Berneen, Okeriete, oph

Being the Mama

There’s something about mama dogs.

It’s as if they know something other dogs don’t.

I remember a similar feeling after giving birth to my own first born. The world seemed maybe not so simple, while at the same time it was much clearer to me what matters.

Berneen (or Bernie as we’ve taken to calling her as she is also a bit of a rumpled underdog) has clearly been a mama. Her body would testify to that, but so would her heart.

I picked her up from boarding on Sunday in the rain. She ducked her head as I herded her to my car, but I know now it wasn’t because of the rain. That’s been her way. She’s an incredibly humble dog, always wanting to get out of your way, not claim too much space. She still crumbles to the floor when I reach for her collar to snap the leash on and whimpers in gratitude once it’s clear we’re going for a walk.

She spent the first two days here sleeping. She lay on the Frank bed (covered with a blanket because I worried when she hadn’t peed for hours – although she has yet to have any accidents). She lay with her legs tucked under her so that she resembled a seal. She seemed exhausted, not even raising her head when we moved about the kitchen. I wondered if she was mourning something or someone or if the last months of being a stray and a shelter dog were very hard and finally she was in a safe place where she could sleep.

She’s clearly been someone’s dog before. She’s housebroken and well-mannered. She reminded me of Carla when she first arrived – another heartbroken dog.

Oak was just dying to meet her and when I finally allowed it, he crawled all over her, like the puppy he is. Continue reading “Being the Mama”