Tag Archives: Bear

Living Love

At this moment I am wrapped in the sadness of my most recent loss. But I am also filled with gratitude to have had the joy of sharing my life with these three beautiful souls.

Living Love

If you ever love an animal, there are three days in your life you will always remember…

The first is a day, blessed with happiness, when you bring home your young new friend. You may have spent weeks deciding on a breed. You may have asked numerous opinions of many vets, or done long research in finding a breeder. Or, perhaps in a fleeting moment, you may have just chosen that silly looking mutt in a shelter… simply because something in its eyes reached your heart. But when you bring that chosen pet home, and watch it explore, and claim its special place in your hall or front room… and when you feel it brush against you for the first time… it instills a feeling of pure love you will carry with you through the many years to come.

The second day will occur eight or nine or ten years later. It will be a day like any other. Routine and unexceptional. But, for a surprising instant, you will look at your long-time friend and see age where you once saw youth. You will see slow deliberate steps where you once saw energy. And you will see sleep where you once saw activity. So you will begin to adjust your friend’s diet… and you may add a pill or two to her food. And you may feel a growing fear deep within yourself, which bodes of a coming emptiness. And you will feel this uneasy feeling, on and off, until the third day finally arrives.

And on this day… if your friend and God have not decided for you, then you will be faced with making a decision of your own… on behalf of your lifelong friend, and with the guidance of your own deepest Spirit. But whichever way your friend eventually leaves you… you will feel as alone as a single star in the dark night. If you are wise, you will let the tears flow as freely and as often as they must. And if you are typical, you will find that not many in your circle of family or friends will be able to understand your grief, or comfort you. But if you are true to the love of the pet you cherished through the many joy-filled years, you may find that a soul… a bit smaller in size than your own, seems to walk with you, at times, during the lonely days to come. And at moments when you least expect anything out of the ordinary to happen, you may feel something brush against your leg… very very lightly. And looking down at the place where your dear, perhaps dearest, friend used to lay… you will remember those three significant days. The memory will most likely be painful, and leave an ache in your heart. As time passes the ache will come and go as if it has a life of its own. You will both reject it and embrace it, and it may confuse you. If you reject it, it will depress you. If you embrace it, it will deepen you. Either way, it will still be an ache.

But there will be, I assure you, a fourth day when… along with the memory of your pet… and piercing through the heaviness in your heart… there will come a realization that belongs only to you. It will be as unique and strong as our relationship with each animal we have loved, and lost. This realization takes the form of a Living Love… like the heavenly scent of a rose that remains after the petals have wilted, this love will remain and grow… and be there for us to remember. It is a love we have earned. It is the legacy our pets leave us when they go. And it is a gift we may keep with us as long as we live. It is a love which is ours alone. And until we ourselves leave, perhaps to join our beloved pets… it is a love that we will always possess.

~ Written by Martin Scot Kosins ~ Author of “Maya’s First Rose”

and dedicated to my three…

Saying Good-Bye to Bear

Today we said our final good-bye to Bear… he was an extraordinary feline and we feel honoured to have loved him.

Bear came into our lives 14 years ago… a handsome manly Manx cat with a bob of a tail and a stealthily stance. He ruled our “house of canines” and owned our hearts.

Sadly, this morning I found Bear collapsed. Sadness engulfed me as the truth filled my heart. As gently as possible I picked him up, wrapped him in one of his kitty blankets and placed him in his current favourite spot on the futon. I held him close. He did not seem to be in any pain and actually purred while being stroked. I could sense his shallow breaths and could feel the rapid beat of his little heart beneath my touch. I held him close and whispered in his ear, “You are a good cat, Bear… we love you”.

We were all there when he passed… Roland, Coco, Lacie and I. We stayed close as he peacefully slipped away. His breaths and heartbeat no longer detectable beneath my hand.

Sadness filled me… but so did a peace I did not expect. I feel very blessed to have shared this sweet souls life right to the end.

Thank you Bear for this final last gift. I will remember you always. I will miss your soft purrs in my ear as I drift off to sleep. I wish you well as you continue on your way.

