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  • Writer's pictureBriar Mitchell

My BFF Stanley!

So, today it is RAINY. Usually, during these lovely winter months, Florida remains very dry, but, because of El Nino weather patterns, it has been raining a few times each month.

This morning a BIG storm hit about 5 AM. It woke me up when the winds hit the house and then rain pounded down on my tin roof. Quite the storm, but nice and quiet now.

Today, is my TREAT day!! My peace of mind and enjoy myself day. This afternoon I am heading over to Elmira's, a wildlife sanctuary near where I live, to feed PB&J sandwiches to the bears.

They have 5 bears. Four of them are Florida black bears, which are actually quite small. They also have a HUGE grizzly, named Stanley, and he is my bud!

Stanley was born here in Florida, to a breeder who would take cubs to places where he would charge money for people to hold him. Thankfully, he was rescued from that horrible life. Cubs can only be held for about 12 weeks, after which, they are too large and can become aggressive. Their fates then are generally very bad. Some are killed outright, others maybe go to illicit canned hunts while others end up in horrible roadside zoos.

Thankfully, while still a baby, Stanley was taken in by Elmira's, and even though he was born in Florida, is still a grizzly with an incredibly dense coat. Last summer, I was able to get an air conditioner installed into his house where he sleeps at night. He has a pool, and a shower, which he uses a lot to have fun and keep cooled off. It is fun though to watch him during the day stand facing his sleeping "den" with his eyes closed, while cool air spills out over him.

When Stanley stands up, he is about eight feet tall. I keep on my side of the fence, to be sure. Although, I don't think he would purposely hurt me, even if he wanted to play, they would be finding pieces of me for weeks, so, I respect his size and strength.

Love me some Stanley bear!

So whatever you do today, I hope you have something in your life that you can think about or go do that gives you lovely peace of mind.

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