"Run Free Over The Rainbow Bridge" by Beth Hucke
For our final installment of our "If It Weren't For Fido" Essay Contest winners, we give you Beth Hucke's story of Bernie, a sweet, paternal whippet with a big heart. Read Beth's story about the short but wonderful lives of our four-legged companions and the impact they make on so many lives besides our own.
Six years ago I brought home this scared little 6 month old black and white whippet who we named Bernie. He was sick with pneumonia, had a heart murmur and had been locked in an outdoor kennel his entire short life. The first year was rough between socializing him and cleaning up messes multiple times a day, it was like there was never going to be an end to this. But he would lay on the couch and just stare at me with those big black eyes unsure of not only himself but of his new home. His anxiety was so bad that he would hurt himself if he was put in a crate. The day finally came when he jumped on the bed, got under the covers and decided it was OK to trust people. He melted my heart.
We quickly became the best of friends and anyone that knows me, will tell you, he was the love of my life from that point on. We would go for walks, hang out in the sun and just lounge watching TV. Two years later, we decided to adopt a pit bull puppy from a rescue. Bernie quickly became the "Father Hen" and took Penelope under his wing. I knew he was a special dog and swear because of where he came from, he was happy to help get Penny settled in her new home. After some serious consideration, we decided to begin fostering dogs. We knew Bernie was that dog that could help other dogs feel safe coming from a shelter. He was great with them and I couldn't of been prouder to see first hand the loving nature of our whippet boy. Read more