Posted by: bree1972 | April 24, 2010

Angels in Fur Coats 4/26/2010

Hi!  Bear here.  Mom laughs every time Maddie or I write one of the posts for this blog.  She says her readership shoots up like a rocket heading toward the moon, and that she’s about to get a complex about it!  But one of the things Mom loves most about her readers is that you love your pets as much as Mom and Dad love us, and that certainly showed when I asked for pictures of your four-legged children.

So Mom says this one is in honor – or memory – of all the fluffy and furry faces you sent in last week (I have even begun to like cats after seeing all those purrfect feline faces).  Thanks for sharing your babies with me and Mom and with all the readers out there who wouldn’t know what to do without the sweet and loveable angels in fur coats who fill your homes and hearts with love – like me and Maddie do for Mom and Dad.  P.S.  Mom says she certainly hopes I got the right fur-face with the right human!  If not, let her know right away at, and she will fix it!

From Hilde DaVanon:  “Bear, I hope you don’t mind, but I am sending these pictures to your mom’s email because I forgot yours :).  Here is some info about our babies.  Rocky was our Lab/Shepherd/Husky mix.  His mom was a Husky/Shepherd mix, and his dad was a Black Lab.  He was 14 when he left our family.  He was the best dog in the world (no offense, Bear), and he loved us very much, as we did him.  That was two years ago, and we still miss him very much.  When Rocky was 12 years old, we adopted a 3-month-old kitten from the shelter.  That was Zoe, the tortie kitten in the pictures.  Rocky and Zoe became the best of friends, as you can see in the pictures.  Zoe was two when Rocky left.  When Zoe was four years old, we took in another little 3-month-old kitten.  Her family did not want her anymore, and she was destined to be left on the street.  We named her Zelda.  So now Zoe is five years old, and Zelda is one.  They are good for each other, even tho they don’t always agree on that – LOL.” 


Rocky and Zoe



From Diane Swihart (Elkhart, Indiana):  “Here is a picture of Payton, our Black Lab/Shepherd mix, and Starbucks – his ornery ‘sister’.  Starbucks loves to wait for Payton’s tail to wag, and then she tries to catch it.  They both sleep together on a big pillow by the refrigerator.  They think the closer they are to that big box filled with treats, the better their chances are of getting more to eat!”

Starbucks and Payton

 From Jeanine (Michigan and Savannah, GA):  “This is our Australian Cattle Dog, Lucy, when she was eight weeks old.  Lucy grew up this winter in the UP of Michigan, but she is going to live in Savannah, GA this summer – what a change of climate!”  From Brenda:  “If you read Bree’s Mackinac Island blog last summer, you will remember Jeanine as our favorite taxi driver.  She loved Maddie and Bear and always had treats for them.  To read about Jeanine’s life as a taxi-driver on the island, click here:  It’s a two-day story, so make sure to read the ‘rest of the story’ on the next day.” 



From Maureen Hagood (Michigan):  “Hi.  I have been reading your blog from Mackinac and your blog while you are at home, and I enjoy it so much.  I like when your dogs take over the blog and write from their perspective.  So I am sending in some pics of my two Westies, Angel and Mr. B.  Mr. B is a rescue from the Michigan Westie Rescue.  He lifted me out of my fog after I lost my Lab from an illness about five years ago.  Dogs are the best!  We are planning on heading up to Mackinac Island again this year, but this time we are bringing the fur babies.  Maybe we will run into you guys.  I am also sending in my parents’ dog, Toby, who I take care of when they are out of town.  I think you’ll like him – he looks like your dog.  Katie, their cat, is also in the picture.  Again, I think your blog is fantastic.  Keep up the good work!  P.S.  In the picture, Mr. B looks mean, but he just doesn’t like to have his picture made :)!”

