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Bernstein Bear, by Susan Perreault-Demchesen

I was living deep in Mexico with my fiancé in 1999 when I saw my Bernie Bear and fell in love with him instantly.

Bernstein Bear was the cutest, smartest, most loving, and loyal dog. He was an apricot Miniature Poodle – and he was my perfect boy for almost 18 years.

Bernie was so smart; he learned all the tricks I taught him on the first day. He could sit, get up, lay down and jump upon command. After his ball got stuck on the roof and me breaking tiles as I went to get it, the next time we let him get his ball. We raised him up so he could reach the roof and he pulled himself up, looked for his ball and dropped it down before jumping into our waiting arms.

At night we would look for the cats so we could force them inside. After seeing us do it a few times, Bernie became the cat herder. Right before dark, he would look for each of the cats and then guide them into the house.

Not long after my dad died, I was driving and a song came on the radio that made me think of him and I cried. Bernie was strapped into his car seat, but I felt his little paw on my shoulder and then I felt him rest his little head on my shoulder. I still don’t know how he did it as he was strapped in and couldn’t leave the doggy seat.

Whenever I felt sad, no matter where Bernie was, as soon as a tear fell, he would show up next to me and stay until I felt better.

Bernie was a small dog, but he could jump high, jumping right into my arms when I returned home each day. He did so many cute things and was so full of love. He was addicted to playing catch and could find the ball wherever it was hidden, even rolled up in a sweater in a box in a bag underneath the bed or in the freezer. He always found it and he gave everyone a turn to throw it for him to fetch. If you didn’t pick up the ball right away, he would pick it up and throw it at you several times before he started barking the demand at you.

My sweet boy, I miss him so much! If I could have anything in the world it would be to have my fur babies here with me. As much as I think the purpose of my fur babies was to get me through my hard times, I think all those bad things happened to me to toughen me up so I could endure losing my sweet fur baby kids. They were my world.


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We understand that the holidays can be a difficult time for pet parents missing their fur babies. APLB will be extending our hours this year to help you – we’ll get through this together.

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