One year ago today, we had one of our most memorable wildlife encounters – Banff grizzly bears’ 126 and 142 play fighting in a field of wildflowers, showcasing behaviour that contradicts the popular belief that bears are anti-social creatures.
The joy exhibited by these grizzlies – and shared by the few onlookers who were fortunate enough to witness this encounter – will always stay with us, but it was also a gift for another reason.
While we were photographing the grizzlies, my beloved family dog, Timber, was leaving this world. Though I wish I could have been with him on his final day, I feel as though, in a way, the bear encounter with 126 and 142 was Timber’s gift; Timber’s goodbye.
For me, it’s now impossible to see either of these bears – who were spotted enjoying each other’s company again this spring – without thinking of my friend and companion who taught me that animals are intelligent, compassionate and joyful beings.
I miss you everyday, dear Timmy. Mom, dad and I are forever grateful for all you gave us. We hope you are running free, alongside Scarface, Blaze and the White Lady.