Otis - Shasta - Beaverton, OR


Berner Garde number 25670

Every dog that my husband and I have owned came into our lives as a puppy.  We were able to watch them grow, predict how they’d react to most situations and then shape and teach them what was expected.   When we considered getting a rescue dog, we had the usual mixed feelings about not knowing the types of problems or issues such a dog might have and just what challenges we might face.  But, Shasta has proven to us that rescue is one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives.

Before we considered rescue we had just lost our first Berner, Tessa, to lymphoma. We wondered if getting another dog so soon would be a betrayal to the memory of Tessa. However, once we saw Shasta’s picture we knew without a doubt that we needed her as much as she needed us. We could see behind her gentle expression that she was lost and waiting for someone to find her.

Shasta didn’t come without some challenges. We learned that her digestive system is extremely sensitive and we searched for a food that both she and our other Berner, Tanner, could both tolerate.  We finally found a kibble that combined with daily pro-biotic enzymes seems to keep her on the right track.

Training has also been a challenge; while she doesn’t bark, counter surf or get on the furniture, she also didn’t heel or come to us when called. We had to remember that she really had no loyalty to us or any reason to learn any of those behaviors.   As we developed a bond, she began to respond to our training. Each time that we call her name and she stops to turn and look at us with her beautiful expression, our hearts overflow with love:  forgotten are all those times she never looked back and never missed a stride.

Sometimes we ask ourselves how somebody could give up such a beautiful and loving dog.  But perhaps the answer is they wanted to give Shasta a second chance for a happy life and we’re so thankful that they did.  Shasta is truly one of the best things that has ever happened to us and makes us think that perhaps the next time we consider bringing another dog into our lives, it may not be a puppy ~ but another rescue!

Cheryl Otis

Beaverton, OR