Barnum - Dora - Avon, CT

In the summer of 2003, the Abington, VA, Animal Control got a call about a “big dog” haunting a restaurant dumpster.   The “big dog” was beautiful and adorable, so they named her Belladora and posted her on PetFinder.  

She was also malnourished, dull-coated, and showed unmistakable signs of a recent pregnancy, but they recognized the Berner coloring, complete with a tiny Swiss Kiss, perfect except for the lack of blaze.  She had the lovable, affectionate, sweet Berner disposition, too. 

Meanwhile, we had lost our much-loved Golden.  We were lonesome and needed sloppy canine kisses so I checked PetFinder almost every day.  It was love at first sight when I saw Belladora!   

The Berner-L community also noticed Belladora’s PetFinder listing.  Pat Southward from Blue Ridge BMD offered to check out Belladora.   She reported that Dora was a Berner mixed with Siamese cat:   “She talked and whimpered and cried the whole way when I brought her home, telling me all about the hard times she’d been having.”

Working together, the Blue Ridge and the Connecticut area clubs placed Dora with us, and changed our lives.  Dora grew from a dumpster-diver to a civilized dog.  She was amazingly well socialized, extremely bright and eager to please.  Like many rescues, she looks for chances to be a ‘good dog’.

In the past seven-plus years, Dora and our cat, Greta, have made our house a home.  Dora treats our 2.8 suburban acres like a farm.  She guards our property from “undomestic” animals including deer, bear, turkeys, a red fox, a bobcat, a fisher and two coyotes.  She never barks unless she spots one.

 Dora has a dear friend, a local rescue, named Koda who was very aggressive when he first came home.  Thanks to a lot of work from Cynthia, his mom, plus expert help from Dora, Koda is quite a good boy.  He calls Dora to come out to play and they go on walks almost daily.

A yellow lab rescue, Amber, is another pal of Dora’s.  Her “brother”, Nicky, died recently at age 17.  Amber continues to grieve for Nicky so we visit her frequently.  The girls are so happy together.

My mother recently moved to a nursing home.  Dora loves to go for a visit and she is so good!  She wants to visit every room.   Many of the residents miss their animals so she gets lots of love and affection at Avon Health Center.

And she loves puppies!   Dora initiated playtime with my daughter’s Golden puppy. They jumped, teased and chased each other in glee.  It was fun for us to see their fun.


Cheryl & Mel Barnum
Avon CT

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