Cori Hudson grew up saving animals.
As a kid, she says, she “collected” injured animals. Young Cori was always trucking hurt animals off to her neighborhood vet.
And he’d fix them for free.
“He knew (my family) didn’t have any money,” Cori says. “My mom, she just put up with it. She knew how much I loved animals.”
It did not, then, seem out of place for her to consider a rescue dog when she grew up.
But Bear certainly came into her life by happenstance.
Cori was working for SL Star and a co-worker told her about the golden retriever-chow chow mix.
“He was chained to a couch all day because he shed too much for his owner,” Cori says.
A part of the family
That was in 2001.
Cori’s best guess is that Bear was at least one, maybe two, when she rescued this dog from his confines.
“We have to figure he’s 19 years old,” she said. “I know, it’s crazy. He’s so old. We just try to give him his best day every day. So, he gets a steady diet of hotdogs.”
Bear is even older than Cori’s 17-year-old son.
“Yeah, he’s one of my kids,” she says.
Even more, he’s a steady source of companionship and comfort.
“The two of us, we are two peas in a pod,” Cori says. “He’s been the best kid, the best boyfriend. Whenever I’m feeling down, all I have to do is talk to him.”
Bear, the first star in the Noses & Toes series about rescue dogs in Spokane, has gone on many adventures with Cori and her kids.
When he was younger, he loved to go swimming, tubing and hiking. He’d even get in the canoe and float along, resting his head gently on Cori’s lap.
“He’s been the perfect dog,” she says. “Maybe he was just grateful that I saved him from that couch.”
The sun is setting
Cori knows that day is coming sooner than later.
That agonizing day when she’ll have to say goodbye to her beloved Bear.
She and her husband Derik are constantly talking to their kids, preparing them for the inevitable.
Life without Bear.
“They’ve always known him,” Cori says. “He’s brought me and my family so much joy. I just don’t know what it’s going to be like for them when he goes.
“He’s so loving.”
The kids “get it.” They’re all in their teens, so they have a bit of a handle on life and death and goodbyes.
A mother’s love’ color
It’s still going to be heartbreaking for Cori.
Bear follows her everywhere in the house.
“I just can’t imagine him not being here,” she says. “Even the other dogs will be devastated.”
What isn’t hard to imagine is how the love between these two — Cori and Bear — is going to transcend this physical world.
Bear will love on in Cori’s heart for the rest of time.
Because the ones we love the dearest never leave us.
They walk beside us every day.
Enjoy a few images from my session with Cori and Bear at Mirabeau Point Park.
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All about a rescue dog
We all know how heart-breaking it is to hear about stories animals being poorly treated by humans.
Yet, we can be uplifted by knowing there are angels like Cori to help.
Cori and Bear are the first in my series, Who Got Rescued?, celebrating the rescue dogs around Spokane and North Idaho.
I’m dedicating 15 portrait session spots this winter and spring to rescue dogs and the humans who were saved by them.
Much like Shep saved me, so many years ago.
I still have five open spots. If you’re interested in snatching one up, head over to my contact page and drop me a note via email, or give me a call at 208-618-1630.
I can’t wait to hear your story!
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