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Tzufit (who I never met the whole time I was playing on SoE, and I’m not sure how) was tagged for a meme by some folks who were probably tagged by some other folks, and… Well, apparently you can trace this all the way back to Gnomeaggedon.

I’ve been tagged, I like pictures (I like turtles, too, for the record), and I have no clue who else has been tagged already. Let’s go!

Go into your screenshots folder.

Go to the sixth subfolder.

Post the sixth screenshot in the sixth subfolder.

Tag six other bloggers.

I told Tzufit last night that I have a LOT of screenshots of bears, so I was feeling pretty good about what I’d end up with. I’m going to have to start posting them here because, really, a LOT of screenshots with bears!

Screenshots folder, sixth sub— Hey! I don’t HAVE subfolders in there! Truth is, I’ve always handled my screenshots my own way for my own reasons and I didn’t know until today that they automatically go into a folder within the WoW stuff. Had I grabbed an image from where I usually handle screenshots, there would be subfolders (though maybe not six of them) and I’d probably get a picture of a bear. Instead, I’m just grabbing the sixth image in the one big folder. (Which I notice Tzufit also had to do.)

That’s one I took for a post on Heavy Wool Bandage. The Tank Might be a Dumass. It’s a great spider picture! SPIDER PRIDE!!! >8< (Don’t judge me, phylumist!)

I’m going to tag… Oh. Nevermind. They already did it. I’m going to tag… Well, then. I’m going to tag… Oh, to hell with this! I’m dividing six by three and just tagging two people. Anybody who has a problem with that can get in the “Maul Me Please” line, because you don’t tag bloggers with bears… you get MAULED by bears!

I’m tagging Cynwise and Vrykerion.

And because this is a bear blog, not a spider blog, I’m sticking another screenshot in here. I took it last night while going back to finish up some quests. I knew the cinematic was coming soon, so I made sure I was in bear form every time I went back to talk to the goblin until it happened.

When I did this as a hunter it left my bear out. Without my bear, I did look like a prisoner being led to her execution. As a bear, I kind of look like I DO own the place! But that’s silly. Brann Bronzebeard owns the place.

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I don’t think this ASCII druid thing is going away anytime soon. I blame Twitter. Starting with Night Elf (or, in Magritte’s case, Not Elf), here are Bears by Race:

(“”\ ( -.- ) /”“) RAWR!

(“”\ ( -.ರೃ) /”“) INDEED! RAWR, I SAY!

(“”\ (,-.-,) /”“) RAWR, MON!

(“”\ <( -.- )> /”“) MOO!

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If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen this bear - RAWR! (“”\ ( -.- ) /”“)

Sometimes you might see my hiBEARnating bear, inspired by the awesome picture @outbirk drew for me. („)( -.- )(„) z z Z Z

Fear not, fellow druids! There are plenty of ASCII Druid Faces to go around!

Cat - =^.^= MANGLESPAM!

The face also works for the cheetah travel form because, really, we’re working with very limited tools here and a cheetah is just another cat.

Bird - (\ o> /)

Moonkin are kind of tricky. You have to take the bear’s arms and add them to the bird’s head. But make the head bigger.

MOONBEEMZ! (“”\ O> /”“)

Trees were kind of difficult to figure out. Truth is, I didn’t do it. I gave up. Apple offered something to fill in until we came up with a good tree, and it was @Aralosseien who gave us our final tree form.

Y/-.-\Y DANCIN’ HEALS!

@NoelleJoyeaux Offered the mind controlled bear, which has quickly been adopted as the Hypno-Bear. ALL HAIL THE HYPNO-BEAR! (“”\ (@.@) /”“)

In fact, @LorekeeperGlaci used the Hypno-Bear to compel me to come up with a worgen druid. I was told to use a wolf as the base. Again, the tools are really limited here. I’m also a smartass who was trying to draw a dinosaur, so I just threw something out there.

(“”\ ( -.ರೃ) /”“) Worgen bear wears a monocle.

I like it that way.

Moral of the story? Being a smartass doesn’t necessarily make you wrong. And bears are awesome! RAWR! (“”\ ( -.- ) /”“)

Update! - Apple pointed out one form was forgotten, and @Aralosseien came to the rescue again!

