Rescue Story: Bear

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Thank you Hope from Nebraska for sharing your rescue story and giving Bear his forever home!

I had been waiting patiently for a dog of my own since I was little. My sister and I grew up with dogs and loved each one of them greatly, but I still yearned to have a dog of my own that I would have a strong bond with. I frequently visited the local shelters during college, wishing that I could help every one of them, but I knew that I couldn’t give a pet a happy life as a college student in an apartment. Even when I graduated from college I moved into another apartment that did not allow pets. When my fiancé and I finally moved into our first home I knew it was time to find the dog that would have a forever place in our family and home. That was when we found Bear.

Bear is a black lab that was found loose in rural Nebraska. He needed training and discipline, so Second Chance Pups took him into their program. Second Chance Pups is an organization in Lincoln, NE that selects dogs from local shelters and rescues and matches them to carefully selected volunteer inmate/handlers from the Nebraska State Penitentiary. I found posts on SCP’s Facebook page and asked about one of the dogs that was coming up for adoption. That particular dog had a pending adoption, but they recommended Bear to me. Everyone that worked with Bear told us that he would be the one they would pick. We went to meet him and one other dog in the program and knew that Bear was our match. Little did I know just how awesome he would be.

I went to his adoption program a month later where the trainer demonstrated the commands the dogs learned in the program. She chose Bear to help her show the new families and I couldn’t be more proud. My dog was the star pupil. When I took him home he fit into our lifestyle pretty well. We had to adjust some things and learn about him as we went, but now it is completely seamless and almost seems like he has been with us all along.

Bear is a 2 year old lab, so he needs his exercise which we are more than happy to give him. We spend a lot of time outside and he is always with us whether we are doing yard work, going on walks, finding new places to hike, or just playing fetch at the end of the day. Bear also loves car rides. He loves going with us where he can stick his head out the window and drool all over the side of the car 🙂 Baths are not a struggle at all. Bear even brings me the bucket we use to rinse him off when it is bath time and jumps right in. One of the best things about Bear is he is more than content with snuggling in with us at the end of the night. Yes he likes his exercise, but he loves being with his people the most.

He is also so gentle and calm when it is time to be. Everyone we meet talks about how special of a dog he is. While he should still have that puppy energy, he is a complete gentlemen, especially to new people he meets. He loves everyone and would even do well as a therapy dog as he is so great with people.

More than anything, Bear has provided me with a best friend. When I’m not feeling well, Bear is right there, and when I am ready to go exploring he is right there with me as well. Unconditional love is what I get from him, and he gets it right back from me. Even though we haven’t had him since he was a puppy, we are bonded as though we had.

Rescuing has been a wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone. There are dogs out there just like Bear that need a family and a second chance.


The rescuing and adoption of shelter animals in the United States has reduced the number of cats and dogs euthanized by over one million since 2011. Adopt Don’t Shop is more than a slogan — it saves lives.

20ffa8cf7e36a51 Get one of our Adopt Don’t Shop shirts and support the ASPCA!

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