“I will always be his voice. I will always tell his story to anyone who will listen to me, even if they won’t listen. I’ll keep trying.”

For Betty and Julio Bare, loving a research beagle came at a cost: Grief. They lost their beloved research beagle, Teddy, at the age of 15. That’s a lifetime of love for most dogs, but for Teddy, who spent the first 14 years of his life as a test subject in a research lab, 15 months of freedom with the Bare family was simply not enough.

It was enough to shower Teddy in the love he deserved. It was enough to teach him that some people were inherently good. It was enough for Teddy to show the other dogs in his family that he was boss. But it was not enough time enjoying freedom. Teddy did not deserve to spend all those years behind bars.

Named with the Bare’s last name (pronounced bar-ray) in mind, Betty’s brother suggested they name a male dog Teddy since most people assume their name sounds like a bear. So Teddy Bare it was!

Big-hearted Betty Bare’ loves senior dogs. “Send me the senior,” Betty commented when seeing the China rescue video live streaming on Facebook.

The current Bare brood includes three dogs ages 11, 12 and 13 and a 16-year-old cat. A few puppies from the shelter where Betty volunteers have made their way to the home over the years, but the current residents wouldn’t have it.

Rescued in April 2016 in Boston, Teddy quickly became a bona fide New Englander, walking in the fresh show and wagging his tail the day after his rescue. It also didn’t take Betty long to realize she could never let him go. He slept on the hardwood floor his first night of freedom, but he soon found a soft bed. If he wanted a certain bed and one of the other dogs was sleeping in it, he would stand in front of them and stare at them until they moved. And move they did. If one of the dogs stood in front of him and blocked his view, he would throw his head back and howl at them till they moved. And they all did, all three of them. He was the king of the house. He controlled his three canine siblings–and the cat too.

Not a fan of treats or toys, Teddy loved people, especially the kids next door. They loved him too. They would fight over him–who could sit next to him, who could pet him and who could hold his leash or pull him in the wagon.

After he learned to use the stairs, Teddy thought it was a game. He’d go up and then down, and then up and then down.

Betty says he was the sweetest boy; he gave his paw all the time to his family. Everyone would think it was cute, but in Betty’s mind, it was because he became accustomed to giving his paw for blood draws.

15 months was not enough time with Teddy, but it was enough time for Teddy to soak up 15 years’ worth of love. He was so very loved.