I would not be Mama Bear if it were not for Papa Bear. Most of my blog writing centers around me, the mother of four children, two aussiedoodles and one tabby kitten. Papa Bear is mentioned here and there, but rarely is he featured on my blog. So tonight I want to acknowledge what an awesome husband and father this man is.
Koda, Summer and Sansa “hit the jackpot” (to quote a good friend) when they joined the grizzlybearma family. We love our fur babies! On National Pet Day, I described the animals that have been a part of my childhood. Papa Bear has a list three times as long. His family was all about taking in stray dogs. He’s told me stories of a Saint Bernard he and his sister argued over whose turn in was to feed because they were so scared of him. There were mutts (Cricket, Slatsy, Panzy, and Sumo) as well as purebreds (OJ and Crystal). I know I am leaving out some of the dogs I’ve heard about over time. They also took in a bird named Duke (after John Wayne) and a cat named Rosa Mae (a prostitute from an old mining town out west). Showing great responsibility and love for animals, Papa Bear also had a horse named Candy in middle school. He raised a rabbit named Dirty Hairy, who won a ribbon at the county fair. He was an active member in 4H.
I knew when I met this man in college he would be a good father. His background in caring for animals was definitely part of what drew me in. He did not disappoint me, we rescued a cocker spaniel named OJ our first year of marriage. Over our thirty years of marriage we have parented several other four legged babies together. Dogs, cats, an iguana, and even a rat. While his initial reaction to the idea of a rat or a cat being brought home was shock, it did not take long for him to step into the role of the loving Papa Bear. Our fur babies knew the way to his heart and still do. Sansa curls up on lap, purring loudly when he pets her back.
The moment he steps in the door, all the animals come circling to welcome him home, just as our four children used to when they were little. Papa Bear and I continue to talk about expanding our fur family, raising ducks at our farm, or someday chickens, pigs or goats. That is all aimless chit chat about “some day.” For now our sofa is literally full with two sprawling 60 pound aussiedoodles and a very outgoing affectionate tabby kitten.
Just as this man has given me four wonderful children to love, so too has he opened his heart for some special pets in our lives. I would not be Mama Bear without him!