I had some posts planned for today but sadly our beloved rescue Berner, Logan, passed yesterday. At the moment it's hard to focus on much else so my last post of the day will be a tribute to our boy.
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 wasn't bought he probably would have been put down.
This is where a wonderful 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, I left a message on his page because it truly was a celebration. Logan had overcome so much in a year, he was a different dog.
When we first got Logan, I'm 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. Every day we spent quiet time laying 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. We've 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 Logan's caregivers, which was fine, or we would eventually breakthrough and show him life could be good and people could be trusted.
I don't 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 didn't 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 didn't 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 wasn't a total surprise but the pain that came with it was.
Yet this morning, although I'm still crying as I type, something happened. We brought such joy to Logan and him to us, isn't it out of selfishness to not do it again? It doesn't 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, there's 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.