Kowitz - Oakley - Sequim, WA

BG # 33257

Oakley, are you really 9?

Born on a puppy farm, Oakley was put up in the large scale auctions at 10 weeks of age. BARC couldn’t make the high bid that day so he went to a backyard breeder in Washington State. I bet he was a cute puppy. No pictures, though. Well, he got out into loving hands when he was 2.

Oakley’s hips have never been good. He’s always had the appearance of a paraplegic; strong up front and wasted in the back. It was heartbreaking to see that our sweetest of all Berners would live a short life because of his orthopedics. Well, we’ve been delightfully mistaken! A dog who spends his whole life without much back end function doesn’t mope, he copes. He benefits too from human pity and takes advantage of being our only dog ever allowed on the furniture. He has his own chair. Granted, he has had to devise his own method of getting into it balancing with chin, then front paws, then tucking his back end under so he can pull himself up, but it is *his* chair.

When he suffered a sudden paralysis some years back we thought that was really it. How long could I haul a Berner around with a beach towel under his back end? Not very long! He insisted on getting around on his own even if it meant dragging himself in a hurry away from that annoying towel. Ultimately he figured out how to walk again minus some nerve function.

Of late, Oakley has suffered a number of physical setbacks, affirming with each one that he can pull through cheerfully and that it is not for me to say “Oh dear, I think this might be the last straw.” He has even managed to graciously allow me to think that he was too frail to fend off the energy of a new puppy, getting trounced over and over again, only to wait until the puppy got bigger than he was before growling him off to say he needed a bit of space. They’ve attained a balance and harmony that I did not think possible. Molly the black cat is absolutely in love with him. She follows him everywhere, rubbing against his chest and curling up in the warm lengths of his coat when he’s dozing. He tolerates it like Eeyore from the Winnie the Pooh stories, but don’t tell that to Molly. She looks enraptured when she’s in his company.

Many of us talk about how every day is a gift. Oakley has brought us to live this way and all of the days are treasures.

We’re forever grateful to all who helped nurture him until he got to us.

Susan (& Alan, Jason, & Matthew) Kowitz
Sequim, WA