Wojtek the bear

Greetings and salutations blog readers. Frodo here with a bit of a history lesson. I volunteered to write today as I am doing a bit of penance. But more on that after…

Did you know that on this day in 1902, a Brooklyn toy maker by the name of Morris Michton, named the Teddy Bear after US President Teddy Roosevelt? It happened because the President, who was a big game hunter, went on an expedition to hunt bears. He had no luck. So, to help him out, his assistants somehow captured a black bear and tied it to a tree. They invited the President to shoot it. Now don’t worry – the President did no such thing. He thought that was cruel and unsportsmanlike. Of course the media of the day satirized him in cartoons. That’s where Morris Michton came in. He decided to create a stuffed bear and name it Teddy after the President. And the rest is history.

So what does a bear have to do with a dog? Well, there is a point to this story. Did you know that the shark is named after a bear?! I was just thinking that we may have never discussed his name. And if we did, we cannot recall. If we did in fact tell the tale, simply skip the next few paragraphs.

When Her Highness knew that we were getting a new addition, she spent a great deal of pandemic isolation time PONdering a moniker for the imp. Humans spent lots of time trying to give us the perfect name, and then end up calling us a variety of things. For example, I am Frodo, Fro, Doe, Frodeeodo and Einstein. I respond best to Doe. Go figure. Elroy is referred to as Elroy, El and Baby Shmaby. Sometimes just Shmaby. He responds to none of them.

I was named by my breeder, and Her Highness simply kept my name. Elroy looked like an Elroy. Viktor was named for Her Highness’s grandfather with a slightly different spelling so as not to upset relatives.

So now we have Wojtek. Pronounced as Voy-tek. He is also called Wojtus (Voy-toosh), Tekki, and Squirmy Wormy. He quickly responds to Squirmy. But back to the bear connection.

Wojtek was a bear who was adopted by some Polish soldiers in 1942 as they were being evacuated from the Soviet Union. Wojtek served with the soldiers through the war and after the war, he lived out his life in Scotland at the Edinburg zoo. Here are two videos about the famous bear:

https://youtu.be/WVu3RX2YxPw

https://youtu.be/UhUEFfBRHns

There are children’s books about Wojtek, statues erected in his honor, and even a movie.

Wojtek seemed the perfect name for our happy warrior – and the Polish/ Scottish connection somehow fit for a PON living in Nova Scotia. Our imp does like to wrestle – but so far has not been offered alcohol or cigarettes. Heaven help us with a drunken shark…

So there you have the convoluted bear connection.

Now that I have spent so much of your reading time on history, (which clearly was a diversion) I’ll quickly mention that I tore a hole in a perfectly good pillowcase yesterday. Yes – I decided to carry on what was Viktor’s bad habit – although I suppose I did do so in the past as well. But it’s been some time. I won’t dwell on details. This was my confession. I’m hoping for absolution. And I won’t do it again. This week anyway.

Now to release the happy warrior from his crate and to begin another day of barking, eating, chasing, guarding, barking, eating, begging, napping and chewing. On each other. Her Highness noted that after a recent period of quiet licking between the shark and the Beatnik, that the shark had some interesting trimming to the hair on his ears.

Never a dull moment in this house. And one thing for certain, our bear NEVER hibernates….

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.

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