Mr. B and Angel

Katie and Toby

From Jane Kemp (Minnesota):  “My kitty, Meow-er,  just l-o-v-e-s  to talk.  Like ALL of the time.  And all he ever says is “M-e-o-w”, over and over and really, REALLY loudly – thus his name.  You always know where he is because of his repeating chant.  And he LOVES to sit in boxes, any kind or size box.  Like the one in this photo.  This empty Clementine box was set out to go to the recycling bin, and Meow-er decided it was HIS box.  What a boxfull!  He had quite a time squeezing his full-figured self into it.  I had to grab the camera, cuz he was just a cutie sittin’ in the Cuties box!  Tell Bear I used to have a sweet, sweet doggie like he is, ‘cept he was a black and white Springer Spaniel named Ralph (not quite as big as Bear in size, but still a ‘big boy’ dog).  He was my baby from puppy size till the sad day he passed on.  Dogs, kitties, horses, ANIMALS – love them all and wish I could bring them ALL home with me!” 


 From Patti and Buz Wierick (Bartlesville, Oklahoma):  “My name is Bailey, and I’m almost one year old.  I came to live with Patty and Buz when I was only six months old.  They went on a trip to France last year and saw many of my doggie relatives.  Needless to say, they fell in love and came home and started searching for me.  I was bred to be a lap dog for Kings, and believe you me, I think I’m royalty!  I can melt my owners’ hearts in a heartbeat with my big brown eyes and my puppy-like face.  I can’t wait until this summer when I get to go on my very first vacation to Mackinac Island to meet my new friends, Bear and Maddie.  Rumor has it Miss Jill has treats for us four-legged charmers at the Island Bookstore.  I might have to let her know of my hankerin’ for liver treats, but then I’m not so spoiled that I’d turn down a treat I’m beggin’ for!  Let the furry, frolicking fun begin!”  Note from Brenda:  “Patti and Buz are the couple who I met on a ferry trip over to the island last summer.  I was bringing Bear back from the groomers in Cheboygan, and Buz had planned the trip to Mackinac as a surprise for Patti’s birthday.  We started chatting, and Ted and I ended up spending a lot of their weekend with them – mostly talking about the island and how wonderful it is to live there in the summer.  Talk about love at first sight!  Two weeks later, Buz and Patti bought a condo in our complex!  We can’t wait till they get to the island this summer.  Maddie and Bear are excited about play dates with Bailey!  You can read their story at: .” 



From Joan Asoklis (Michigan):  “Hello.  I’m Abby and Benny’s mom (Note from Brenda:  “Abby and Bear are paw pals”).  First, I want to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blogs – both Lake Blackshear and Mackinac Island.  You are a wonderful writer.  Thank you for sharing your life.  I just love Bear and Maddie.  They just seem to have the same temperament as my two – even though mine are cats.  Benny is so laid back, and Abby just always needs to be where the action is.  Take care, and God bless.” 





From Lowell and Faye Greene (Olivet, Michigan):  “As you can see, Nellie does not like to have her picture taken.  She gets thoroughly bored with the whole idea.  Nellie is a Chow mix.  What is the mix, you ask?  I have no idea.  I guess she would be considered a medium-sized dog at 26 pounds.  Unlike Chows, she likes people, but she is very much Chow when it comes to other dogs.  She will not start a fight, but she will definitely finish it.  We got Nellie about five years ago for my grandson, Mitchel, who lives with us, but she soon became my dog because I was the one who gave her food and water and was with her all the time.  She was about a year old at the time.  She has been a wonderful dog.”


From Laura Weiser:  “I hope it isn’t too late to send in pictures of my pup, Duke.  Duke is a 3 1/2-year-old Lab mix.  I’ve had him since he was a day old, when his mother rejected he and his brother, Toby.  My daughter and I bottle fed and cared for the two brothers every two hours around the clock.  It was exhausting, but so worth it!  We hadn’t planned to keep either baby, as we already had a dog.  Toby went to a super nice family who loves and spoils him.  Duke was promised to my nephew, who took him for a few days and then called and told me he changed his mind. Thank God!   I missed him so much and was so happy to have him come home.  He is the best dog I’ve ever had and is one of my best friends.  I actually used to be a ‘cat person’ until Duke came into my life.  I guess this is what happens when your kids are grown – your pets become your children.  Duke is certainly adored by both my husband and I.  I have attached a picture of Duke from this winter – in the snow that he just loves to play in.  I really enjoy your blog and check it most every day.  I fell in love with Mackinac Island when my son was a Boy Scout and went up for four summers in a row as part of the Governor’s Honor Guard.  I grew up in Michigan, but had only gone a time or two before that.  Spending nights on the island was just so magical.  Thanks for sharing your stories!”  



