Burke - Shadow - Mansfield, MA

Shadow’s Rescue Story       Berner-Garde #61633

Shadow was rescued from a puppy mill on the New Hampshire Canada border in May of 2006.  As expected, he was in deplorable shape.  The puppy miller refused to provide documentation of Rufus’ health records so he was immunized as if he’d had none.  I hope there will be no future ill health effects due to his poor treatment there.  It is known that he was born in April of 2005 but not his whelp date or who his parents were.  Doug and Paula Smith of Hearts Harbor Rescue spent the next 5 months working intensively with Rufus, now called Shadow, and they turned him from an unruly animal into a lovely family pet.  Sure, Shadow still has his issues, but they’ve become part of what makes him so lovable.

My young son, Liam, and I went to Doug and Paula’s house to meet Rufus on September 10, 2006 to meet him after reading about his availability on the Berner-L the day before.  While I was rather surprised at his energy level, I fell in love with him almost right away.  We brought him home that same day and he has delighted us with his hijinks ever since.  He is a needy boy.  He needs to be touched at all times and it is amazing to see the difference in his demeanor when he gets his needed touches.  Shadow gives the most wonderful Berner hugs on command.  He is a lot of dog in a relatively small Berner package.  He’s about 22” at the shoulders and weighs 70-73 pounds.  I believe if he were closer to breed standard, he’d be a real handful even for an experienced Berner owner.

He is a rather verbal boy, something I hadn’t experienced with my first Bernese Mountain Dog, Herculese.  He’s funny.  He doesn’t bark at the doorbell or when people come into the house.  He barks as he waits for me to put on my coat to take him out.  You’d think that it had been 6 years, not 3 hours since he’d been out.  He flies up and down the 6 stairs as I prepare.  Poor thing doesn’t want to understand that I want him to sit quietly at the door.  I wait and wait and wait every single time for a quiet sit before we go out the door.  Last thing I need is a hyper and excited dog dragging me down the 4 stairs outside.  I hope the brain fairy will come for his 4th birthday in April 2009!  Maybe she’s planning to bring him brains when we visit at the National Specialty!

Shadow has been a great companion for my family and our other dog as well.  Jack is a Great Dane Lab rescue and would live on the couch if it weren’t for Shadow’s demands for a romping buddy.  It’s always fun to take both boys for walks.  People don’t know whether to ask about Shadow or Jack.  Jack towers over Shadow in typical regal, Dane fashion but Shadow is the social butterfly that gets all the attention.  When we bring him to a nearby dog park, he quickly makes the rounds with the other dogs and then spends the majority of his time visiting all the other humans there and collecting pats and rubs.  He is a real character and we all love him dearly.

I would love to publicly thank Doug and Paula Smith of Hearts Harbor Rescue again for saving this little boy.  He is worth the effort we all put forth for him and all the other rescues.

Anne Burke in Mansfield MA
Shadow the crazy boy
Jack the lazy boy