Dear friends,

Beerke's-last-pictureTen years ago, it was on a Monday evening, I got a phone call from a Dutch lady.
– “Am I speaking with Bruno?”
– “Yes you are,” I said.
– “I have a Labrador who attacks everyone and every dog. People advised me to have him put to sleep. Before I do that I am looking for someone who would be willing to adopt him. Can I come and show him to you?”
– “Yes you can. Please come right away,” I answered.
When she arrived the lady could barely control a pulling and barking “monster” standing on his hind legs at the end of a tense leash. I handed her one of my leashes with a half-check collar and asked to switch it with the leash she was using on her dog. Taking my leash from her I witnessed the most amazing transformation of a “monster” into a dog who responded to everything I asked him to do. Immediately I told the lady I was more than willing to adopt the beautiful Labrador…. if my other dogs agreed to adopt him too. Taking him inside our compound I asked my wife Eva to take our other two dogs to the very end of our training grounds. On my signal we both took off the leashes, our two dogs approached the Labby and immediately they all started to “play”. Everything was more than ok for them.
Whereupon I told the lady her dog could stay.
“Can I say goodbye to him ?”, she asked.
I explained to her the best thing she could do was to send me the papers of the dog and leave without having another look at him.
That is exactly what she did.
My wife Eva baptized our new Labby “Baerli” what is the Swiss-German word for “small bear” or “Beerke” in Flemish and “Osito” in Spanish.
Observing every move of our new dog it became quite clear to me how he reminded me of my father.
The way he ate, drank, slept, breathed, walked, jumped, looked, ran, sat, lied down, stood, barked, always brought back memories of my father who had died in 1978.
Eight months after his adoption Baerli, who had been destined to be put to sleep, became champion in an agility competition in Alicante.
Later on he would obtain another four titles in agility, beating the Border Collier opposition during other competitions all over Spain.
Unfortunately he was then infected by the sand fly and I had to retire him from competition. The Leishmaniosis illness attacked his joints what prevented him from jumping.
But we kept on living and working together as a real team. I always felt good to have him with me and he always wanted to accompany me. His former owner had described him as a dog who attacked everyone but with me he was a most stable dog. Many, many times I took him along when working with clients and their dogs.
One day my wife had a session with a tarot lady. After the session she was so enchanted that she prompted me to go and see the same lady for a session.
I was not surprised when this tarot lady told me how my father was contacting me with the help of my Labby. I confirmed it and said that I knew that already.
The years went by and Baerli’s walks became shorter and shorter as he was suffering from arthritis.
When it became impossible for him to walk I took him along to the vet in order to have him sent to the eternal hunting fields.
I was not afraid to show my tears to the vet. Although we have known each other for years he hugged me for the first time.
Having buried my dog in a clean white sheet, I put a big bunch of wild flowers on his grave.
These flowers are called “Mil Amores” in Spanish.
The English translation of the Spanish name is “A Thousand Loves”.
I am very grateful for everything Baerli/Beerke has given me.
He gave me A Thousand Loves.

With love and blessings from Brunothedoglistener