From Jill (Lansing and Mackinac Island, Michigan):  “Buddy (a Cocker Spaniel) and I spend A LOT of time together when I am in Lansing during the winter.  I took a few new photos this week right after he was at the groomer.”
 From Jane (Michigan):  “I saw that you were asking for dog photos and thought I’d send you pics of our fur family.  The grey Lhasa Apso is six-year-old Tang, the blond Lhasa Apso is his half sister Tasha (she is five), and last but not least is Felon – the German Shepherd.  He is five and our pride and joy.  He keeps all of us in line and watches our every move.  Life would not be the same without these sweet smiling faces in it.  Hope you have enjoyed meeting our ‘kids’.  Can’t wait till you get back to the island – I love all you share.”



From Donna (Pekin, Illinois):  “Bear – I have been reading your mom’s blog over this past winter.  I discovered her blogs by chance one day when I was surfing the Internet about Mackinac Island.  I have always wanted to go there, but never had the chance.  My favorite entries are from you and Maddie.  I have two babies of my own.  Sugar and Cocoa are Lhasa Apso’s and the loves of my life.  I actually found Sugar and Cocoa on the Internet too.  I had wanted to get a new dog and would visit and look at the dogs pictured there.  I found a picture of Sugar and Cocoa posted by a shelter rescue organization near my home.  They looked so sad and lost.  I was not planning on getting two dogs, but they are sisters and do everything together.  They will often run through the house side by side, each holding onto the same toy.  Sugar, with the cream coat, is the leader and the self-appointed protector of our own little piece of the planet.  Her yard is patrolled and protected from birds, cats, squirrels, ground hogs, and God help the opossum who visits each night.  All dogs and kids are friends though.  Cocoa is the baby and is never without a toy.  She is my cuddler and loves to give kisses too.  She will give anyone who is remotely interested in some love lots of kisses.  This is my first time contacting your mom, but I could not resist you in the t-shirt, so I am sending you greetings and pictures of my babies.  Tell your mom I really enjoy reading her blogs and look forward to more about Mackinac.  Post more pictures, as I have a picture file of just Mackinac Island.  My favorite picture was one your mom took of the horses leaving the island and the groom with the red cap.”





From Kristi (Kansas):  “I see that you want pictures of furry children.  I have attached a couple pics of my dog, Harley.  She’s a Boxer/Shepherd mix and will be six in June!  I can’t believe that she’s almost six!  I’ve never really had pets before her and Tank (my cat), and they are amazing.  I never knew you could love something furry so much.  When my stepdaughter told me we were getting a Boxer, I didn’t want it – I wasn’t into smooshy-faced dogs.  But then I saw her and fell in love.  It helps that she has the Shepherd snout.  I have come to appreciate smooshy-faced dogs since then.  To be honest, I really wanted a Golden (so I totally LOVE Bear), but I wouldn’t trade Harley for the world.   The picture of Harley is her sleeping on our bed.  Note from Brenda:  “Kristi also sent in a picture of Tank, but for some reason the blog software wouldn’t accept the photo – sorry, Kristi!).” 



From Samille (Lake Blackshear, Georgia):  During the 17 years spent with this little eight-pound fella, there are too many stories to tell.  My most memorable was the summer of 1998.  We came in from the river due to a sudden thunderstorm, seeking refuge at my condo.  Miniature Dachshunds are very territorial, and I had warned everyone, “Don’t mess with Oscar.”  One of the men on the boat, who must have been 6’4″ tall, turned a beer over on the floor.  He got on his hands and knees to clean up the spill, but Oscar had beat him to it, and being German, was loving the beer.  He growled at the perpetrator.  Ted (not Brenda’s Ted) growled back at him, and Oscar bit him right through the bottom lip.  Moral of story, don’t mess with a little German dog when he’s having his beer!  I sure do miss him!”



