A dog named Bernard had spent his entire life in a dirty pen, and he had never experienced any type of human kindness.
Bernard had never gotten a belly rub or even a pat on the head. The poor pup had no idea what it meant to have someone show him love.
Finally, in 2014, sweet Bernard was saved by animal rescue group Dogs Deserve Better.
They brought him to their rehab center in Smithfield, Virginia and gave him food and medicine. Then, it was time to begin the process of socializing him. Since Bernard had so little experience with humans, the rescuers knew it would take a long time to gain his trust.
The first few times the rescuers tried to pet him, Bernard cowered or hid in the corner of his room. But after a few days, he let a rescuer get close to him. The woman filmed the emotional moment where Bernard opened up for the first time.
The rescuer entered Bernard’s room, talking to him in a sweet voice to reassure him. The rescuer put out her hand, and Bernard swallowed hard. The rescuer started petting his head, and Bernard kept still. As the rescuer kept petting him, he relaxed a little bit. He seemed to understand that the rescuer was trying to help him.
“He’s gonna get closer, this is the first time he hasn’t tried to hide or run away. He’s learning that we’re okay,” the rescuer said in her video.
Dogs Deserve Better continued working with Bernard, helping him learn that humans can be good. Finally, when he was ready, they put him up for adoption.
The rescue group found the perfect home for Bernard. His new mom was so happy to bring him home, and she showered him with love.
In 2015, Dogs Deserve Better posted an update from Bernard’s mom on their Facebook page. She said that he was doing well, and he was healthy:
“Today is a good day at our home!! Bernard, or Burr as he has come to be called, is heartworm free. A big thank you goes out to Rogers Veterinary Hospital who certainly made the whole procedure easy for us. Another huge thank you goes to Dogs Deserve Better who originally had faith in me to take Bernard home.”
Bernard’s mom also talked about what the dog’s daily life was like:
“Life is good here for Burr. He loves his yard and has many wonderful special spots where he spends most of his day. At night and any time that he wishes he has his lovely little art studio home that he shares with a human. He sleeps on a twin bed under a window at night and can often be seen at different parts of the day watching the world from his upstairs window. He will come and eat from my hand…. sitting and waiting can be hard, but Burr is now approaching the front porch and was very close to coming up during a shower today.”
Bernard has come so far since he was first rescued. He’s gone from a scared, lonely dog to a happy pup with a loving family. If you’d like to see the beginning of Bernard’s journey, check out the video below!
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