My name was Bear.

I was an affectionate and devoted little Staffordshire terrier. Because of my gentle nature, my owners adored me. I liked nothing better than to lay around all day playing with my owners' two small children. Like mom and dad, the kids loved me. They would jump on me and tug on my ears (like all kids do). But my owners trusted me completely and knew that when I had enough, I would simply crawl behind the couch to be alone.

Every morning, my owners would tie me next to the front steps. One summer day, a stranger came up to me. No one had ever mistreated me, so naturally I went right along with him when he unhooked my chain from the railing and started walking.

The next night, I crawled home to spend my last dying hours with the people I loved most. My owner would comment later that, considering how gentle and pampered. I had been, I probably didn't even try to retaliate when I was forced to fight for my life in front of the laughing, jeering people who took pleasure in watching me get ripped apart. I died a slow, agonizing death while my owners looked on helplessly.

I guess I was luckier than a lot of others, though; most dogs killed fighting will die in front of people that don't care about them at all. But you know what the strangest part of all is? Those people who did this to me were never caught and are probably still doing this to other dogs like me! How come so few people feel that fighting two dogs to the death is a cruel enough crime to do something about?

This is a true story. Bear lived on john street on syracuse's north side. He died in 1999.

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