From Frankie Thill (Grand Rapids and Mackinac Island, Michigan):  “Hershey Kiss, a Chocolate Lab, was born on February 14, 2005 and came to live with us in November of that year.  We already had a long-haired Shepherd named Holly, and they became fast friends.  It was decided that in the spring Hershey would come to work on the island with me, and Holly would stay in Grand Rapids with Dad.  Miss Hershey adaped quickly to island life.  Her first real friends on the island were Mac and Lady, who live down the street.  As a result of that friendship, to this day she still believes she is a Shetland Sheepdog.  Hershey enjoys being spoiled by the people at the Reed house, where we live during the summer.  She has daily rounds at Mission Point and lots of stops to make downtown – like at Carriage Tours to see Mike and Kitty, then saying hello to all the people who are outside the post office, then down to the bookstore for treats.  Living next to the Butterfly House, Hershey has company all day.  Blaze and Gingersnap (ponies) at the 4-H barn are good friends too.  In the winter we live in Grand Rapids, and Hershey goes to the Bark Park there.  She would rather be an Island Girl all the time, but life isn’t too bad.”


Hershey, darker in this picture because she hasn't shed her heavy winter coat.

Hershey, after a couple of months of summer sunshine on Mackinac Island

From Dawn (Lake Blackshear, Georgia):  “This is our Susie, a Miniature Pinscher, who you have met before through Brenda’s blog at the lake.  She has my husband Stevie wrapped around her little paws.  Susie loves to go on walks with Maddie and Bear and is really getting her girlish figure back now that she is getting so much exercise.  Here’s a picture of her doing water-robics.” 


From Cathie (New Orleans, LA):  “Sophie is about seven and is a purebred Miniature Pinscher, despite her 18 lbs. of solid muscle.  We actually bought her, and we call her the deuce and a half Minpin because Minpins usually weight between 10 and 11 lbs.  Gypsy was seven when she was rescued from an owner who kept her caged all the time.  She is a Miniature Poodle and has the sweetest disposition of them all.  She is about nine now.  She won’t sleep in her crate if there is a thunderstorm south of Ohio.  If she gets shut in a bedroom, she will try to eat the carpet from under the door to facilitate her escape.  Pete is our other rescue.  He is a mixed breed with Chihuahua.  We suspect his dad was also a dog.  He was found shortly after Katrina, covered with tar, running on a busy highway.  We think he may be about 5 1/2.  He has an attitude.  Life is not boring.”







From Brenda (Lake Blackshear, GA and Mackinac Island, MI):  “When Ted and I married, we got a Miniature Dachshund who we named Shotzie.  Shotzie was a birthday present for my youngest son Blake, but after Blake went off to college, she became Ted’s dog.  I have searched all my digital photos for a picture of her, but all I have are prints, and no scanner to make a digital copy.  If you can imagine Maddie with grayer hair, then you can picture Shotzie.  I had always wanted a Golden Retriever, and right after we moved to the river I had been “approved” to adopt one from an Atlanta Golden Retriever Rescue organization.  Before the rescue group found the perfect Golden for us, neighbors across the street at the lake moved out of their rental house in the middle of the night and left their Chocolate Lab “mix” tied to their trash can.  When we got home from work that day, the dog had been attacked by two Rottweilers who roamed the neighborhood, and he was really beaten up and bleeding.  We called the lady whose rental house it was, and she told us the owners had left without paying their rent, and she doubted they would be back for the dog.  We knew his name was Bud, because he had crossed the street regularly for petting and treats at our house, and we had talked to his owners a couple of times.  We loaded Bud in the truck, and off we went to the vet.  Besides being beat up (with a big hole in his chest from the dog attack), he also had heartworms.  We treated him for those, and he healed rapidly from his wounds.  When the Golden rescue people called to say they had found us a Golden Retriever, we said, “We’re so sorry, but we just rescued a Chocolate Lab.”  Bud and Shotzie were good buddies, and after Shotzie went to the Rainbow Bridge, we got Maddie.  The pictures below show what great friends Maddie and Bud became.  Maddie is about six months old in these pictures, and Bud is probably seven.  He lived to be 12.  You all know how much I love and adore my precious Bear, who we got about four months after Bud left us.  But my sweet Bud will always be the most special dog I’ve ever owned.  He came to us at two years old having never set foot in a house, having never visited a vet (even for shots), and having been left behind like he was garbage.  But he left this world knowing he was loved like the awesome dog he was always meant to be.”


