I got this sad little bear at the Midwest Art and Antique Show in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on April 1. In addition to almost non-existant paw pads, his ears had been inexpertly reattached, the eyes were replacements, too large and pulled in too tight, and his nose and mouth were redone poorly with heavy thread. The dealer thought he had character, but I thought he needed my help!
The first thing I did was clean him up a bit. I was able to gently lift off a lot of soil.
You can see by this photo that he has pretty classic proportions. At this point, I had removed the offending eyes and tried to move some of the packed excelsior into his muzzle area.
I removed his ears which were mashed over with the raw edges showing. I washed them while they were off. I also gave him a new nose and mouth with lighter weight thread more appropriate to a bear his size (10 inches). Since he will still be somewhat bald, I gave him a sparse nose.
When the ears were dry, I sewed them back on, tucking the raw edges in and cupping them as I sewed them down.
Here’s the little guy cleaned up with his face put back the way it should be. I think he is pretty cute. Now what should I do about the non-working squeaker and those worn-out paw pads?