Sunday, November 13, 2016

 On Tuesday 8th November 2016, I lost my best friend.

I never, ever thought I would have to write this. At least I never wanted to write this. 

On the 8th November 2016, Bear passed away in my arms... It was the worst night of my life. Bear means everything to me - he always has, and he always will. 

In 2014, my previous Barn Owl, Breeze, passed away, and it broke me. I didn't ever think I would be the same, she was my daughter basically! Not long after she passed did I realise how much I missed having a Barn Owl. Around a week later, an advert came up - Baby Barn Owls For Sale. I immediately starting contacting the person! On the 13th December 2016, we went and picked him up. Now, I gotta say, Barn Owl chicks are one of the most ugliest things! 

He was 3 1/2 weeks old. His 'hatch' date was the 18th November 2014. I thought this was fab, he was the only one of our birds that didn't have a birthday during Spring/Summer. It is a date I will never forget. 

I chose the name Bear, mostly because of Breeze. I wanted a name similar to Breeze, that's short, and can be unisex. I didn't care what sex Bear was, at this point I was still mourning over Breeze, so I was leaning towards wanting a boy, but I was so overjoyed I didn't care. If anyone met me whilst I had him for the first couple of weeks, you will have known just how protective I was over him. He was my first baby younger than 8 weeks! This was my chance to show I could take care of a baby. He was mine. 

He made me happy in so many ways. Whether it was just him still breathing when I would check on him throughout the night, whether it was him simply chirping at me, him taking his first steps. I was in awe. He became my one constant. He was my rock, and I cannot explain how grateful I am of him. Thinking back now, I realise I got him at the perfect time. I was still mourning over Breeze, but he gave me so much happiness, that it made me remember why I fell in love with Breezey and Barn Owls in general. If you haven't ever experienced being with a Barn Owl - it's hard to explain - but to me, they have this aura about them which instantly calms me. I've been around BO's since I was around 9, and the love I have for them is constantly growing. 

Bear quickly became my everything. He was my son, my love, my best friend, and I felt like I had met my soul mate. I don't mean that in a romantic way, but we had this amazingly wonderful bond that tied us to each other. It was an amazing thing to feel. 

Bear continued to grow, and develop and become this gorgeous creature.

Until he eventually had all of his feathers. 

Gosh, he would look at me like that all the time. This was the stage, where I got a bit concerned. I realised he started to get some spots on his chest. (FYI, Female Barn Owls have black spots on their chest, and male have a white chest.) It wasn't too many, but enough to make me panic. As soon as the panic was over, I noticed how they weren't everywhere, there were only a few dotted on the edges. Phew. My baby was a boy. In fact, he was my first boy. 

I'm a person who tends to go for the Males. I like the Male Birds of Prey, they are smaller, a lot more focused (apart from during season), and I find that I have a stronger bond with them. This fact could not be more true about Bear. Do you ever just have that person that you want to do everything with, talk about everything with, or just be with them constantly? Yep, for me, that was Bear. Bear and I were a team, that couldn't be reckoned with. We were unstoppable. 

We would try and do everything together. We would watch TV, go on my laptop, watch Grey's and even just sleep together. It was a lovely relationship to have. Bear and I also loved to go for walks together - that was my favourite thing to do with him. We would seperate ourselves from everything, and it be just me and him. 

This is one of my favourite pictures of him, from one of our walks. 

If you speak to any of my friends and family, they will tell you that Bear was spoilt. I just wanted the best for him - I didn't want for him to not know how much I truly adored him, and how grateful I am of his existence. No-one will ever know the true extent of my love for him, but I hope that I portrayed it to him constantly. 

I miss him. I miss everything about him. I miss the way I could go to him all the time, and he would understand that I just wanted a talk, or even just a cuddle. I miss holding him. I miss speaking to him. I miss him so much. The one thing I miss more than anything though, is him talking. He was a very talk-a-tive little fella, and always wanted to be heard. Everything is so quiet without him. Everywhere I go, there is this resounding silence. I hate it. 

I won't lie, the sound used to annoy me to a certain extent. I used to hate him talking constantly - especially during the night - but I grew to use it as a sound of comfort. In my head, as long as Bear was speaking, everything was fine. Everything was normal, and he was okay. Over the past couple of weeks, he started to speak less and less, and I think that part broke me. 

Next Friday - 18th November 2016 - Bear was going to turn 2. I was going to go mad, throw him a little celebration, and make the day special for him. Now? How can I cope, knowing that my sweet baby boy, will never make it to two!? 

As he grew up, I became a mother. I was constantly worrying over him, and I felt like he was my son. Gaining him, made me not want children! The stress of him at 3 1/2 weeks, put me off having children for a long time. Losing him, make me never want children incase something happens to them. 

Right now, I'm still mourning him, and I feel like a zombie. I don't know what my next step is apart from to keep breathing. 

I miss you buddy, and I love you so much. Fly high my little lad, and go see Breeze for me. I'm sure she'd love to meet you.

Nothing will ever prepare you to say goodbye. Nothing. I spent 2 hours just holding him whilst he took his final breaths, and it just wasn't enough. 

I believe that the connection, and relationship with a Bird of Prey is a lot stronger than one with a cat or dog. The relationship I built with Bear was a strong meaningful one, built on trust, friendship and respect! 

I love you bud, and you can bet that on the 18th I will still celebrate you. You are worth a big celebration. Rest in peace my little buddy - Mama will always love you. 



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