Last week while going through emails of urgent listings, I started working on some dogs scheduled to be euthanized in Manchester. It's nearly impossible to get a sense of a dog's personality from a photo sadly and they all have a story. As I came to the photo for "County 10", I saw an older, grey faced black Lab laying behind the kennel fence. I immediately felt sad for him, knowing that the shelter environment must be even more stressful for a senior dog. I also knew from my experience in working with urgent dogs, that his chances of making it out of their alive were slim to none. He was a black dog for starters which are hard to place here and he is a senior, not a cute puppy like so many people want. County 10 was one of the lucky ones, because volunteers at AC had been able to make a short video of him. When I saw his video, I watched one of the sweetest dogs I'd ever seen who was overwhelmed with joy for the few minutes of human contact that he had waited nearly a month for. He wanted to go for a walk, he wanted a belly rub, he didn't know what to do first. He was so excited that he rolled over and over. My heart broke because much too soon, that spark for life and love would be gone. I knew that flame of hope he had for a family and freedom, would soon be snuffed out. I was overwhelmed with grief because I knew this special soul was going to die. Life can be very unfair and we see dogs pay the ultimate price for the irresponsibility of humans every single day. County 10 had a family once that he loved, yet he found himself alone in this shelter, abandoned and afraid. I wanted him to have the chance to live out his golden years with a family that cherished him. I wanted him to have a soft bed to lay on, I wanted him to have all the attention he yearned for so badly and I wanted him to feel secure. Above all else, I wanted him to die with dignity and grace one day with his family at his side. He deserved nothing less than that.
Last Friday, we made the dreams of one special senior come true. We didn't have a foster home open, but we had a kennel open at our facility, Barktopia
. When we met him, we saw the same amazing spirit in person. County 10 became Bernie Mac, he received a collar, a bath and we took him for a nature walk on a gorgeous day. He loved every minute of attention we gave him and was so grateful. We made a makeshift room out of his kennel, so that he would feel like he had his own space, complete with walls, a Kuranda bed and soft comforter. Bernie immediately crawled up on his bed, laid down on his comforter and took a nap.
Today, Bernie went for his first vet checkup, received his shots and we were thrilled to learn that he is heartworm negative. Bernie needs to gain some weight and has some muscle loss in his hind end. Our vet estimated his age to be around 8 years old. He might have arthritis, but it definitely doesn't slow him down. He is one very spry, happy guy. He was excited to meet everyone today and behaved like a perfect gentleman. After our visit, we picked up a great glucosamine and chondroitin supplement, as well as some fish oil as our vet recommended. We expect to see Bernie Mac bounding around the play area in no time!
All of you can watch Bernie's shelter video
and smile, knowing that he is now safe.
We thank the Manchester volunteers for all their hard work and know how difficult it can be to see some dogs not make it out. This 2 minutes and 15 seconds saved this dog's life, so you ladies keep up the amazing work there. You are making a difference!