|How Yogi Bear Found Me
By Marsha Wheaton
Suffering from an incredibly broken heart after losing both Sasha and Letterman in such a short time, my ever-thoughtful sister, Kathy took me away on a short vacation to northern Ontario. My good friends at the D.O.G. Bakery assured me that the right dog would find me. Little did I know I would fall in love with another canine Canadian.
Kathy and I set off to retrace part of a trip that our parents had taken 21 years ago, one year before our dad’s sudden death. Dad (also known as Grandpa Bear) had taken many photos of this part of their Circle Tour of Lake Superior. He had written detailed notes on the back of each photo. Our mission was to find each site along the way and take a new photo, like a scavenger hunt!
Our very first stop was at an Indian Crafts and Woodcarving Store in Pancake Bay. We asked if anyone had been around 20 years ago and were told the owners would be interested in the photos. We headed to the picnic table where they were visiting with friends, a cute little black dog sitting in the shade. When we were young girls, we had a Schipperke named Yogi Bear. As we showed them our old photos of the store, I was petting the little dog, commenting on how cute he was. June, the owner of the store anxiously responded, “Oh, he is in desperate need of a new home!”
Come to find out this young Schipperke/Klee Kai (miniature Alaskan Husky) mix had been given up by an elderly couple who could no longer care for him. His name was Bear. I told June we had just started our vacation, were traveling in my sister’s car, and we would stop back in two days on our way back. If she hadn’t found him a home, I would be interested in adopting him.
While I enjoyed every moment of our trip, the little black funny face blue-eye boy was on my mind. I was really excited to get back to Pancake Bay. I spent an hour one-on-one with Bear, walking him, petting him, and spent more time talking with June. She drew up the adoption papers and I signed them on June 28, 2007, on what would have been Sasha Bear’s 13th birthday. All in all, something told me “the right dog” had found me.
Once back home, Bear (now Yogi Bear) and I quickly bonded. Those who met him early on are amazed to see what a different dog he has become with love, training, socialization, boundaries, exercise, and routine. June and I kept in touch by email, and one month later she wrote the following: “You don’t know how close he came to being put down by my husband because he was a growling little guy. I knew he was just scared and you have proved it. Yeah for us!”
Yeah for rescues everywhere! Yogi still has issues we are working on, but I feel like the luckiest person on earth that he found me, as he has truly brought joy back into my life and my home and won a permanent spot in my heart.
Best Regards, Marsha Wheaton
Dog Mom at Your Service!
Member, Pet Sitters International (PSI)