Swim form - <(-.->)<

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Mylunism is a condition that causes otherwise intelligent and rational people to get big anime eyes, start gibbering, and need to hug a bunny when they even THINK about baby animals. Mylunism can also occur in people who are not really all that intelligent or rational, but the results are too horrifying to describe. Mylunism commonly causes the individual with the condition to be easily distracted in the middle of a sentence by their own mentions of fuzzy wuzzy bunny tails, adorable baby bears noses that they go stick into some honey and come out with their nose all sticky, and then they try to lick it off with their little pink baby bear tongues and… What was I saying?

To exhibit signs of Mylunism is to Mylune. Doing so is Myluning. Having done so is Myluned.

"She’s going to Mylune all over the place if she sees that squirrel."

"I don’t know what’s going on. There’s a kitten in the yard and he’s Myluning over it."

"I saw the level 19 twink meerkats and I Myluned!”

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After a few days, I think I’ve managed to get the words together to say something about this. I left my guild. Yeah… the one I worked so hard to be a part of. The one everybody was so proud of me for managing to stay in. I left.

Here’s the thing - The problem wasn’t the people. The problem wasn’t me. Sometimes the problem really is “we just grew apart”. I think the problem here, to some degree, may be a little bit of “we never really meshed properly”.

I accidently ended up in that guild. I was just going to visit Apple over on Azuremyst for a weekend. Apple hadn’t logged in yet and someone else sent me an invite to the guild. I panicked! Rather than having to explain that I really wasn’t intending to join a guild, I just hit accept. I figured I could leave quietly once everyone else had logged out that night. I actually liked the guild and it was going to be disappointing to leave, but I knew it would be the best thing to do.

Except I didn’t leave.

I logged in the next day and had a wonderful conversation with someone who, much like Apple had done, completely bypassed my “adjusting to a new person” phase and didn’t make me even the slightest bit uncomfortable. Here I am, months down the road, and I count them as a friend. It is because of them that Magritte says “RAWR!” in combat.

I kept it in mind that I might leave the guild if I just wasn’t comfortable in a social setting, but I didn’t plan on leaving immediately. I stayed. I enjoyed the people. I made plans to do something someday other than just wander Azeroth questing. When Magritte was still a lowbie cat druid (kitten druid?) I talked about getting to the point where I could at least do alt night raids with them. I understood my inability to use Vent because of a hearing problem, combined with some of my relfex and mental processing issues, could be a liability for progression raiding. But I felt like I could raid with these people. Besides… how else was I going to get the staff that would turn me into a flame kitty?

Time passes, things change. The guild changed a bit. We lost several people to SWTOR. One of them was someone who had been supportive of my wanting to do more and needing to learn how to work in groups. My druid changed. I went bear just to survive in Northrend. I could do fine going back to cat once I got to Hyjal, but why would I want to? BEARS! <3 I love bear so much that I made myself accept that I couldn’t be a bear unless I was tanking and would need to learn how to fill that role. The cat abilities faded in my mind. At this point, I couldn’t go cat even if I wanted to. I just have no clue what to do besides prowl and walk away. I respecced a bit and tanked something for the first time during Hallow’s End. It turns out I not only love the bear, but tanking is the one thing that makes any amount of my anxiety in groups fade. Sometimes disappear. It fades during trash. It disappears on a boss.

(I panicked while driving on the freeway one day, took the wrong exist just to GET OFF THE FREEWAY, and then couldn’t figure out how to get where I was going on regular city streets. Even though I knew where I was, where the place I was going was, and what the streets in between were. I ended up having to call my dad for directions. I explained to my husband THAT is the same panic being in a group in WoW causes. Every. Freakin’. Time. I’ve tried every class and every role. Bear tanking is the only thing that helps.)

Heroics have been difficult for me. I don’t think Blizzard can make some of the people who complain about how easy WoW is happy. Not without designing a game that is so difficult that they’d turn away a larger segment of the playerbase than they’d keep. I know there are people who just take to certain things more easily than others do, but I also think there are a certain number of people who have just played games so much that raising the difficulty level for them would be about more than simply creating encounters that are more difficult than current content. It would mean creating something they can’t easily adapt to with their wealth of previous gaming experience.

