By Janet McAfee
Pets come to us in many ways, sometimes when we least expect them. Patricia Rogers was
grieving over the loss of her beloved cat, Shadow, when a neighbor called her last September about the
plight of a puppy named Polar Bear. The dog belonged to a young divorced mom with two toddlers.
The mom worked long hours and the family decided they couldn’t care for an active dog. Patricia
recalls, “They thought if I saw him, I’d take Polar Bear, but I was in too much grief and left quickly.
Shadow was like a member of our family. I told them, ‘no it’s too soon after Shadow. I’m not over her
yet, and I might never have pets again because of the heartache at their life’s end.'”

“Then I saw the neighbor about a month later, and heard more about the living conditions of the
dog. I found out the owners were gone long hours, living in an apartment, and Polar Bear was outside
all day on a small concrete patio in the scorching summer heat. I know a lot of people, and could get
him a home, so we agreed to take him.” However, the young family changed their mind and decided to
keep the dog. Meanwhile, Patricia could not forget Polar Bear and worried about his living conditions.

Unexpectedly, the neighbor showed up at Patricia’s doorstep holding Polar Bear and handed
him over. Patricia’s friend Jeanette contacted Donna Kauble, a Loving All Animals board member, who
came over to assist. Donna saw the beautiful dog and predicted, “You’ll be his forever family!” Patricia
resisted the idea of a permanent home, “I hadn’t had a puppy since I was in my twenties, and it turned
out the dog was not house trained. My husband Fred and I really weren’t ready for another dog.”

Donna suggested Polar Bear come to Loving All Animals’ Super Pet Adoption Fair at the end of
November. But Patricia objected because she didn’t want Polar Bear to be in a kennel for two days. An
adorable young dog, looking very much like a Bichon, it’s likely he would have been adopted at the fair.
Patricia delayed showing Polar Bear at other adoption opportunities.

Polar Bear accompanied the Rogers when they went out to lunch or dinner. You may have
spotted Polar Bear on the patios of his favorite “dog friendly” restaurants, Si Bon in Rancho Mirage,
Mama Liveri’s in Palm Desert, and Maracas Cantina in Rancho Mirage. Polar Bear loves the Swan Bakery
on El Paseo where he meets up with Jeanette and her dog Mimi. Adorable Polar Bear gets as much
attention as a rock star lounging on a sidewalk cafe.

Dogs have a way of winning over your heart. Polar Bear turned out to be a sweet, trusting,
lovable creature, who bounded with puppy energy. Patricia knew an animal would come to them
eventually, but wasn’t looking to adopt a young puppy. Patricia explained that animals always “find”
them. Shadow the cat was abandoned by her neighbors when they moved away, and the smart animal
selected the Rogers as her new family, arriving soon after their poodle died. Patricia showed me photos
of their treasured Shadow who was with them for 12 years.

Patricia wrote about what happened next. “Last week, his 3rd shot was due, and Loving All
Animals was swamped with new placements so I took him to the vet. Happy to do my part, I drove Polar
Bear to the clinic and while he sat on my lap, his little tail was wagging like he was waiting for a romp or
a treat. Never had I seen an animal so happy at the vet’s office, yet that’s his personality; a bundle of

love and cheer. I also scheduled another grooming and Polar Bear was fine with his second encounter.
My husband is getting used to him (although he said ‘too bad he’s not middle aged’) and when I look in
his little shoe button eyes and happy face, I know the lady from LAA is right. We’re his forever family.
I’m not replacing Shadow, but this little dog needs love now, just as Shadow did many years ago. What
unconditional love these rescued darlings give.”

Recently Fred wrote Patricia a note mentioning Polar Bear’s exuberance. He added, “But that’s
ok, because WE love him anyway.” Polar Bear made his home in the hearts of both Patricia and Fred.

Maybe you are grieving right now for a lost pet. Take a look at Polar Bear’s sweet face. A
rescued or rehomed dog has experienced loss too. But they teach us that life goes on, love goes on, and
when you open up your heart again a new pet will provide joy and comfort.