I left Mattawa and went to North Bay. I bought some new hair care products, treated myself to some yummy almond croissants at orchards, and worked at moving out of a storage unit. It was a successful regular trip. During the drive, as happens every once in a while, I thought about death. I thought about how easy it is to die or have an accident while driving and drove with extra caution and attention. I thought about how special it is to be alive. I got home around 5 and was really tired so I went for a nap even though this was in danger hours i just couldnt resist the deep need for a very deep nap. I had such a profound sleep when I woke up I was sure it was morning but I was confused it was so dark. Then i realized it was 830. I called my friend Hannah to discuss our week travels to Toronto and we laughed at being fully awake at 830. honestly in restrospect this nap fueled my next 24 hours.  

I went out to feed the dogs and I noticed Bear was not there. He is always one of the first to greet you and normally is interested and involved as i feed the dogs before him. He wasnt there, i fed all the dogs searching the dog yard before confirming he was not in the dog yard. 

Immidiately i was terrified Bear has a territory within the property that he has full bearings of understanding and he was not there. I was so scared and immidiately started crying and trying to find him. I ran to the house to get a flash light i couldnt find one so i used my cell phone i started trekking through the llama field to see if they had hurt Bear or if i could find him anywhere there. I hiked into the big field to some areas he normally goes and couldnt find him there i searched behind the house and the shed in the creek areas up and down the road in the ditches up peaceful lane and i couldnt find him.  

I was terrified I knew he was missing. I ran back inside and made a post on the calvin facebook page then realized that wasnt sharable so made a post on the mattawa facebook page. I had no idea where he was if he was in the area or if someone picked him up and brought him out of the area. Hannah called me back i was crying and crying and told her Bear is missing and i went back out to search for him. 

the grass was wet and their was a thick mist in the field. i let my eyes adjust to the darkness and i looked up at the stars full of milky way. i asked for guidance and settled in the silence. i heard he is close but you need to listen. from that point i knew he is in the area but where and is he stuck. i tried to hold in my tears so i could listen. i hiked to the bridge and up to charles house and couldnt find him at this point is was around 11. I talked to the huskies and let them know we have to find Bear he is missing and we have to help him get back. i called for him at the porch and went to sleep with prayers i would find him. I called in Cody and asked him to find him and stay with him through this night and help guide him home. Bear was one of his favorites I also called In Meeshaa to protect him as well .and i went to sleep trying to focus on where he might be.

I dreamt about being reuinited with him and hugging him i was determined to find him healthy and safe. I woke up early expectign to greet him on the porch and hug him but he was not there. And this made it extra official he was missing. This is the first time i could see in daylight so i checked all the same areas from the day before around the area and fields and roads. I let off a few dogs to track him while i did this. then i came in i knew i had to eat some food because it would be a big day so i put on a pot of split peas. during this time i let patch loose and told her to try and find bear. 

i watched her from the house she kept going to different areas in the big field and then eventually took off to the end of the fiedl i took this as a sign and got my running shoes on and started off on our first hike i trekked the dog sled loop in the forest behind the field i tried to catch up to patch but i couldnt find her. when i got back she was still gone then i saw her running back from that same point at the end of the field.

i called my mom and filled her in i was so worried to share this with her because i took alot of responsibility in him being missing and felt so horrible and scared for him and felt like it was my fault. my mom told me twin likely hiked him out somewhere and left him there so he is likely in the area maybe the dump or the eau claire gorge trails. My split peas still werent ready.

i started hiking to the dump through the peaceful lane overpass trail calling and listening but their were no signs of husky same as the last i made it to the dump spoke to a few people searched the dump grounds and hiked home. Then i tried across the brigde i hiked to the campsite with nakita who was hunting the whole time and so amazing and we also went to the wolf grounds and still saw no scat or tracks. at this point this is about 6 hours of hiking i was really tired but felt so guilty if i were to rest becasue i could feel bear struggling i knew he was alive and trying to find his way home.  