It’s like asking someone to making tying shoelaces more challenging. If you succeed in doing that for most of us, I’d hate to be a kid who has to learn to tie their shoes at that point. It’s already difficult for a lot of kids to learn. Once you’ve got it, though… shoelaces aren’t likely to challenge you again. (Assuming you have no mental or physical impairments that complicate shoe tying.)

So I’ve been struggling in heroics.  When I say “heroics”, that’s not just the new five mans. That includes the ones that came out of the box with Cataclysm. I have to learn those mechanics that aren’t present in the normal dungeons. And that was actually going well for a while, because having seen the dungeons on normal meant this wasn’t completely new to me. I was able to learn with just one person I knew queueing with me and the other three people being random folks.

Then my ilvl got to where more heroics were available to me. Heroics that don’t have a normal version.

I freaked out one day. I don’t even know why. The dungeon had been going just fine. It was Well of Eternity, and I’d even managed to tank Peroth’arn with no healer because they stood in the wrong thing and got themself killed very early on in the fight. My confidence may have been shaken a bit when, after the Azshara add fight, one of the dps very politely asked if I wanted him to tank. It didn’t seem to come from me doing anything wrong, though, so much as it being clear that I hadn’t done this before. The friend I had queued with said that he was teaching me to tank the fights, and that I couldn’t really learn that without tanking. The dps agreed that was true.

But then I just freaked out on the last fight! We didn’t wipe, but I wasn’t really tanking. I was crying. I was having trouble breathing and couldn’t see my screen as anything other than a swirling mass of colors. I screamed. My husband came over and sat next to me, but very little could be done to calm me until it ended. I kept begging out loud for the whole thing to just end and let me turn in my quest, and I was just randomly swiping at things without actually knowing what was going on. I may or may not have used Survival Instincts. I hope I “RAWR!”d.

I haven’t been able to finish a heroic since then. That was a couple of weeks ago. I’ve tried to do heroics again, but we wanted to avoid me panicking like that, so if I started getting too uncomfortable I just had to go ahead and drop out before it got worse. I hate that. I generally don’t drop out of dungeons. It happened maybe twice in Wrath, and I did a lot of dungeons then. I once left a dungeon because the healer had gone afk and stayed afk for so long that everyone else left the group. I waited a few more minutes and finally left a message apologizing for having to leave him there before I dropped. If I get into a dungeon I hate (Lookin’ at you, Oculus) I just go ahead and do it anyway. I’m not a group dropper.

I just can’t learn the heroics that have no normal version with random people in the group. I don’t get to ask the questions I need to, or move at the pace I need to. And that’s what brings us back to leaving the guild.

This isn’t the guild’s fault. No, I was not getting what I need there. I needed to at least learn these dungeons in a guild group so then I could do them with just one or two people I know and some random folks. Until I learn them all, I’m terrified to queue for randoms. Guild groups were not happening. That’s because it’s a raiding guild for people who don’t have a whole lot of time to play. Some of them only log in on raid nights. Some of the people who do have more time did help me out a bit, or were willing to if we could have gotten a full group, but there just weren’t enough people on for that.

I didn’t want to leave. I had a conversation with one of the members one day about my goals and needs and the guild’s goals and how it works. There didn’t really seem to be a solution, but I said I wouldn’t leave immediately since I didn’t have anywhere else to go, anyway. I explained my situation on the guild forums and asked for some help. There were people who were willing, but personal schedules just weren’t letting it happen.

It became miserable for me. I finally convinced myself that I was just going to have to do LFR to have a shot at the Kiril polearm. I decided I’d be willing to go cat and be low dps who doesn’t know what she’s doing just to have a chance at it. My gear ilvl isn’t enough to get me in, though. I can’t get better gear because I’m not running dungeons. And I would have been running dungeons, but I just wasn’t in a guild that could support my needs for learning the dungeons.

I wasn’t getting to have a voice about new recuits. I can’t use Vent, so I effectively “wasn’t there” when the guild talked to these people. And I wasn’t a raider, so it’s not like I could have had anything valuable to add about whether or not they’d be good to have for raiding. I was going to have to adjust to them as guildies, but I had no say in it. And I was resenting being introduced to new people as the “social member” because I felt I’d been trapped in that position by circumstances, rather than choosing to be there.

