He got better and was back to his old ways. He has figured out that there's a treat in the jar and he was trying to figure out how to open the jar so he could help himself. The color on his face, ears and paws was growing out into his current color. I was sad to see it go. I really liked the coloring of his puppyhood. His ears are still a bit gray so he retained just a little of it just for me. ;o)
I've grown accustomed to living with Bear...as long as he's not biting me or one of the other dogs, I can deal with his moods pretty effectively. He has settled down some as he's grown older. He still doesn't like kids but can stand to be in the same room with them if they give him plenty of space. He still hates dogs and tries to chase them all down so he might show them who the alpha dog truly is. He hates getting his fur trimmed but no longer feels the need to bite my hand off when I take the pile of fur away from him, then eat as much as he can before I collect it again. (A behavior I never understood.) He has basically resigned himself to the fact that Tucker is here to stay and that he is no longer the sole owner of the rawhides and tennis balls. He still loves to run as much as I can manage to let him.
This is Bear after a bike ride in Wanship and his fill of snow...he was a happy boy!
But things are starting to change. He very rarely wants to play with his basketball these days (though some of that has to do with the awful yard). He doesn't really like spending a whole lot of time outside either. He almost always heads up to bed when I leave for work rather than jumping to go outside. He can only chase the tennis balls I toss for a few minutes before he has to lay down to rest. But the saddest change of all came just a few weeks after I decided Bear would break the world record for fastest bike ride with a dog. His rear legs started shaking when he really exerts himself. He is fine with my running speed but when we got out on the bike and he reaches 15-16 MPH, by the time we make it up to the top of the subdivision, his legs are shaking so badly. We rest until they stop and we finish our ride. I don't know if he realizes that they're shaking because he ran hard. He doesn't seem to care...he just keeps running fast.
Through all the ways he has hurt me, or Adam, or the other dogs, or the bad attitude he's shown to family and visitors I really do love him and I am very sad to have been reminded that his time is coming....it's still sometime off, I'm sure. But it's never an easy thing to be reminded of how short the time I will have with him (and my other dogs) is. I just hope that the shake remains a minor thing and that Bear will be able to run long intop his life and do the one thing that makes him happy.
Bear believes he can conquer anything...here, he's contemplating the best way to pull me and my bike up that hill on one of our last rides in Wanship.
I've decided against trying to break the record with Bear. It's just too much for him. But we do go out for rides still...I just have to make sure he doesn't go as fast as he'd like to and that he rests more often.