I am trying to get the shelter I work at to do some stories like SAINTS for their fundraiser (because I am a copy cat). So this is a story I suggested about the "old guy" - which really is his nickname. I am posting it here because he is an "old guy" and because Luke led me to him. Luke is sponsoring Table 11. So here is Beenard's story:
I walked into Bernardâ€™s face one day and fell in love. Okay not literally but I walked into the shelter and there was this old German Shepherd looking extremely bewildered. Deep inside of me I sighed because there was Lukeâ€™s expression looking right back at me. Luke was our old Lab Retriever and in that moment I missed him terribly. So I was a selfish human and wanted Bernard for all the wrong reasons â€“ I wanted him for Luke not because he was Bernard. I waited out my selfishness as I already had a home with more than a couple of dogs. I waited and waited. I got lucky because I guess old dogs that have developed somewhat neurotic habits over a lifetime are not the first dogs to get adopted. So Bernard came home to live with me, my sister our 3 cats, 2 dogs and 1 foster dog. Woo hoo not exactly what he was envisioning for a retirement home.
Well Bernard became Beenard because Bernard was too dignified for him. Beenard was like Luke in that his biggest obsession in live was FOOOD!!! Beenard fell in love with his new home way before he fell in love with its occupant. There was so many great smells in it. â€œIS THAT FOOD I SMELL â€“GIVE IT TO ME, GIVE IT TO MEâ€. And he did become our â€œvery good dogâ€ that truly enjoyed meeting people and dogs. He is the one dog we donâ€™t put away when the door bell rings or worry about when meeting a new dog.
Beenard has had a big impact on the way we live with our dogs because he isnâ€™t Luke. Now we separate all the dogs when we prepare their meals because Beenard carries on like a fool. He sounds like a big old frustrated seal. He gets into the other dogs space without realizing it as, in that moment, nothing exists for him except FOOD. All the dogs even eat separately now because of BEENARDâ€™s resource guarding ways around food. Beenard is also willing to defend anything that sits between his paws. So no more toys or bones left on the floor anymore. And he also barks at the cats which is so un-Luke like.
We have had Beenard for almost a year. It took awhile for us to figure him out and him to figure us out. We thought Beenard would be the dog we could take everywhere. But that isnâ€™t Beenard. He is a home body. He likes his back yard but mostly likes being inside. He likes his short walks around the neighbourhood. He always leads me back home when the walk has been long enough. I donâ€™t think Beenard quite respects our wishes and desires for him but he has learned that we will always look after him.
Beenard came to us with arthritis in his back and something called degenerative myeolopathy which means he has a degenerative spinal problem. This disease has affected his back legs. In the year he has been with us, we have seen a slow deterioration in his ability to walk and stand. His back feet scrape the ground more often than not, he falls occasionally and when he stands too long, his back legs start to give out on him. To be honest, I donâ€™t know how much longer Beenard will be with us. But life is a guessing game and we never know what will be around the corner for us. We donâ€™t know what is around the corner for Beenard. We just know we love him and he has added humour and frustration and noise and big buckets full of joy to our home. So thanks Beenard for reminding me of Luke.
BTW, I have printed off all your stories Carol and they look and read beautifully. I am sure they will one of the best parts of the evening.