This is Oliver.
The Keeper bought him a long time ago when she was just a young girl.
(And long before she knew what an "artist bear" was.)
She spent all her saved up money for him...$60 is a LOT of money when you're a kid!
She bought him at a craft show in Texas when she was on vacation.
Her mom thought she was silly to spend so much money on a stuffed animal,
but she knew she had to have him.
When she looked into Oliver's eyes she knew there was more to him than there was with her other stuffed animals.
He was a Someone.
She loved Oliver very much and always treated him with great care and respect...
But one day he developed a hole right in the middle of his foot pad.
He was leaking pellets everywhere!
The Keeper was so sad and so was Oliver.
The Keeper did the only thing she knew to do; she carefully placed Oliver in a bag and took him to her grandmother.
Her grandmother warned her that she didn't know how to properly fix him,
but The Keeper didn't care.
She said as long as his hole was patched, she didn't mind what it looked like.
Now The Keeper's grandmother is a very kind lady, but she is also a very busy lady.
I suspect she put Oliver away and forgot about him.
He disappeared for many years and The Keeper lost all hope of ever seeing her dear friend again...
The Keeper's grandmother found Oliver and repaired him right away!
Poor Oliver is very embarrassed by his patches. He thinks it makes him look ugly.
I told him he was being silly. I think his patches make him even more special.
We love you, Oliver...
...patches and all.