I didn’t want to play anymore. I had started avoiding Magritte, logging her in to do my dailies and then switching to an alt. Magritte wasn’t really what was making me unhappy, though. It was making me miserable to see guildies getting to do things I couldn’t do. Seeing them plan for things I wasn’t going to be a part of.

I didn’t want to leave, and I can’t really achieve my goals any better without them than I could with them, but at least I don’t have to sit in a corner while they have fun at the party anymore. It’s not a bad guild. Not at all. It’s just that once I mostly got over the social hurdle of being in guild, it turned out I was in one that didn’t really fit my needs.

I can turn off guild invites, but I can’t stop people from just asking me if I want to join a guild. I solved that problem on my old server by being the leader of a guild that was made up of my main, my alts, my husband’s alts (his main was in another guild) and I eventually let in a couple of people I knew I could trust. It was the < Cheese of the Month Club >, in case you’re wondering. It looks like that’s the point I’m at again. Apple started < Rainbow Bears > for me, handed me leadership, and all my Azuremyst characters have been moved there. Apple is there, too, and Asherrylie’s druid moved in. My husband is still a member of Eff the Ineffable. There was no reason for him to leave.

We have a very cunning tabard. Bear walks down the street in that tabard, people know she’s not afraid of anything. Except, y’know, that she is… and… RAWR! Just RAWR!

What could have prevented this from happening? A lot of things, probably, but most of them just aren’t reasonable to ask for. There’s something Blizzard could do that would have prevented it, though. I need VP. I would have been fine queueing for heroics I’ve already learned without a full group of guildies. I would have even been willing to queue for at least one of them all alone. But I don’t get VP if I don’t queue for randoms. It’s that fear of ending up in a random heroic I’ve never seen before with random people that it the problem.

If I could get VP for the first seven heroics I do each week - not the first seven random heroics - then I could queue for the ones I’ve already learned when there aren’t people available to help me learn the rest of them and still get VP.

While we’re at it, I’m tired of being pushed to skip trash. I am not a bad tank because I don’t skip trash. There are plenty of things I need to learn to do better as a tank. Move things a little faster and smoother when moving them out of bad stuff so dps can get back on them faster. Gather adds better. How to pull near CC’d mobs. (Although, to be honest, part of that is a dps problem. Would you just freakin’ WAIT for it to come to me once I pull it? Do not start dpsing when it’s halfway between the CC’d buddy it just left and me! Give me half a freakin’ second longer!) But I am NOT a bad tank because I don’t want to slip past trash and hope it doesn’t notice any of us, or that we don’t accidently back into it when I pick up this other group near it.

I’ve seen people say before that clearing trash should be required for finishing the dungeon. Like, the boss won’t show up unless you clear all the trash. I’m not really in favor of that idea. Sometimes you just don’t get ALL the trash because there’s one mob standing in a corner somewhere you didn’t go near. And in general, I’m in favor of things that reward you for playing content, not punish you for not playing it. I wouldn’t want to end up in groups with people who are even more “Go!Go!Go!” than now because they still wanted a fast run but knew we had to clear all the trash.

But maybe there could be points attached to killing trash? Obviously, gold and whatever stuff trash drops isn’t enough at some point to keep people wanting to clear it. But there are plenty of people who are only running the dungeons for points in the first place. How many of them are pushing for fast runs because they want to get in, get their points, get out, get requeued to go get more points? Put insome bonus JP/VP (dependent on whether you’re running a normal dungeon or heroic) based on percentage of trash killed. At 50% of trash cleared, a bonus could start being added. Bonus points get added at 10% intervals, up to all trash cleared and all bosses down being the max amount of points you can get for this dungeon.

Maybe that’s not a perfect solution. I often have ideas that I’m not able to see the bigger picture on how it would affect the game. I do think it sounds better than “make clearing all the trash required for the boss to show up”, though.

I’m trying really hard here, Blizzard. I really am. I’m fighting severe anxiety every day just to be able to play the game because you’re really limiting what I can do unless I do it with other people. I get it… it’s an MMO. I love your game enough to fight my own personal demons so I can play. But can you cut me some slack here on the “must do RANDOM dungeons to get VP” thing?

