial problems, from day one she was great with children: friendly, gentle, and protective. She adored children.

By the time we ad moved to Florida, she had calmed down. Still, some of her "crazy girl" tendencies persisted. When squirrels ran along the top of our fence, she would hurl herself at the fence to try to get them.

Within a couple of years, she became a devoted member of the pack — she wanted to be with us wherever we were. When one of us would leave the house, she would sprawl in front of the door. The second we returned home, she was there to great us with her wagging tail and wide doggie grin.

Bea loved live. She was so bouncy and joyful and friendly. Perhaps more than any dog I have ever had.

She was fiercely devoted to us. There was never any doubt that were someone to try to enter the house uninvited, or tried to harm either of us, that person would have to deal with Bea – and she would have been a "fighting force, terrible to behold" (apologies to Charles Schultz).

As she grew older, she became even calmer. She loved her walks along the Bay, and, for the last few years of her life, around Crescent Lake. She was delightful company. She parked behind my desk while I worked; she relished her walks, always able to spot anyone who might pet her. She kept guard at the foot of the bed; she greeted me when I returned home with her patented Bea-zeal.

When at 13 years of age, we had to euthanize her (a rare, untreatable form of cancer), she had been a diligent, loving and joyful companion — and a continuing thread of our lives — for a dozen years.

She will always be be in our memory; she will always be missed.


Bea on couch

With her toy bear

with Ollie (her brother/boyfriend)

Sitting on porch

laying on couch