Gordon/Clark - Dash - Fort Collins, CO
Dash has been passed through many hands in his two short years of life. He was passed from one breeder to the next until a kind woman who saw that he was permanently confined to an outdoor kennel managed to persuade the breeder to give Dash to her. But she had several children and couldn’t keep this shy dog that constantly darted away when someone walked nearby. So she put Dash in the rescue network, where he took a trip of many legs from Wisconsin to Colorado.
In April of 2008 I received a call from a friend who manages a local no-kill shelter. She knew we had worked with some shyness issues in our own Bernese girl and wondered if we would foster Dash. Unfortunately, we already had a foster dog that was quite a handful, so we couldn’t help out. But I went to visit Dash one week after he arrived at his new foster home. He was just getting comfortable enough to venture out of the bathroom and came to sit on the couch (his favored “safe” places are anywhere higher than ground level) and was even persuaded to take a few treats. Even though I’d only come over to visit, this serious-faced boy was already pulling at my heartstrings.
Two months later, our other foster had moved to a permanent home and my friend, now fostering Dash, was going on vacation. She asked me if we would like to take Dash while she was gone. We both knew exactly what this was… we were “trying on” Dash to see how he would fit with our family (one Berner, one 10 year old mixed breed dog and a 9 year old cat). When the week was up, it was apparent that Dash was a great fit and that he would make a wonderful companion for our Berner, Camber, who is only 6 months his senior.
Since Dash came home to us in July of 2007 he’s made big steps in overcoming shyness. He really wants to be gregarious in his own shy way (he is still more comfortable if people come down to his level to say “hello”). He’s learned sit, stay and down – and of course he’s learned the “Berner bump”. Dash loves Camber and draws confidence from being near her. She’s been a big part of bringing him out of his shell; and Dash has been a much needed playmate to get Camber off her big butt, chasing the gangly “Dash-man” around the yard. He can still be a nervous boy, but for the most part he is a happy dog, with a wall-pounding helicopter tail and a family that loves him very much!
PS. Dash’s birthday was April 25th – so if you should meet him here at the Specialty he’d love a happy birthday scratch!
Alice Gordon & Steve Clark
Fort Collins, CO
Dash’s Berner Garde # 62678