You already know that Sam “I Am – Green Eggs and Ham” has brought an abundance of Berner hugs, kisses and smiles galore into our family. As I watch him settle so easily into our somewhat neurotic dog family I have to say that it warms the soul to have such an easygoing and loveable Berner boy in our midst.
After a year and a half of patiently and ever so gently working with Sophia to help her overcome her fear based phobias, and taking delight in every tiny improvement she has made along the way, it surely feels good to have a healthy and normal Berner in the family.
The difference in mental health and physical appearance of our two BARC Berners could not be more pronounced.
Poor Sophia was whelped in a puppy mill and rescued by BARC when she was seven months old. She was fostered in a loving home until we adopted her when she was one year old. Sophia’s development and trials are well documented in this blog and I don’t need to repeat the full story here. In a nut shell, she was terrified of riding in the car, terrified of leaving her safe spot in the kitchen, terrified of stairs, terrified of anyone entering the house, and definitely terrified of her dad who loves her unconditionally… etc.
Sophia is a diminutive Berner at less than sixty pounds. For the first six month here she ate and drank lying down which clearly indicates that she spent her formative months confined in a cage. Her sensitive stomach led to untold bouts of explosive diarrhea and many trips to the out-of-doors in the middle of the night. Needles to say, during her first year here, Sophia was a challenge.
Initially she would suspiciously sniff any treat offered to her, but now she begs for bananas and watermelon, and she definitely loves yoghurt and her food,
Thankfully our Sophia has grown into a relatively self-assured Berner girl and we hope that her maturation will continue to giver her more and more freedom from the demons she carries in her mind.
Enter our second BARC dog Sam who knows nothing of fear,who suffers neither from demons nor phobias, and who’s company brings pure joy. So the question is, what accounts for such striking differences in temperament and appearance? The only answer I can find is here:
As far as I could learn, Sammy was whelped at a BARC’ member ‘s home. Unfortunately, I have not been able to learn about the circumstance or the exact date of his birth, his mom or his siblings. All I know is that Sammy was whelped and raised in a loving BARC home. He was well fed, exercised and well socialized and placed with his first adoptive family as soon as he was old enough to join a family of his own. I was told that after a few months he was returned to BARC because the young couple who had adopted him were splitting up and neither one could keep him.
At about seven months of age he was adopted by his second family in Up-state New York. There he spent about five years with this family and judging by his appearance and behaviour he must have been treated well. I am told that he grew up with the family’s first child and he saw a second child come into their lives.
Sadly for Sam who is now about six years old, his second family also decided that they no longer wanted him. They surrendered him to BARC who placed him in a nearby foster home. A few weeks later Sammy made the journey to Wisconsin where he found his third and definitely his forever-home.
I am happy to say that Sammy is here to stay; as the saying goes “come hell or high water,” we are never going to let him go!
Here are a few more pictures to chronicle his full integration into our family that is now complete:
And there you have it, now there is happyness all around.