I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.

For me they are the role model for being alive.

~ Gilda Radner

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Weekly Berner Report - The details and boatloads of gratitude

I've been out of my mind the last month and particularly the last two weeks. I've been thinking the worst with regard to Alf's future (or lack of one) I truly felt, in my heart, that euthanasia was a better option than a shelter, for many reasons.

I absolutely have to get back east, and soon. I set a departure date for August 1st (for about the 12th time) this time I knew I had to stick to it.

I've been emailing and calling rescues all over the country and posting on forums for weeks. On Saturday a horse forum member (yes, I posted on a couple of horse forums, too) referred me to a rescue in Colorado, Big Dogs, Huge Paws (aka BDHP).

I emailed BDHP and received an email that same day telling me they would help Alfy! I was psyched. BDHP is actually a national rescue, the one I contacted is located in Colorado. Awesome! Lucky Alf is going to get out of this god forsaken desert! All their dogs are in foster homes, they've got a great program and as far as I could tell they do everything exactly as I would; better, no doubt

By the way, BDHP has a blog. I hope everybloggie will check them out and show them some love.

That same day, I called Sue, the rescue contact for the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Watchung

Sue referred me to an international Bernese Mountain Dog mailing list. The email had barely been sent and I was receiving responses. The Berner people stepped right up and began networking to find Alf a home. Monday I was contacted by a woman in California wanting to give our boy a home. She comes with great references, including a well known, responsible BMD breeder/rescue. The family who will be taking Alf has one of her bitches. You've already met Sophie, a five year old Berner girl. Einstein, pictured below in the forefront, is Sophie's younger brother.

That's Sophie, in the back. Einstein, also pictured on our sidebar Berner rescue button, was a rescued Berner adopted by Alf's new family. Sadly, they lost him as a result of bloat.

We're pretty sure Einstein has his paws in this whole journey and has orchestrated Alf's destiny to help heal the broken hearts he left behind

Alf's new mom doesn't want me to speak of Einstein's abuse but of the love and joy he brought to their family. I'll only say this: Our Mr.B and Einstein stories' share some similar circumstances.
"...He was precious loving, and curious about everything. Even when he first arrived. He loved to walk. I would go early so he could feel the sun on his face. I used to tell him it came up to greet him. And at night, while on our walk when the sun would go down I would tell him it was kissing him goodnight.

He was so proud to walk with his family. He was curious even when I put that funny stuff on my face. I let him smell everything.Even my parfume bottle. He would curiously sniff, then shake his nose and smile at me. He loved riding in the car. My little navigator. He would jump in and head straight for the armrest. Front paws on armrest back legs on backseat. Then Right before I would take off, kiss for the driver. It was a ritual for him. I could not get in and drive without his kiss. As far as Einstein was concerned that is what made the car go. He loved Sophie and she him. In the morning he would go up to her and sniff,and kiss her on the nose while little tails wagging. It was one of the most endearing beautiful moments of our day.

If he heard a police car, fire truck , or ambulance, he would bark and howl. As soon as Sophie barked at noises outside or people walking by, Einstein would run up to her and join in. He would wait for Sophies cue and stop only if she did. It drove us bananas and made us laugh all at the same time. It was way too cute. He loved to cuddle. He would sometimes fall asleep right next to Sophie..."

Coincidentally, the adopters live in the same town as my sister, in California. My sister will go over on Monday to do a home check. (Side note: Yipeeeeee! Stumpy's going to the beach AND I get to see my baby S'tar)

As planned, Alf will go to the vets on the 21st and I will deliver him to his mom on the 23. We'll spend some time together, first at the park and then in Alf's new home. I'll stay in Laguna (yes, this lucky boy is moving to sunny SoCal!) for a couple of days to visit with my sister and make sure Alf settles in.

Blog land has been especially kind and supportive of Alf, throughout this journey. I know many of you have cried tears of happiness with each step forward and tears of frustration with every setback. We are so grateful for your advice, encouragement and help.

I'm grateful to Paula who blogs at Woof Whinny Whisper and Sandra who blogs at This & That for posting Alfy's search for a forever home on their blogs.

Alfy's was listed on Petfinder, thanks to The Huppie Syndicate

Although,RUFFF (Rescued Unwanted Furry Friends Foundation)was unable to provide sanctuary for Alf, they were more than happy to allow Alf to go to their vet and receive their discount for all procedures, tests and vaccinations.

They also provided advice and encouragement, throughout our journey.

I hope the members of the Berner-L yahoo group and mailing list know how much I appreciate their network, the support they provided and their encouragement. I extend my gratitude to the member that offered to foster,those that were prepared to make sure Alf had a great future and those that took the time to share his story, which resulted in this very happy new beginning.

Thanks, too, to that wonderfully crazy and hugely supportive Horse Forum, whose members referred me to BDHP and other rescues; and one member in particular who was prepared to give Alf a forever home, in New England.

I am so grateful to my neighbors and friends for keeping track of Alfy, and watching out for him when he was wandering.

And more than anything or anyone I'd to thank Alfy's new family for opening their hearts and home to this special boy. I am beyond thrilled for Alf! I wish Alf and his new family the very brightest future possible, days filled with love and laughter. I know Alf will continue to grow and respond to your kindness and love.

