Celebrating our Berner Veterans
In Loving Memory of
Woofa Bear Beedie
November 19th 1997 to September 11th 2008
Loved and so sadly missed by David and Helen Beedie
Our Majestic Bear
Woofa was born in Tasmania, Australia on the 19th of November 1997; a pup amongst a litter of fourteen. He made his way to Sydney, where he lived in a beautiful house on the coast near Avalon: he was a dog that liked the sea, and had his own semi-private beach that he used to wade in during the hot summer days. It was here that Helen and I first met Woofa, as when we moved to this part of New South Wales from England, we rented a house from Woofa's owner, and Woofa...kinda came with the house!! The relationship was perfect: a beautiful house, with a fabulous 'share-dog' and lovely neighbours.
After nearly three years, we decided to move, and shortly afterwards, Woofa's owner decided to move away as well, and asked us if we would like stewardship of him. We took him on willingly, knowing that he could be a cheeky, naughty dog, but filled with love and kindness. Everyone loved Woofa: you could not fail to, even when he was a bad dog. I once walked him through the main village centre, and as quick as a flash, he stole a toasted bacon sandwich from the plate of a man who was having breakfast. I was mortified, but the man just laughed and patted him, refusing compensation. He also got a reputation as being a cheese-seeking missile, having purloined a block of Brie from a friend's dining table when no-one was looking. That got him a three-month ban from our friend's house.
We stayed in Australia for another four years, and in that time, we saved Woofa's life twice: firstly by shaving him in the summer, which helped us reveal Mast Cell cancers on his hind leg, and also a very bad case of Canine Bloat, which we just got him through after a Gastroplexy. We are therefore endebted to Dr. Andrew Marchewsky who now practices at the Small Animal Specialist Hospital in North Ryde. Andrew's skill as a surgeon and care of our boy got him over the line both times. We also learnt that to avoid bloat, it's important to treat a dog as if they are both lactose-intolerant and also susceptible to gastro-intestinal wind. Take the causes of wind, and also any dairy / egg etc products out of a diet, and you are not too far away from keeping them bloat-free.
In March of 2007, we sent Woofa over to England with Qantas, and we started a new chapter in Somerset, in the UK. By now, Woofa was over nine years old, and was slowing down a bit, but still gave the postman an awful fright every morning when the post was delivered. We think that moving to the UK definitely helped Woofa, as he was beginning to suffer with the Aussie heat. About a month ago, we noticed Woofa slowing down considerably, but put it down to him not appreciating the anti-arthritis injection course we had started for him.
One week ago, at three am on a Sunday, Woofa woke in discomfort, and I knew that this was something serious, as he had never shown any sign of issues before. We took him to his local vet, but nothing they could do could make him comfortable. We were able to have him interred into the University of Bristol's Langford Animal Hospital. Woofa was made comfortable, but on the Thursday, we were called up to Langford to hear the dreadful news. MH was in his spleen and lungs, and was progressed beyond help. We were stunned, as we had seen no depression, no weight loss or any significant loss of appetite. For the sake of the dog, there was only one course of action.
Woofa died on September 11th 2008, aged ten years and ten months. He was a testament to his breeder, who succeeds in getting long life-spans from her dogs; a testament to the vets and surgeons who aided him, and also, to us, who looked after him. We are at a loss: a huge hole in our lives left by his lack of presence, but we are also overjoyed at our time with him. We were so very, very, very lucky to have been associated with this magnificent character.
Woofa Bear Beedie
Loyal. Generous. Loving. Magnificent.
Not too bright Bear!
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