Tuesday, August 29, 2006


June 22, 1989-August 16, 2006

Well, a couple weeks ago the inevitable finally happened. Our old family friend Bernard had to be helped along into the hereafter. We were hoping he’d just pass away in his sleep, we’d wake up one day and find him gone in his favorite bed. But, it was not to be. He just had too much spirit to give it up that easy.

For those of you who knew Bernard know he had his share of brushes with death and by all rights defied it on numerous occasions throughout his little but, certainly not uneventful life.

The last year or so brought about all kinds of wild speculation as to just how long the little white (more like dirty dish water) wonder dog would tarry. By the smell of his potent breath people might have thought his demise had already come about. Indeed these last couple years Bernard will be better known for his pungent odor. It’s hard to describe really, just how terrible it was. His breath is sure to take on mythical proportions in the coming months and years.

Bernard turned 17 this past June, a fact that for anyone who knew his history, usually brought about expressions of wonderment and reminiscing of his many harrowing adventures and near misses he had with untimely end.

But, poor Bernard’s failing health finally got the better of him. It was a combination of numerous things really. Nearly blind, almost deaf. Tumors, cysts, a nagging cough and loss of bladder control. In spite of it all, always the happy camper never losing his appetite for food or a even a little romance should opportunity come his way. The month or so he really began to suffer and we all had to sit down in a family pow wow and agree that it would be best to take him to the vet and have him put to sleep. We all struggled with it of course. After all he’s been a fixture in our family for a long time, ever since he was a tiny pup. Actually I didn’t like him much when we got him but, over the years he grew on me and I had to at least admire him for his heart and his enthusiastic approach to life. Tons of spirit that little dog.

Anyway I even contemplated putting him down myself a couple weeks ago thinking it might be a more fitting way to go but, in the end we decided to take him in. Actually I’m glad that’s how it went. The folks at the Foster and Smith clinic were extremely understanding and professional in how they handled it. They reassured me it was the best thing to do. Now I imagine that’s what they always say but, I’m confident it only took one glance ( or one whiff) to know we were doing the right thing. Actually they probably wondered why we waited so long. I know that a number of our family and friends were wondering that. But, we had to give Bernard the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he would rally? Maybe he would go on his own terms? Those were just a couple reasons why we held out as long as we did.

I think that some day I might write a book about our old faithful companion and family mascot. I’ll give it a little time though . Time to let the legend of Bernard grow and take on mythical proportions. Not that his remarkable little life needs it of course. But, he was an amazing little fellow. A pain in the rear sometimes but, amazing nonetheless.

Until Next Time


Blogger Patti said...

I undersadand how you feel.We lost our dog last month.

8:59 PM  
Blogger G.P. said...

Greetings, much empathy for you! Here we have our "B&B" dog, Manker, a flat coated retriever who are guests consistently want to take with them on departure. He's really more a family member than a house hold pet. Our bed and breakfast is a dream come true since it's rural and I know where G-d has guided us.

But know with Bernard, somewhere where the L-rd closes, a door, He opens a window

8:32 PM  
Blogger RL said...

Thank you for the condolences.

9:37 PM  

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