My chances of finding a guild that fits me socially and for what I need to play the game aren’t very good. I’m not even looking. I’m too afraid. And it didn’t really have to end up this way. A little more flexibility in choosing dungeons to get VP from would have prevented it.

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dendroica:

Kathleen Patricia Turner

Fairplay, Colorado, USA

Napping bear with cubs, Katmai National Park, Alaska, USA

(via Digital Photo Contest // 2011 Winners)

(via allcreatures)

Source: my.nature.org
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I returned to Twitter after posting earlier and found that @outbirk, Scribbler of Elfs, had drawn a seriously awesome picture of Magritte taking a bear nap. <3

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"Mogging the bear" is not some dirty euphamism. Get your mind out of Goldshire. Being a bear has been rough lately (I’m going to maul the next person who says "lol heriocs are ez mode blizz not even tryin"), so we’re going to talk about something other than combat. Clothes. Let’s talk clothes.

Y U CARE ABOUT CLOTHES? BAREZ WARE FUR! Yes. But I can’t always be in bear form. Someone might mistake me for a hunter pet. Magritte is a Not Elf and sometimes has to be in her elf form.

When I say I’m wearing the Best Bear Dress, I really do mean that I’m wearing a dress. It hasn’t stopped being entertaining to me yet that I’m manglespamming a dragon in the face while wearing a dress.

The helm is the Hood of the Crying Rogue. Not mogged. I had something else for a while and had mogged it with a helm that looks just like this. I’m going for “leathery and spiky”. You get Hood of the Crying Rogue from… um…hmm… You get it from a guildie who says, “Hey, Mags, would this be an upgrade for you?”

Similarly, my shoulders were previously a pair mogged with something that looks exactly like this… leathery and spiky. They are currently unmogged Clandestine Spaulders from the quest “Targets of Opportunity” in the Lost City of the Catpeople.

The cloak is mogged with Sandstorm Cloak. I was clearing AQ10 (It still seems weird not to say AQ20) for Cenarion Circle rep (I am officially Magritte, Guardian of Cenarius and Maker of Too Many Parenthetical Remarks) and picked it up. I kept it for the brown leather trim.

Magritte is actually wearing a vest, which has been mogged with the Acid-Eaten Vest. The Acid-Eaten Vest comes from a quest in Blackrock Caverns (aka “The place where they made me kill puppies”) AND IS NOT A VEST! Look at it! That, cubs, is a Best Bear Dress! It’s leather. It has metal studs. It says, “You don’t really want to get your ass kicked by a girl in a skirt, do you?”

The Knotted Handwraps are ugly as “dog ugly Ogres” (which Stormcaller Mylra’s code says nothing about), so they’ve been mogged with Wepsinner Gloves. From the auction house.

Riplimb’s Lost Collar fits nicely around the waist and adds a splash of unmogged color. It is, apparently, a World Drop. I bought mine.

My pants are unmogged because you can’t see them under the Best Bear Dress. The boots are unmogged because you mostly can’t see them under the Best Bear Dress and I’m not opposed to how the toes look. Let’s move on to the important piece!

Ursol’s Claw. There was no way in any hell I was going to run around as a bear without my staff mogged into Ursol’s Claw! Bear druid. Ursol. I HAD to have this!

Hellfire Ramparts got boring, even with prowling through everything up to the last boss so I could do it in about two minutes. There are about ten tons of things that could drop from the chest at the end. I think all of them dropped before the staff finally did. I did the quest chain that starts in Shadowmoon Valley to get the Wildcaller staff while I took a break from Hellfire Ramparts. It’s the same model, but black. I’ve kept it in case I ever have gear I’d prefer the black on with, but Magritte is a brown bear and IT’S URSOL’S CLAW!

It makes me a little sad to know my available weapon upgrades are polearms. I won’t be able to mog them into Ursol’s Claw. Blizz, please fix this. Please. RAWR!

My goal was to make Magritte in elf form look like someone you can easily imagine shifting into a brown bear. At the very least, I think it’s clear that she’s feral. No moonbeams. No leaves. All claws and teeth.

