Anyway, he disappeared... and was gone for weeks!!! Amazingly enough, Avery was a trooper, and even though she didn't have her Bear anymore, she managed to survive (and sleep!) without him.
Then, one day, we were playing in the living room, and Avery brought out her favorite Dora backpack (that's full of card games, checkers, dominos, etc.)... she was digging around in her backpack and said, "Mommy, why is there a towel in here??" Mommy had no clue why there was a towel in her backpack... then, Avery yanked on the "towel" and screamed: "It's not a towel... it's BEEEEEAAAAARRRRR!" Oh, happy day!
In celebration of his return, Bear got a much-needed bath (although he's still gray... there's no help for that... pink dye, maybe??). And then Grandma performed a little reconstructive surgery on him. Grandma actually cut Bear's head off (ouch!), re-stuffed him, and sewed him back together (and repaired that pesky hole in his nose)!
So, here's to Avery and Bear. May they have many more happy years together!