i ate my split peas had a call for strenght with hannah and set out again this time in my car and drove to eau claire gorge and around calvin. i fed the dogs and searched the yard more in everyones houses in the barn in the little cave area. he wasnt there. 

i kept remembering that message to listen but i was having trouble hearing what i needed to. after feeding them i started calling for bear on the proch over and over again so that he could track my voice home. the sky was falling night and the world was quieting so it was easier to hear. the huskies joined me in howling for bear to come home. they knew he is missing and how to help him the whole time. they howled we would listen then i would call they would howl we would listen we got into a cycle like this and kept it going for a couple hours then we heard a howl.

i stopped calling and let the dogs take it from there i recognized his howl it was far down the road. in my body i could picture where it was even though i didnt know that area. i grabbed twin and a flash light and we started hiking down the road. we passed the field where i thought patches was and i was a bit nervous because this was passed even where i thought he’d go.

I was calling for him up the road the whole time and our huskies were silent. when i got in front of where i thought the sound was i hear another howl i knew he was deep in these woods. i stopped calling and listened. i could hear bear splashing through water and realised this is a marsh lands. i stepped off the road into this land and imidiately realized it was above my head this grass and bush with sinky footing i was nervous to go in because i knew it was very vulnerable as it was very challenging to move through and had some concerns; maybe there is other wildlife i would be walking into just me twin and my flash light but i knew he was there so i gathered my courage and started walking in; trekking through this bog wetlands and whipping willow. i could hear him splashing back and forth it was hard to pin point where he was because he was running up and down up and down barely going forward and the sounds were following this disorientation.

Deep in this bog i finaly spotted his shiny eyes and i started running to him. he was so panicked he had been working so hard to find his way home who knows how far he came to get to that point he was running back and forth in water and had no idea how to get out of there but he was trying.

it was heart breaking to see him struggling and suffering in this stress but so determined to get out we hugged each other and he cried of relief and i cried he knew he was home but wanted to get out of there.

i held him and we walked out of this insane landscape in the darkness this is about 1130 that i found him. we got to the road and started running. he was so dioriented i tried letting him loose because he wanted to run faster than i could holding onto him without a leash. but he started doing the back and forth and was too tired to follow my voice straight so i held him the whole way home.

the dogs greeted him but bear was absolutely exhausted i brought him to the shed and gave him food he was so hungry i turned on the shed light and could see his bones he had lost so much weight. he was so grateful to be eating and we were both so relievd we were goign to recover and rest.

He was under such an insane amount of stress the last 24 hours it completely showed in his body after he ate i brought him inside to the bathroom he layed down on my coat that i put on the floor and i prepared his tub. i saw his wounds on his legs from being in the marshland they were pink and raw he had been in water for too long.

the whole thing is devastating and horrible to think about and was horrible to see and for him to experience it was awful. i gave him and bath dried him off and then we got ready for bed first was going to let him sleep on the couch but he wanted to be near me so i came and slept on the other couch and he slept on the couch bench then i was too uncomfy so move back to bedroom and he slept beside the bed we both slept the full night.

ive never seen him this exhausted i know how hard he worked to get home. it is terrifying to lose your baby and i am so grateful he is home. he is the strongest pup what he got himself through will forever amaze me . i know we were deeply supported by everyone who had our backs and also by our guides who really helped us and kept us strong.

This whole thing was deeply traumatic especially for bear. it brought up a few things for me:

I am the care giver and i provide safety for my huskies when i am babysitting them and accidents happen. It is inevitable to avoid accidents or mistakes.

This event was traumatic for Bear and as his care taker it defintely could have been avoided had I not assumed that as usual he would stay in the yard. Over the past 2 months ive been house sitting he has never left but this time when i went to northbay he did. its easy to beat yourself up over the actions you could have changed to prevent accidents and trauma. of course this is learned from going forward but in restrospect nothing can be changed and its important to accept the reality to best move through it. I am sad that this was still used against me but i will do all i can to help bear recover and i know this was a big lesson for everyone.

