Your BearShark and You: A Handler’s Guide. Part One.

I am dating one of the loveliest people on the planet. He’s funny and warm and brilliant and talented, and treats me incredibly well. He is also a total weirdo with many emotions. In other words, he is perfect.

My boyfriend, you see, is not just a boyfriend. He is a Bearshark, one of those very rare and ferocious creatures that roam the wilds of Canada, (if by “roam,” you mean screaming in a band, watching MMA and copyediting). As one of the highly privileged few who has had the opportunity to be a Bearshark Handler, I have begun to put together a guide, for everyone else who has an interest in these passionate, majestic creatures.

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First, choose a fine specimen. You want to look for a Bearshark that is healthy and strong, with a luxurious mane, bright eyes and an impressive roar. Those with bellies covered in fine fur are most highly prized and are known as “Golden Bellies.” If you spot one of these trap it without delay!

Next, you must lure your target Bearshark into a Bearshark Trap. Bearsharks are particularly susceptible to certain types of foods, most notably delicious sauces, butter tarts, nachos with salsa and ketchup. Prepare a tasty Bearshark snack and your quarry is sure to investigate.

Once you have snagged your Bearshark in the trap (we recommend a large box that can close quickly and has no visibility) haste is of the utmost importance! Bearsharks are fantastically strong and will struggle to free themselves. Speedily transport your Bearshark home while he is still disoriented (and possibly snacking).

It is crucial to have an adequate Bearshark accommodation set up in whatever enclosure you plan to keep your Bearshark in. Bearsharks are crafty creatures and, if unhappy, will quickly conspire to escape. However, if you open your box and your startled, blinking Bearshark sees a cave-like space that is warm and dry, with soft furniture to sleep on, MMA telecasts readily available and plenty of tasty foods, he will most likely elect to stay of his own volition.

The Bearshark snuggling one of his companions, george the Cat.

It is important for Bearsharks to have pets and playmates.

Once your Bearshark has settled in, snuggled in his den, approach him cautiously, bearing a treat. If you have done well, he will quickly overcome his natural shyness and accept you as his handler. If you have treated your Bearshark poorly, or provided inadequate care and lodging, you will simply be eaten.

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