Deycon and my grandson, DJ, continue to be inseparable and getting into all kinds of 4 year old situations.  I spend most of my days laughing and smiling at what goes on around here. As I’ve posted here and on Deycon’s page, “It’s a circus, I tell you. A circus!”

A few weeks ago, I found out about a 2 year old Rottweiler that had been surrendered because his Marine dad was deployed and couldn’t find anyone who could take the dog. If you’ve read Deycon’s entire story, you’ll know that it was for this reason I became active in Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet in the first place. I had to watch my daughter bring her 3 cats to a shelter the day before her deployment because she couldn’t find anyone to take them. I am extremely allergic to cats so them coming home with me was out of the question. The look on her face and the pain she was going through made me silently promise that if I could help, no military person would go through that.

Although I didn’t have his permission before, I do now. It was my vet who called me to tell me about an ad he had seen on Craigslist about this dog and his situation.

I immediately contacted the shelter, got a huge run around, was secretly given info by a worker, tracked “Max” through 3 states, 5 shelters and 4 counties in New York.  I made about 25 calls, sent a dozen emails, lied, threatened and made a general pest out of myself until I was able to track him down. He was now in a shelter in Pennsylvania and it was Friday afternoon. They required a $100 hold fee so that I could go see him on Monday. My vet paid the fee.

Deycon and I finally met him on Monday. I had expected to find a raucous Rottie and instead found a depressed, scared 2 year old who had lost so much weight, his ribs were showing. The shelter required that Deycon and Max meet to see if they were compatible. I left the two pups with a worker to go post our literature on their bulletin board and give them info should this situation arise again at the point where we could help. I returned to find Max cleaning Deycon’s face and the two of them getting along just fine. Another visit the next day was successful and on June 30th I brought Max home. His adoption fee had been paid by my veterinarian and office staff who are staunch supporters of what we do.

I contacted as many Marine organizations as possible to find his dad. I was told I’d need a name, and his assignment. My daughter, a Navy Corpsman in Camp LeJeune, suggested I contact the Chaplain’s office. A worker from the original shelter had slipped me the chip card on the dog. My vet retrieved the info and we found that “Max” was really named Bear and that he had a grandmother in the Mid-west. I contacted her to let her know about Guardian Angels and to see if I could find his Marine through her. When she finally got back to me, she said that Jesse, her son, was going to be gone for about 2 years and was planning to deploy again soon after that. She had been trying to find the dog so that she could arrange to have him shipped to her to stay with a friend of Jesse’s. I assured her that Bear had a permanent or foster home and asked her to contact her son and let him know. In an ironic twist I was rescued by my own Bear a few years ago. HIS original name was Max and changed to Bear by the shelter. Now I had a Bear whose name was changed to Max: a sign to me that this was meant to be.

On Deycon’s page a fan suggested that we hold a contest to give Bear/Max a more permanent name. The winner was Lord Jesse Deycon Bearington and that is how he is registered with the town on his license.

Sometime later, Bear’s grandmother emailed me to say that she had Skyed with Jesse. She told me he was crying , overcome and so relieved that Bear had found a home. I emailed Guardian Angels’ info to both of them. Jesse wrote back that he would definitely spread the word about our organization and what we do.

Deycon and Bear II did the usual wary behavior around each other. They lived side by side for a day or so and now can be found rolling around any room in my house. The hard wood floors have a fine layer of dog hair that gets swept every day and they play long and hard.

The Fourth of July was an interesting few days. Bear II had kind of adopted one of my sons, James. He spent most of his time with James and his girlfriend and slept outside their door.  On Saturday, the second of July, my village celebrated with a festival in the park across the street. I should have known, but it just didn’t register until the first huge explosion at 9:30 that night.

If you’ve read these blog entries, you know that thunder and my straw broom are pretty scary. Well, they are NOTHING compared to fireworks. Bear was in James’ room and Deycon, as always, was attached to me. All at once the boom went off, Deycon jumped up into my lap, Bear ran through the house, up onto my bed across it and back to me and Deycon. They were both trembling and crying. Each was attempting to either sit on me or get under some piece of furniture. Deycon had my lap occupied and Bear was frantically jumping on us, behind us or under my feet. I’m so sorry, but I was laughing so hard I was of little help to either of them. I finally got Deycon onto the floor and laying half under the bed and was petting and reassuring him when I realized I couldn’t find Bear II. I searched around for a bit and finally found him hiding in my bathtub. I know it may sound cruel but the sight of two dogs with a combined weight of about 200 pounds, who growl and bark fiercely at anyone who even dares to pass the house, give off an imposing image and are protective of anyone who livers here, laying under furniture and in a tub trembling because of a few loud noises was just the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

On Deycon’s Public Figure Facebook page a few of his fans recommended a Thundershirt. I bought one for each of them and I hope that next week’s predicted thunderstorms are easier to handle because of the shirts.

Okay, so now the part I have been hoping to avoid for almost a year. In a few weeks Deycon’s dad is due to return. I am so happy that he will be back with his mom and dad and feel honored to have been trusted with their fur child. I know they desperately miss their pup and keep up with him through me and his page. However, it is also a day I am completely dreading.

As you can tell, Deycon has become an adored part of my family. I love this big guy so much. I look forward to watching his puppy antics, the expressions on his face, how he loves my grandson and his silent understanding when I’m not feeling right. He has come on trips with me, gone to work with me, prances each time we go to the dog park and is the gentlest giant I have ever met. He’s protective of my grandson DJ, gently plays with my little man and always whispers his secrets into DJ’s ear, especially when he wants DJ to have an extra cookie or to stay up late. I’ve watched DJ sleep with and sometimes on him. Whenever DJ is visiting someone, he calls here, not to say goodnight or talk to me, he calls to talk to Deycon. He knows Deycon can’t talk, but “he can listen, Nana.”

When I’ve had rough times, not feeling well or just not myself, Deycon is almost human and knows. He was especially amazing when Bear The First crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He just won’t let me be upset and either deposits his toys on my lap or bed or he flips my arm onto him to be pet or held. He’s dragged his bed next to mine, sniffed my face until I wake up and kept my boys pretty busy. He has endured being dressed up, teased with a broom and shot at with hundreds of Nerf bullets. He made “friends” with the squirrel that lives nearby and almost met a skunk. He has investigated some of the wildlife around here and tried to tell me there was a raccoon on my bed, but didn’t quite know how. Deycon has developed a loyal Facebook following of almost 700 people, organizations and fellow furbabies. He’s been mischievous, loving, protective and a general clown at times. It’s hard NOT to love him. He is a puppy and will always be a puppy no matter how old he gets.

Next month, I will be saying good-bye to him and watching him run to his dad’s arms. That is a reward that cannot be equaled. I sleep knowing that his mom and dad have one less worry on their mind while they are doing what they believe is right and what I can only imagine. They are half a world away, in some pretty horrendous surroundings and are literally laying their lives on the line for us. There are moments when taking care of Deycon seems too small compared to what they are doing.

Even at this moment with tears in my eyes and a little ache in my heart, I know that he will finally be back “HOME.” And that’s where he truly belongs. Not only will he be taking his big bed, a few squeaky toys and one “pawlifted” caterpillar with him when he goes, he’ll be taking a piece of my heart.

 – Written by Eileen, Foster Mom in New York.