Beckman - Bronson - San Francisco, CA
BRONSON (Then Came Bronson To BluNote, CGC)
In May 2011, our household was down to a single, 11-year-old Berner who was pretty happy being an only dog.
Our club rescue coordinator called, desperate for a foster home for an adult male who had killed a cat and had separation anxiety issues. We work at home and don’t have cats, so she hoped we could keep him for a few weeks. She sent pictures of a sad Berner who had lost most of his hair and was extremely thin. He was also a serious counter surfer and was anxious around men. On the plus side, he was housetrained, he liked other Berners, and was good with kids.
We have been blessed that we have never had to rehome any puppies from our own breedings, so helping this needy dog seemed like a way to give back for that good fortune. After making it clear that we would only foster, we said we would pick up Bronson. I knew we would have no problem with his short stay, as he wasn’t the “big boy” Jim wanted. Plus, we were leaving soon for a 10-day vacation.
He’s still with us, so we officially failed Foster 101.
His first week with us brought out his unique traits: he lunged at dogs while on walks, he barked incessantly at delivery trucks, he went ballistic in the car at dogs he saw, and he marked inside our house whenever we left. And his prey drive was evident when he tried to claw his way through the car window to get to a squirrel.
I was probably too honest about Bronson’s negatives, but I believe you have to adopt a dog knowing who they are right now so that if they can’t change, they don’t end up back in rescue.
Six weeks went by with no appropriate homes, so we headed off for vacation with a second dog for our housesitter (who thankfully was fond of Bronson). Another six weeks went by with no good prospects.
In the meantime, we’d been talking to a breeder about a puppy. After three months with us, Bronson was losing his nervous edge, he was waiting for us at the door when we’d come home, and he was starting to enjoy meeting new dogs. I raised the idea that maybe Bronson could stay with us after all, since he especially enjoyed playing with puppies.
We called to ask rescue if it would be OK for Bronson to stay, and they were thrilled.
We got a call from our future puppy’s breeder the very next day saying her dog wasn’t pregnant. It was a disappointment for us, but Bronson made out pretty well!
Bronson’s coat has grown back in, he’s traveled with us on several long trips, and he’s become quite popular with neighborhood dogs. And he quickly earned his CGC. Next up, draft and rally.
At a club draft test, we were mentioning possible names for Bronson’s AKC registration. Judge Linda Thomas asked if we’d heard of a television show called “Then Came Bronson.” Turns out Bronson was a vagabond searching for the meaning of life. Given the number of homes our Bronson has been through, it seems like a good fit. Let’s hope he’s found his meaning here with us.
Cindy Beckman & Jim Maxwell
San Francisco, CA