Every year people give puppies as gifts, only to have them dropped off at a local shelter down the road. Getting a dog is a very personal decision, it's not something to spring on someone. Having a dog requires time, care, money, and a lifetime commitment.
If you do choose to get a dog please consider adopting from a rescue. There are more dogs than ever that need homes.
I'm sharing the story of our boy, Logan, who was with us a mere 14 months but brought more joy into our lives than I could ever have imagined. I hope his story inspires others to go out and save a life, especially the life of a senior dog.
Logan lived at a puppy mill for 4 years, he was the stud dog. He had no name, was kept caged, used and abused.
Eventually when the owner of the puppy mill thought he no longer fit the bill as a stud dog he was put up for auction. Yes, auction, so possibly another breeder could come along to buy him and continue his life of abuse. Or, if he wasnít bought he probably would have been put down.
This is where a great organization called the Bernese Auction Rescue Coalition comes in. They bought him, got him medical attention, and put him in a wonderful foster home until he got adopted. On June 6, 2008 Horst and I went to pick up our new family member. When I saw him I had tears in my eyes, he was so beautiful, and so scared.
We celebrated our 1 year anniversary in June, it truly was a celebration. Logan had overcome so much in a year, he was a different dog.
When we first got Logan, Iím not going to lie, it was hard. He barely moved, spent most of his days in our 1/2 bath where he was comfortable. We never pushed him, always let him do things on his own time schedule. Each day we spent quiet time lying with him and petting him. We started taking him for walks everyday and that was when we got our first glimpse at the dog who was waiting to come out.
We made progress, and had setbacks, working with Logan was like nothing we had ever dealt with. Weíve always had rescues but Logan was in a whole different category. I remember after a few months had passed wondering if we were just going to be Loganís caregivers, which was fine, or we would eventually breakthrough and show him life could be good and people could be trusted.
I donít have an exact date or incident to mark the change but it happened. I do remember the first time he wagged his tail it touched my heart in a way I didnít think possible. Every breakthrough brought us such joy.
As we were saying goodbye to Logan yesterday we knew our tears were for us, we would miss him but he would be fine. In the short time he was with us he went to the park everyday, up to the lake on weekends, had a vacation in Asheville at dog friendly B&B, came to Wilmington with us and saw the ocean, played with his siblings, and was constantly fawned over. He packed a lot of living into a year and a half.
On our drive home from the vet, without him, we didnít think we could ever go through this again. We knew the risks of adopting an older dog going in and we knew Berners are susceptible to cancer, yet we thought our dog would live to twelve. What happened wasnít a total surprise but the pain that came with it was.
Yet this morning, although Iím still crying as I type, something happened. We brought such joy to Logan and him to us, isnít it out of selfishness to not do it again? It doesnít seem fair to not give what we gave Logan to another dog in need. So somehow Horst and I found ourselves looking at the BARC board this morning to see if maybe, just maybe, thereís another Berner that needs us as bad as we need him.
Rest in peace my dear sweet Logan, you will be missed every day you are not with us.