Months later I reread this text and im grateful i wrote this story to paper. somehow after all this  a week or so later bear injured himself again and this time with a physical wound i had to give him sticthes and he was on bed rest.  the next month bear and I spent together healing and recovering and sleeping next to each other and it was so therapeutic and healing for both of us to slow down and learn some ways to better communicate. Bear is blind from cataracts and slowly lost his vision with age and one of our most active and adventurous dogs. so he still wants to go on big crazy adventures. through his rehavbitation we started going on walks together and  it was beautiful to start developping some safe words for him to understand when theirs danger and start changing and adapting to this new reality together and how to make it safe and still go on adventures and include blindness into our life.

I wrote this poem about finding Bear

Surrender

Where actions perpetuate the chaos

There is a moment reserved for pausing

Where processing reveals distance

There is a time reserved for stillness

The blindness has set in, so you need to listen

I let go of the need to breathe and become the silence

Become the white noise become the mist

My eyes activate in darkness

I let go of the need to see

I feel the world is black

There is no longer ground

Earth and sky collide and help me rise to float

I remember my ability to fly

I search over the forests for my bear

I focus on the quiet sounds

I elongate into the Milky Way

I stay here to hold direction and prayer

And I return to the field in body form to search.

The landscape of the stars clarify through the midnight and morning mist

For the unknown to emerge next

The silence guides the way

For the howls to bring us home

 

 

Death is always unexpectedly possible. this incident made me have to face the possibility that Bear could be stuck somewhere, injured, fallen into the river, so many possibilities including passed away. although i could feel he was alive i had to face off with that possibility and stay determined to find him. Bear is young and healthy and there is no reason for him to pass away and this weight of that being possible really weighed heavy on me to be responsible for his death as a care giver would have destroyed me. it made me again so grateful for the life we get to have and live and the importance of being present and sharing love. while he was missing i kept reflecting back on all the things i love about bear how he loves to get belly rubs how he steals my shoes how he is always stoke for a hike how gentle and loving he is how he finds his way into the house even though he cant see and knows exactly where the comfy bed is. all these beautiful things about bear i appreciate so much intensified knowing they could possibly end. the relief of having him home and safe and in recovery i know his joy and safety and love is still here and we can continue to experience the beauty of living. experiencing life possibly being taken away is extremely hard on you and very overwhelming and scary. it was terrifying to think of all the different risks but i kept coming back to he is close you just need to listen.

It made me realize how with deep listening we know what to do my huskies and is communication reconnected us with bear. it made me realize how important our voice is and communication is. how powerful it is to howl and speak up. i joined y huskies howling for bear because my voice travels further that way and he could hear all of us. this incident caused us so much stress because we could feel how much he was struggling and we already know what that looks like. . bear is profoundly strong and i admire his strength and bravery beyond words. i realized how sharing also helps even though that is hard for me you know when it is necessary and i was so grateful how the community i live within pulled through to help us and keep people notified.

the biggest thing in all of this was listening that is really what saved us listening beyond noise listening to silence and tuning into our senses beyond sight. 

grief worry stress these emotions are all felt deeply within the pack when something is off these emotions go hand in hand with joy love and peace. there is a fine line between both these extremeties when were in alignment we get to expereince in a balanced way when traumatic things happen the oe polarities deepen but im really glad all of us worked together to stay focused and balanced throughout this. 

now we get to focus on love, connection, presence, going through something like this is very overwhelming and vulnerable we saw and felt into a side of one another in fear and we saved each other in our determination to continue loving each other in this life. thank you to every one who helped us. we are forever grateful.

This accident could have been prevented but it was not preventable. Bear is blind and this accident revealed the trauma that can come from this getting lost and not being able to find your way home in dangerous environments. No matter how much i try to safeguard Bear accidents happen and now our understandings of how to protect each other and for him to also protect himself are much greater. There is no shame in expereincing trauma and traumatic events they do not define you and do not need to suffocate you they are pillars to learning and understanding yourself and the ways and requirements in which you move through life safely.