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Time travel is all the rage these days! We’ve got folks going back in time to steal evil magical dragon doohickeys to use against Deathwing, folks going forward in time to help Nozdormu kill an anagram… I’m betting there’s a gnome somewhere working on a schematic for a clockwork TARDIS right now! So we’re going to go back in time a bit for this story. All the way back to about a week after Cataclysm came out.

I was running around doing a lot of the revamped quests. Nine billion new quests to see, but I wanted to see how the old stuff was different. A baby raptor showing up to follow me around in Stanglethorn Vale was definitely something different. Like a lot of people, I got attached to her. I love the raptors! I love the raptor hatchling pets. I love the raptor mounts. I did the quests for the raptor mount in Un’Goro on my goblin mage because I’d rather have a raptor than a goblin trike. And THIS raptor had personality! How was I not going to love her?

But, of course, a troll showed up to steal her. I had to give up my baby raptor, and all I got in return was a gnome standing there pissing his robes in fear because the troll was going to kill him if I didn’t hand over my baby raptor. Quite frankly, I think that gnome owed me. I had already saved him once. And he was the one who decided to come get the voodoo instead of staying away from the voodoo. He could have sacrificed himself. You can only cash in on that whole “myself and the rest of the wee folk had to irradiate ourselves out of our own city full of geniuses” thing for sympathy for so long, shorty. Your people are taking care of business these days. Standing around and snickering about what a “tall one” I am while sending me to fetch a Mark V Thingamabobber just isn’t how it works anymore.

Then they brought back Zul’Gurub! With a questline for 85’s leading up to it that promised a companion pet! I WAS GOING TO GET MY BABY RAPTOR BA— Why did I get a panther cub?

I accepted that I wasn’t going to get my baby raptor back. I couldn’t even force myself into regular dungeons. There was no way I was going to be doing Zulroics, Trollroics, Heroic PLUS!, or whatever anybody wanted to call it. I was not happy about this. I was not even “okay with it”. But I did accept it. I was bitter about it… but I accepted that it was the reality of things.

People promised me I could still get her back. They promised to help me. They promised to carry me through there if I would swallow my pride and accept that. And I did not like that idea. I hate the thought of being carried. If I can’t pull my own weight, I wait until I can outlevel and outgear something enough to two-man it with my husband. But I did want my baby raptor back, and the questline had suggested she was being abused in there. And she had recognized me when the rebel camp was attacked.

I would let people carry me far enough to save her.

Except…. things happen. SWTOR, for one thing. Some of the people who intended to help me aren’t around anymore. Life itself happens, and some people just aren’t around as much as we all expected. And my baby raptor has been waiting in there all this time.

We didn’t finish Zul’Gurub tonight. Some folks are into that “going to sleep” thing, and it was getting late. We made it through all except the last two bosses, though, I believe.

I was not carried.

Asherrylie, who is a sweetheart and has been awesomely supportive of my newfound love of bear tanking, rounded up a shaman friend who was willing to be patient with a tank who is still learning, and I grabbed my husband the manglespammer and a guildie mage, Nymbol. (Nymbol is an awesome person who I describe as being “chronically happy”. But it’s an infectious joy rather than an annoying cheerfulness, and he’s an absolute delight to have around!) The shaman was great! I even noticed he was wearing “the Patient” title when we were in there.

I am the Best Bear. I wore my Best Bear dress, and I did the Best Bear things. I bit the trolls in the gonads. I Tanked the Things like a Tanking Thing who Tanks Things that need to be Tanked! Just a few hours after tanking my first heroic, and only several days after finally seeing all the Cata normals, I went into Zul’Gurub with them and we handled our business!

This is my baby raptor. There are many like her, but this one is MINE! And I’ll be damned if any troll is going to take her away from me again! I will maul you, manglespam you, lacerate you until your loa wouldn’t even want to admit to recognizing you. RAWR!

I honestly cried a bit once I had her, and had to take a few minutes before we could move on. It’s not about finally getting the non-companion pet in the game. It’s about the personal journey. It’s about knowing there are people who have my back, and who agree that I may not be the most skilled bear, but I am THE BEST BEAR!