Kathy Winkler Studio
“Pooh Bar” is short for “Oso Blanco de Amigo” (White bear’s friend”) - Bear’s registered name. Pooh Bar was a Great Pyrenees who, as an adult, weighed 160 pounds. Since a puppy, he looked like Winnie the Pooh putting his hand in the honey jar, hence the name for this gorgeous pup.
Our beautiful border collie/Shetland sheep dog, Toby, had passed when we were living in California. He was 12 years old. Somewhere in the months that followed, we went to the San Francisco Benched Dog Show, and discovered the Great Pyrenees. We knew right then that this was the next dog we wanted. After doing a lot of research, we visited breeders in Santa Cruz, and sealed the deal for a future puppy. We didn’t have to wait too long, but then Jerry got orders to go to Dayton, Ohio, so eventually, our new puppy was shipped to us via air. Pooh Bar the puppy was 6 weeks old and 10 pounds. When we picked him up at the airport in Dayton 8 weeks later, he weighed 23 pounds – what a surprise.
Bear was an amazing pup. After going through his puppy stage (he ate a wall all the way to the brick in the den), and many other things. I took him to training classes including training for conformation shows. He did get points towards his championship, but he decided he wasn’t cut out for showing. Once, in the Armory in Columbus, Ohio, right in front of the judge, he laid down and started batting the leash with his paws. So, we hired a professional handler. Well, after one show, he convinced us that this was not his forte.
Through his 12 years with us, he managed to always put humor into everything he did. When we moved to Chantilly, Virginia, we had a house with a huge bay window in the living room on the 2nd floor of our two-story house. He used to clear the deck and lay down in the window to watch the cars and people go by. There was also a time when he learned to open the refrigerator door with his nose and partake of anything that appealed to him. I caught him standing on his hindlegs (he was 5’ 2” upright) as he rose and put his nose in between the door frame and the door, and then go through each shelf finding wonderful meals. Bingo, caught in the act. Problem solved after losing marinated flank steak, a standing rib roast, ham, cheese, and various other tasty treats. So, I put a bungee cord from the handle to the back of the refrigerator. The family wasn’t happy about that. Jerry said Sears had side-by-side frigs on sale, so I was nonplused, but went to Sears anyway and saw this frig on a rotating (back and forth) carousel. A salesperson came up to me and asked if he could help me, and I just said I’ll take that frig without looking inside, much to his disappointment.
Bear loved to sleep in the main bathroom bathtub. One time we had house guests and one of them went into the bathroom to take a shower, only to find Bear snoring end-to-end in the tub. Our guest came sheepishly to us and said he would like to take a shower, but he couldn’t budge Bear out of the tub. Bear would brace his feet up against the side and simply refuse to move, grunting the entire time we would spend trying to get him out.
Bear played with an Old English Sheepdog a couple of doors down from us. When he got tired, he would sit on top of her and wouldn’t let her up until he decided he wanted to play again.
Bear was an anecdote maker and we could probably write a book about his antics.
Dusty was a total Mutt and Jeff contrast to Pooh Bar and his story is next.