Thank you for stepping into the world of bear cubs. We think of bears as powerful predators, elusive shadows, or mysterious creatures of the woods. For many, an experience with a bear means a visit to the local zoo or a brief glimpse while hiking. Bears embody many moods, personalities, attitudes, behaviors, and traits. As with people, bears are different during the various stages of their lives. I have the opportunity to get to know them intimately during the first eighteen months of their life. That is the knowledge and expertise I can share as a wildlife rehabilitator. After the bears leave here, they take charge of their own life and take their place in the population. I'll leave it to the bear experts and biologists studying bears in their natural habitat to share their knowledge of bears in the wild.
Having been a wildlife rehabilitator since 1978, I had no idea of the life changing experience that was about to land on my doorstep. It happened in May, 1989 and arrived in the form of a tiny, very adorable bundle of fur and claws, a living, breathing teddy bear....or so I thought. Within two weeks of his arrival, I knew Ruggles was going to change my life drastically. This teddy bear in disguise became a full fledged bear and I was on the ride of my life. Each hour, each day, each minute was unlike anything I'd known in my years as wildlife rehabilitator. Each new day was more exciting than the last and most of all, I was appreciating life more than ever before. I knew my world now belonged to bears.
Since then, I have shared the life of many orphaned cubs, each one different, each one teaching me something new, each one an experience unlike the others. It's been both a blessing and a privilege to share the world of orphaned bear cubs since the day Ruggles arrived. Through this web site, I invite you to join me in a personal journey with some wonderfully amazing bears. It is my hope to share with you a side of bears that few ever know.
Recently, a very special friend asked me "Why bears"? What is it about bears that makes them so different?" I'd been asked that question many times. It's easy enough to answer and certainly there are many reasons. This time the question came from someone I value a great deal. It was important to give him an answer with more than just the surface words. I searched inside for the core of why bears touched me so deeply and intensely. I'll leave you with those thoughts. Thank you for visiting and sharing my world of bears.
Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from these cubs. Like children, they are innocent, not yet touched by the trials of the world around them. The bears never ask more than I can give, but they certainly give more than I could ever ask. They never judge, they never seek revenge, they never turn away, they never threaten, they never ask you to be anything but what you are. Isn't that what we as humans should be doing with each other?
Can you imagine how it feels to be in the depths of sadness and have one of these constantly active bears come and sit next to me for an hour, never moving, just sharing that moment in time, just understanding the need? It speaks volumes. I've received more empathy from these bears during those moments than sometimes exists in the world around me. Isn't that what we as humans should be doing with each other?
They are bears and there is no life force more knowing about who they are and what they are about than bears. They expect to be accepted as they are. They share who they are with me. They invite me into their world to see through their eyes. They don't ask me to be a bear, but they show me what it is to be a bear. They know who they are and they know who I am, yet we somehow manage to share a world and be the better for it. As cubs, they play, they love, they express, they trust, they give, they laugh, they share, they feel joy, they feel pain, they feel sadness, they seek comfort, and each bear respects the individuality of the other. Isn't that what we as humans should be doing with each other?
What I give the bears is minuscule in light of what they give me. Is there a greater gift than to be accepted as one of them even though I'm not? Isn't that what we as humans should be doing with each other?