By Anthony Bond
For many young children, they struggle to travel anywhere unless accompanied by their favourite teddy bear.
And as these pictures show, this is still the case for Mark and Dawn Dumas - but with one notable exception.
Rather than being constantly side-by-side with a cute toy, they always have a real life teddy with them - in the form of 18-month-old grizzly bear Billy.
Companion: Mark and Dawn Dumas are constantly accompanied by 18-month-old grizzly bear Billy - even to the local pub
Mine's a pint: At 5ft on his hind legs, it's easy for Billy to get his paws up onto the bar
Splashing around: At home near Vancouver, Canada, Billy splashes in the pool with Mr Dumas, 61. He even plays with his toy inflatable ball
Incredibly, the enormous creature even follows Mr Dumas to the local pub.
At 5ft on his hind legs, it's easy for Billy to get his paws up onto the bar or the pool table while Mr Dumas and his 51-year-old wife play a game.
At home Billy splashes in the pool with Mr Dumas, 61, often playing with his toy inflatable ball.
After a swim, he joins the couple in their living room to watch TV or have a play-fight on the carpet.
Playful: After a swim, he joins the couple in their living room to watch TV or have a play-fight on the carpet
Heavy handed: Mr Dumas has his work cut out for him while wrestling with Billy - the cub weighs a whopping 250lbs (18st)
Grumpy: Clearly Billy wasn't happy with the choice of show on television when this picture was taken
Billy even plays with his own teddy bear.
But Mr Dumas, who lives with his wife near Vancouver, Canada, has his work cut out for him while wrestling with Billy for fun - because the cub weighs in at a whopping 250lbs (18st).
Fortunately he has the right skills. As an animal handler Mr Dumas trains critters of all shapes and sizes for work in movies and TV commercials.
He's been teaching Billy a variety of complex behaviours to perform on cue for the silver screen, like pretending to roar and rearing up on his hind legs.
Mr Dumas said: 'Billy is very intelligent and has a really good spirit. He is very good natured and he learns fast.
'His favourite food is jam and he loves tucking into a jar when Dawn and I have a picnic.'
Close: These two pictures show how Mr Dumas and Billy like to enjoy a good fight followed by moments of affection
Together: The couple even enjoy treating Bill to a nice picnic, however, his table manners could so with a bit of improvement
Star of the future: Billy appears to enjoy a sing with Mrs Dumas
Billy's outings alongside Mr Dumas began when Billy was just six-months-old and the pair went to the beach.
The grizzly bear now thinks Mr Dumas is his bear mum because they have been together for such a long time.
Mr Dumas said: 'He's been with us since he was a cub.
'I wanted to take him to the beach because bears have a natural affinity with water, and I knew he'd enjoy it.
'He loved splashing around in the waves, and now he loves our pool.'
Billy was one of three cubs born at a private zoo in Ontario, Canada. However, he now lives in a large enclosure at the couple's home complete with his own pool.
Grizzlies, also known as the silvertip bear or the North American brown bear, belong to the brown bear family and are found across Alaska, Canada and part of northwest USA.
They are thought to have descended from Asian brown bears who crossed into North America from eastern Russia 100,000 years ago.
When fully grown Billy could weigh more than three times his current weight - reaching 800lbs.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
We can't BEAR to be apart: Couple play pool and have afternoon picnics with grizzly Billy... who even watches TV in their lounge
By Anthony Bond