Goodbye to my dog, Pooka Bear

Today I euthanized by dog, Pooka. He was an 11 y.o. Newfoundland in poor health, and it was time. He leaves a large hole in my life, as befits a large, gentle soul.

I will share some tales of Pooka Bear.

Pooka AKA Pooka Bear was a Newfoundland. We got him because we live on a lake and we had the idea that the kids and the dog would have fun swimming in the lake. Oddly enough, Pooka did not like to swim, so that never worked out. He did love everybody and everything though (with one little exception).

He loved our cats. Every day he would get up and go through the house until he had found each cat and touched noses. He wanted desperately to be buddies, but only one cat really got to the snuggle buddy stage with him.

He loved the kids. All kids. I was walking him around the park once and the local elementary school was walking the third graders around the perimeter. With their teachers’ permission, every single student stopped and pet, and asked questions, and hugged, and swarmed. He loved it.

He loved other dogs. He was sooooo big though. Big and medium dogs were scared of him. He’d gallumph towards them, and hop and play bow and they’d freak. A monster is coming! It’s going to killllllll me. They’d back up and growl. He never understood that bigger dogs saw a bouncing bear-sized dog as threatening. Little dogs, though, little dogs adored him. He had a blast at the dog park with the little dogs. They’d swarm his legs, or climb on the benches to be closer to his height. Then they’d run back and forth. It was adorable.

Pooka’s hated enemy was the Canada Goose. As mentioned, we live with our property backed onto a lake. During migration, some geese are foolish enough to land on Pooka’s lawn. Sometimes they fly overhead as they approach the lake to settle in for a rest on their trip - trespassers! He’d bark and bark, chasing out any birds that were foolish enough to get close. In his old age, he couldn’t see the geese any more, but he could hear them. When we let him out, he would face the lake and bark, just on principle.

What Pooka loved most in life was me. When I left, he slept near the door I left through. When I moved through the house, he would find me and collapse near me. He got old and tired, and sometimes it took him a long time to notice, but he always found me.

I am sorry for your loss. That was a beautiful tribute.

So sorry for your loss :frowning: He was a wonderful dog and he was lucky to have a family who loved him so.

Thank you for sharing this lovely tribute. I am so very sorry for your loss. Pooka sounds like a great dog.

Poor Pooka. Sorry. 11 is very old for a newfi.
I only ever had one dog who would swim in our pond. A Dalmatian. She stayed a faint pink color from the red Clay in the pond water.
I really am very sorry to hear about your loss. Take time to grieve.

He sounds like a wonderful doggie. I’m sorry that he has gone now.

Dammit…I have something in my eye.

I feel like I knew him after that wonderful tribute and am so sorry he’s gone. Dammit, dogs just don’t live long enough.

He was lucky to have such a loving family who made sure his life was so happy and his exit so serene. I’ll think of him whenever I hear Canadian geese.

Damn eyes, suddenly hard to see the keyboard.

Beautiful tribute to a wonderful dog. Newfies are the best.

It’s never easy, is it? But how lucky you were to share his life!

Dang. :frowning:

I’m so sorry, Sunny.
I hate these threads, but this one actually made me smile more than cry. I’d like to have met Pooka.

He sounds like an absolutely wonderful dog. I know it’s not easy losing a pet, especially one as special as Pooka.
I say that nothing lasts forever except love, and Pooka was loved by your family and many people he met. I’m glad he had such a great family to be a part of.

Darn, now I’m all misty.

He was your dog, and you were his Person. That’s happiness for a dog, and happiness for a Person.


My sister had a Newfie named Bugaboo. I adored that dog. What a great breed. Bugs also lived to be quite elderly for a Newfie, but it’s never long enough.

I’m so sorry.

They take so little and give so much. Hardly seems fair. RIP pup.

I’m really sorry to hear about your dog, Sunny. He sounds wonderful.

A Newfie that didn’t like water is truly unusual. Everything I’ve seen and read would have me think that it takes all you can do to keep them out of the water. But dogs are all individuals.

What an amazing, gentle breed they are.

I’m sorry for your loss and I grieve for you.

I’m sorry, Sunny. Pooka sounded like a sweet dog.

I avoid these threads when possible. Too much sad.

Sorry for your loss, Sunny. I let my dogs chase some geese earlier today in Pooka’s honor.

Pooka is a great name for a good boy. Not surprised he loved kids – Nana, the children’s guardian in Peter Pan, was a Newfie.

Weirdly, Newfoundlands were the most feared breed of dog in the early 1900s…and Peter Pan was published in 1904. But these fears are never rational.

Thanks for sharing a small part of what made Pooka special. May you heal when you are ready.

Damn Sunny, I’m sorry.

The Daughter and her family had a Newfie. He was a big, lovable bear.