Some of you may remember my puppy, Max. He had an eye problem, which I’d been assured when I’d adopted him was nothing. Well, shortly after I’d posted about him, I took him to the vet and discovered his health problems were not only worse than I’d been told, but would be ongoing for his entire life. Since I’d been given a health guarantee, I went back to them and presented the vet report. I thought they’d agree to share at least the initial expense and let me keep him. But no, they were not willing to do even that. All they’d do was take him back. I’d just gone through all this last year with my other little dog, who eventually passed away from her illness. and the year before that, I’d lost my elderly boxer I’d had for many years. With the year I’ve had, this was just too much. I told my husband I was leaving the decision up to him. He returned Max. That was it for me. I decided not to look at anymore dogs and convinced myself I didn’t want another one ever.
Famous last words. A week ago my husband called me from work and said he’d found a dog he wanted at a shelter about fifty miles away. The shelter wasn’t officially open for adoptions until noon and my hubby had appointments all day and could not return when the shelter opened. He wanted me to go check out the dog. This is something I really didn’t want to do, but I love my honey, so my friend, my son and I went. When we arrived, they said his name was Bernie and he was a three year old boxer mix they’d picked up as a starving stray. They didn’t think he was housebroke or had ever lived in a house and did not walk on leash very well. That didn’t bother me, I used to train dogs. Then they told me about his leg. He has a problem with his front leg. Their vet said he thought he was either born that way or it’s an old injury and although he favors it slightly, it doesn’t bother him. I thought, oh great, here we go again.
We met Bernie in an outside lot where he could run free. He came up to my friend first and she started to pet him. He promptly peed on her foot. Not a good beginning. 🙂 The young man who brought him out gave him a toy and he went nuts. No way were you going to get that toy from him. For such a skinny debilitated dog, he was strong as a horse and stubborn as an ox. To be honest, I didn’t like Bernie much. I called my husband and asked him if wanted the dog. He said yes, and sounded excited like a little kid when offered a new toy. When I told him I didn’t think Bernie was the dog for me, his voice deflated, but he said okay. Well then I felt horrible, like I’d just snatched the toy from that kid. I hung up and went to spend more time with Bernie. I told myself he was just misunderstood and was really a great guy. I did the paperwork, they called my references and I brought Bernie home. He rode like a gentleman in the car. No problems at all.
Bernie has proved me right. He is a great guy. He is housebroke and has very nice house manners. Doesn’t get on the furniture, doesn’t bark all the time and greets all visitors with friendly affection. He also walks on the leash very nicely. He still does have a pee accident when greeted too exuberantly. But even that is getting much better as he becomes more comfortable in his new home. I will have my vet do an ex-ray of his leg, but regardless of that outcome, Bernie is here to stay. I love this guy.
Here’s some pictures of Bernie. He’s putting on some much needed weight and looking a bit more fit.