I wanted to see him again, to say goodby the way that I wanted. Then I realized if I got my way, I’d never say goodbye.”

The Waiting Game

It may be the beginning of March but it is still very much winter here in Manitoba.

Lacie does not care what the season… as long as someone is willing to toss her favourite toy for her to fetch.

Coco, on the other hand, is dreaming of spring. Me too… truth be told.

Lacie is a sweet bundle of energy. She runs like the wind, the new soft snow only adding to her fun.



Coco is a little less enthused about having to deal with these still wintery conditions… but he does seem to enjoy the new warmth in the sun ( not to mention the occasional treat that is dropped in his path ).


Coco turned 14 years this January. He is entitled to his occasional grumpy-face.


Here he is… peeking from behind the snowbank, watching his sister run. One can imagine him shaking his little head in befuddlement at her antics.

“Is it time to go in now?”


Bear waits for us inside. The sun streaming through the window has enticed him to stick his nose out the door more than a couple of times (you never know… the weather may have improved in the the past 5 minutes) but the chill is still too much for this old gent. Soon Bear… soon.


“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Pet Photography Session – Bear and Jack

It was a gorgeous October afternoon… rich in colour and in sunshine. Rhonda, Bear, Jack and I (camera-in-hand) headed out in the hopes of capturing some great moments, employing the autumn splendor as our backdrop. The location was Kildonan Park and Nature did not disappoint. What a perfect venue for capturing fall in all of it’s Manitoba glory.

Rhonda, Jack and Bear are long-time friends. Interestingly, five years ago, 5 month old Jack was the first shelter dog that I ever photographed. That photograph opened doors and introduced me to the wonderful folks at Winnipeg Animal Services. To this day the W.A.S. dogs own my heart.

It was that very same photo that connected Rhonda to Jack (then Aspen) and the beginning of Jack’s forever family. Handsome Bear is Jack’s canine sibling. Bear is the most lovable and the largest Samoyed that I have ever met. Together Bear and Jack make up a most charming duo … one that I am thrilled to photograph, any place, any time. Along with their beautiful “mom”, of course!

Jack - Bear


Smiling JackHandsome Jack

Handsome BearJack-Rhonda-Bear



a walk in the park


We walked, we talked… making frequent stops atop the growing carpet of leaves to click the camera shutter.

Thank you Rhonda for the pleasure of photographing your two boys on that gorgeous fall day. So far we have winter and fall covered. At the very least, we have two more seasons to go. Hope to see you soon.

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Complimentary Photo Session – Bear and Jack



Complimentary Photo Session – Bear and Jack

This week I got to photograph Bear and Jack… a special session in so many ways. Rhonda, their mom, is a dear friend and Jack is literally the face that launched my current photographic journey.

JackI remember the day well… it was an unseasonably warm October day in 2010. I was aimlessly strolling an adoption event at The Forks, camera in-hand, checking out the various booths when I spotted him… a five month old St. Bernard cross pup sitting quietly beside a table baring the Winnipeg Animal Services banner. His calm nature in the midst of all the commotion had me take note. I knelt down, gave his ears a scratch, snapped his photo and left hoping with all my heart that his search to find the perfect home would be a quick one.

The next day I decided to share the photo with Animal Services on their Friends of Animal Services facebook page. Coincidentally my friend Rhonda saw the photo. Two great things came out of this… Rhonda adopted this beautiful boy, naming him Jack, and Animal Services contacted me to see if I would like to photograph the dogs in their adoption program. Both Jack and I started down new paths that day… each in the best unexpected way.

Now here we are almost five years later… once more meeting up at “The Forks”. Jack has grown into a most handsome boy, sharing the good life with his canine sibling, Bear… the biggest, fluffiest Samoyed I have ever met.

Bear and Jack


Jack and Bear

The day was cold and the venue was bustling with the spillover from the Festival du Voyageur. We had a marvelous, fun time… walking, talking and gathering memories.

Jack and Bear

Thank you Rhonda for this day. Love your doggies. Hope to see you all again very soon.