CAMP CONNELL, Calif. USA - The bad news reached us in the airport on our way to Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Elmira - all stops on our way to Seneca Lake.
Bear Lamont, an ageless - though aging - Labrador had finally died.
Bear has been a fixture in our lives for years - as long as we have known Sanders and Pat Lamont. I first met Bear when I did a short housesitting stint seven years ago, and Bear was still frisky enough to bolt out the front door after squirrels.
When the Admiral and I moved in to take over more permanent housesitting duties a couple of years ago, we agreed to joint custody of Bear with Sanders and Pat and traded off watching the dog many times. Whether we watched Bear, or Bear watched us, was always up for debate.
Perhaps one of most fun times we had in recent years was putting up the Christmas lights on the Sacramento house - with Bear's help, of course.
R.I.P. Bear. Maybe now you will be able to catch those damned squirrels that eluded you for so long.
Bear ready to celebrate Christmas, two years ago