OUR Story, One Bear at a Time.

First, let’s do a quick update on Rufus. As of yesterday, the news was reporting that Rufus has an attorney, is being allowed a hearing, and that the Orange County Mayor Theresa Jacobs has ordered her staff to take excellent care of Rufus until then.  A hearing date hasn’t been set yet, but I think this is exceptional. To begin with, Theresa Jacobs has been around Central Florida politics forever. FOREVER. She’s a very no nonsense, but compassionate woman. She’s fair. Pure and simple…. AND, she recognizes this one little itty bitty bit of truth when it comes to a situation like this: no elected official wants to be pegged as “the puppy killer.” Hopefully, this will all be laid to rest quite soon, Rufus can go home, and Animal Control can get to hiring a new spokesperson. They’ve been upset at the public lashing they’ve been getting about all this. And all I can think is, if you were a privatized company, Diane Summers would have been long fired, you would have handed the dog back, and you’d be kisses everyone’s ass for having handled this so poorly, fearful you’d lose money and run out of business. But, since you’re a government agency……..urgh.

I’m fascinated though, by how this story of a puppy has connected so many people with hope and optimism. And yes, anger. There is some anger, but our anger comes from the loss of hope, loss of optimism.  We get angry because we felt, we HOPED, the world was a much better place…..

….but optimism reminds us in times where life is soured, that the world still IS a grand and spectacular gift.

Its wild the feedback I get about my bears, the stories I learn about the people these little darlings are destined for. I received an email from a woman that lost her baby through miscarriage, but she remains  exuberant and hopeful that she will be pregnant again, optimistic that next time she’ll finally have her darling little one, and that the teddy bear she got from me is a gift for her unborn precious, hoping to have it waiting in the nursery….

I sank in my chair, wilted a little, and thought about the other stories I’ve heard.

The teddy that was sent to the little girl whose been in the hospital for months with intestinal issues. A chronic problem since she was born. The teddy that keeps a lonely woman company. The one that watches out over an ailing mother as she drives herself around town-the little bear tucked in the back window. Or, the teddy going off to England soon to a grandmother, eyesight ailing, as a gesture of a hug when needed. And then simpler, equally adorable moments. The bear that was sent to the Japanese woman in Texas whose love for Ryuichi Sakamato mirrors my own. The bear made for a long trip to Australia, just to accompany a loved grandson back to England.  The bear, whose buyer said specifically, “I don’t care what color it is, just as long as it has a pink mohawk.” And the bear that was simply to be a companion to an old friend.

My first and still most popular teddy bear is “The Teddy That Saved Me,” because its true. That little bear helped me first feed myself, then kept me from being homeless, then afforded me a possibility for my own future. That was MY story. But, I can’t help but think of all the faces, all the smiles, and all the glimmering eyes that have their own stories to tell….that have hope.

So, in light of that I’d like to say, I hear your story, as you’ve read my own, and realize with absolute clarity, this whole teddy bear connection has made it OUR story:  genuine, heartfelt tale of how a little guy with a hopeful smile is bringing the world closer together one bear at a time.

….or one little puppy that brought us all together in some way to remind us that hope has urgency, requires prayer, but demands action.

I’ve dropped the shipping on my teddy bears, so I can go ahead and get rent taken care of. Actually, believe it or not, just 12 bears and my rent is set. (You know I live meagerly, thankfully, and don’t require much). If you’d like to adopt one, click here.

Thanks everyone. Thank you all for being part of the story.



  1. Rufus was featured on my local news here in Kansas City last night. I heard it first from you but I thought it was amazing the community that has rallied around that adorable dog. It gave me faith that it will all work out. My two bears I got from you sit here in my sitting room on the back of the love seat that I sit in while I knit. They are my angels at my shoulders as I work. My own puppy, a rescue terrier mutt, warms my feet. It is a sign that life is good.

  2. Prayers do answer and I glad the Rufus is getting a chance to hear his side of the story. I will pray till he get a new owner and family, Thank you for letting us know about him. Keep us posted.

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