Home For The Holidays: Elizabeth’s Story

There is a wonderful organization, Bernese Rescue Auction Coalition (BARC), that rescues Bernese Mountain dogs from puppy mills and auctions. We adopted our gorgeous boy...


There is a wonderful organization, Bernese Rescue Auction Coalition (BARC), that rescues Bernese Mountain dogs from puppy mills and auctions. We adopted our gorgeous boy Logan from them on June 7, 2008.

I just received a Christmas card from them and enclosed was a story from Courtney Erickson, one of the foster moms. I read it and knew I had to share, it’s dedicated to all the Dogsters that have ever lost a dog or had one stolen.

Elizabeth’s story is one of faith, hope, courage, and love. It reinforced what I’ve always believed, we don’t choose the dogs that come into our lives, they choose us. For all those waiting for the return of their beloved friend this story will inspire you, it will make you realize that thanks to some truly amazing people there are guardian angels here on earth, making anything possible.


We named her Elizabeth. She was a wee bit of a girl who sat and watched our every move. She sat just a queen, regal and beautiful. Queen Elizabeth,Elizabeth for short.

She was adopted immediately and went to a couple in southern Kansas City. She was a timid girl and apparently, this couple didn’t understand her needs. They sent her to a “trainer” to make her more “normal”. This “trainer” abused her and being the smart girl she is, she escaped. They waited a couple of weeks to let us know. We began searching, every day. About a year later, a woman contacted us saying that she had a Bernese Mountain Dog that was coming to her property and eating every night. We went to see her and immediately, we looked at each other and knew it was Elizabeth. Slowly, we lured her into a pen where the woman could close the door and call us to come for her.

I went to get her and brought her home. She needed to be shave and bathed (quite a few times). It was excruciating for her. She was with us for eight months as she slowly came out of her shell. She began to tease me and be silly. She wanted to sleep on the bed with me. She was finally comfortable.

At this point, a man expressed interest in her. After prodding, I agreed to let this man adopt her. Of course being the over-attached foster mom, I gave him explicit instructions and held my breath. Six days later, she was gone again.

We immediately went to Des Moines, hoping that she would respond to my voice. No luck. Her feral instincts kicked back in. A year later, an amazing woman was determined to catch her. She bought surveillance cameras and rigged a pen that Inspector Gadget would be proud of. She finally caught her after 18 months in the wild. When I saw her, she locked eyes with me. I laid down next to her crate and leaned my head on the crate. She reached her head over to mine and briefly rested.

I brought Elizabeth home again and she said, “Finally! Where is my bed?” She jumped right in where she left off two years ago. She is now my silly little girl who teases me again outside, takes naps with me on the bed, spends cold days wrapped up on her favorite purple couch, and relished in bits of leftover turkey and an occasional sugar cookie.

Elizabeth is at peace. I no longer worry if she is cold, hungry, or hurt. We have been brought together for a reason. She was meant to be with me. All my four legged angels helped her get back to her home. She is now Home for the Holidays, and Home for good.

-Courtney Erickson

I want to thank Courtney for allowing us to share her story. We are so happy that Elizabeth is finally where she always belonged.

The beauty pictured above is Joy, a 7-year-old rescue. She is one of the many Berners that BARC has available for adoption. Anyone thinking about an older dog please consider her, she is beautiful and loving, and could bring much Joy to your home.

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