Maddie - cuddled up to Bud for a nap


The King and the Princess

Sweet Bud

Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods.  Cats have never forgotten this.” . . . Anonymous
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.  You are his life, his love, his leader.  He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.  You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.” . . . Anonymous
Until you have loved an animal, part of your soul remains unawakened.” . . . Leslie Smith





  1. Isn’t it amazing how these little creatures can fill our hearts and lives with love? Not one of these darlings has ever complained about their allowance, wrecked a car or asked for money for grad school. That Rainbow Bridge is a very crowded place and I’m sure we will all be blessed when we can be reunited with our furry little treasures.

  2. Brenda, before y’all leave for Michigan, bring your pictures of Shotzie over and we’ll scan them. I don’t know how yet, but I do have a scanner.

    • I will do that, Samille. Thanks!

  3. Love all of the furry kids. We’ve had many furry kids just don’t have any at the present time. Maybe some day ????

    • No time like the present, Charlotte!

  4. Aww Bear, you did a wonderful job with your blog. So many amazing fur babies and you got them all right too!. Tell your mom that the story of Bud was very sad and made me tear up but it had a happy ending, because when your mom and dad took him in, he finally got to spend the rest of his time being loved the way he should have been.

  5. Hello sweet Bear,

    Oh my goodness! Looks like you have made as many paw-pals thru your blog post(s) as your Mom has made blog friends thru her blogging…

    Loved reading your story today & learning about everyone’s furry sweetiepies and getting to see all the adorable faces that are so loved…just so cute one and all!

    I especially loved the snapshot group collage of all your paw-pals, PRECIOUS! Tell your Mom she did a great job…what’s that you say?? Oh. R-i-g-h-t…it was all YOUR idea Bear, your Mom just ‘helped’. Got it!


  6. Love you Bear…love you Maddie!! And all the pawpals too!! Great blog.

  7. The Bud story totally touched me!!! Poor baby! So glad he found such a loving family with you, Brenda!

    • He was a sweetheart, Kristi.

  8. I loved reading all of the stories and was tickled to see my Duke included!
    The story of Bud was really touching. I’m happy to know that he was able to be a member of such a kind and loving family.

    • It was such a fun post to write (oops, I mean for Bear to write). I wish I could have used all the photos sent in, but the post would have been three pages long if I had. I tried to use at least one photo of each pet I received. Glad you liked it!

  9. Bear,

    What a great blog. I certainly enjoyed reading about all the dogs and cats and I was honored to have Nellie included in your blog. I called her into the room where I have my computer and told her that she is now an Internet Star. She usually pays no attention to computer monitors or TVs, but this time she put her paws right up on my leg and looked right at the monitor and “talked.” I’m sure she knew what a wonderful job you had done.


    • Dear Mr. Lowell,

      I just wanted to tell you that I thought Nellie was really, REALLY cute, and so did my Mom. In fact, she talked about how cute Nellie was so much I was beginning to get jealous! I’m glad you liked the blog – I really had fun writing it and looking at all the cute dogs and cats. We will be in Michigan soon, and I am excited. It’s already beginning to get HOT here in Georgia.

      Your friend (and Nellie’s),


  10. Great blog Bear!!! It was so much fun to see all of your moms readers fur babies. You are such a good writer. Just wondering what Maddie thought of all the pictures? I assume she is much like my dog Angel who is kind of a snob when it comes to her mom or dad looking at other dogs!!
    I was so fun to see my dogs on a blog! They are famous. No wonder they have attitudes today!
    Well thanks again for another great blog. Cannot wait to read about Mackinac. Have a safe trip and enjoy your summer on the island.
    Maureen, Angel and Mr B

    • Angel and Mr. B are adorable. And, of course, I fell in love with Toby. Glad you’re going to be following me back to the island!

  11. Love this post of pets, should have sent my pet family, 2 labs Georgia, black lab, Izzy, our yellow lab, Max, our tabby outdoor cat. Our horses Tenn.Walkers Rocky, Baby and our pony Shaggy. She looks like Baby’s baby but she is the eldest 13 years old.

  12. Awesome job Bear of showing us all your new friends’ pictures!

  13. Thanks for sharing all those great pictures! Makes me miss my Snuggles even more but I remember all the good times.

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