Last but never least, I must thank Stumpy. I'm quite sure she let Alf know, right from the beginning, that the two-legged that lived here was a sucker with an endless supply of treats, bones and chewies; that I was constantly buying pillows and chairs for canine comfort and that belly rubs and back scratches were given freely.

I figure when Stumpy first told Alf about her two-legged sucker, she did it in a bragging sort of way (all part of Einstein's plan); never thinking she'd have to share her treats, bones, chairs and pillows.

In the picture above we see Stumpy sulking because Alf has his own bone and doesn't want hers. Alf likes this. You can be sure he will plant himself right in front of Stumpy anytime there's a bone to be chewed.

One more piece of the puzzle falls into place: the vet who will be doing Alf's brain surgery lives in the same town as Cuzzin Fenway and my son! We'll also get to spend a couple days there,with Fenway,

(oh yeah, and my son) while Alf recovers.

The Berner (now known as Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner)is/was a semi-feral dog trying to survive in the Mohave Desert.He's ready for his new home and will be delivered there shortly

If you're a new visitor to our blog, the Berner's story can be read in the posts listed below, in chronological order. Updates are posted on Saturday.

#1 Who's been sitting in my chair?
#2 Runnin' with the big dawgs
#3 There's a Berner in my living room!
#4 He's everywhere!
#5 He's gone
#6 The Berner: coming and going
#7 Berner News
#8 The Weekly Berner Report (March 28 - April 3)
#9 The Weekly Berner Report (April 3 - April 10)
#10 The Weekly Berner Report (April 10 - April 17);
#11 The Weekly Berner Report (April 17 - April 24)
#12 The Weekly Berner Report (April 24 - May 1)
#13 The Berner (aka Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner) Report: May 1 - May 8
#14 The Weekly Berner Report: May 8 - May 15
#15 The Weekly Berner Report: May 15 - 22
#16 The Berner Report: May 22 - May 29
#17 The Weekly Berner Report: May 29 - June 5
#18 The Weekly Berner Report: June 5 - 12
#19 The Weekly Berner report: June 14 - 19
#20 The Weekly Berner Report: June 27 - July 3 (Experts weigh in, please)


♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

This is all just so wonderful to read. We are happy for Alf to get the home he so deserves. And we are happy for you because we know how much this all means to you. We sure hope Alf's new family will keep in touch and let you know how he is doing.

Hugs and Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

What a tale of tails all working together!

Yes, Einstein had khwite the paw in this one -

We'll miss Alfy and his nevFUR ending supply of khuteness -

Sophie is one lukhky Berner Babe!

Mom and I are making the face that khonsists of zillions of emotions -

Once again, woo done good - and he'll be furever home soon -

Khyra & Her Mom
PeeEssWoo: Of khourse, we will SO need pikhs and videos of this road trip!

Sam said...

Wow, what a story - and I am amazed it has gotten here. I honestly didn't know in the beginning whether or not he could ever be converted fully in to a "pet dog" - he had spent so much time roaming the desert that I didn't know if he'd be able to give that freedom up. But wow, you showed him how wonderful it is to live in a home, with a crate, cool air, good food and good friends. You are this dog's HERO. I can't wait to see him in his forever home.

An English Shepherd said...

Great post. Well done to you and Stumpy :-)


Kapitein Haakje said...

a talking dog!!!!

El'bow & Hauwii

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

OP Pack, Alf's hopes to stay in touch.

Khyra,I've been making those faces for almost a week now.

Sam, Alf has been my hero, all along. As is the case with Stumpy, I often ask the question, "Who rescued who?"

Wizz, HA! We couldn't have done it without Alfy!

Sanne, check out Mishka's you tube! She has quite a vocabulary!

Wyatt said...

Yeah for Alfy! Sounds like the perfect home and a Berner Girl too! Woo Hoo!


Anonymous said...

I just love happy endings. :) I've loved this story and feel that you have blessed us all by sharing it.
I humbly say 'Thank You'
Keri and my own Berner Girl Gracie

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Wyatt, this is is the outcome we have prayed for over the last six months! It couldn't possibly get any better!

Keri & Gracie, This is a happy beginning for many! I'm lucky to have been blessed with the chance to participate!

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Oh we are so happy for Alfy. He will get a loving forever home. We are sure the you and Stumpy will miss him very much but at least you know he will have a great home with a beach..
Good luck Alfy...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Anonymous said...

There are so many coincidences and serendipitous occurrences in his new location - there had to be a higher paw in all of the way it played out. Sorry you had to worry about it, not knowing there was a master plan.
So- to head back east you are headed, what west? north? shake it all about...

Congratulations to all. Happy and safe travels.

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Heelers, we will miss Alfy for sure. But knowing he got a wonderful home will make the missing part east to handle.

Dogsmom, I'm believing in that higher paw. let's see, first we're gong west, as far as one can go without swimming. and then we're headed east. Again, as far as one can go without swimming. And then, back to dirtville.
Hopefully, we'll be able to post throughout the journey

Moose said...

Yippeee! Ha ha ha 'Brain surgery'... took me a minute, never heard it called that and thought, 'wow, I have really fallen behind in my reading' until I saw the link. It is amazing how these connections happen and dogs find their people. I am waiting for our Mandy to find her people and know it will happen but worry it will take awhile given her health issues.

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Dewdana, I hope Mandy finds her people soon. They're out there! I just know they are!