I told a friend in Bible Study Fellowship that we were looking for an adult Bernese that needed a new home. She shows German Shorthair Pointers, so I didn't hold out a lot of hope for any referrals from her. However, she told us about a dog show where many Bernese were entered to compete; and we attended that show.
We brought Zaq with us so that she could see how we took care of him and observe his behavior. We met Drummer and probably spent four hours visiting with her and taking the boys for a test walk together. Everyone forgot that lunch should have happened at some point. We were that focused on the dogs. We decided that we'd like to try a week with Drummer at home and make sure that everything went well with Zaq and our routines. The breeder loaned us a kennel and a few other things and we piled in the car and went home.
The first night, we hauled that huge kennel up to the walk-in closet in our room - a place where Zaq will hide when there is a scary thunderstorm or fireworks. It's small enough to feel safe, but open to our bedroom. Drummer slept in his kennel and Zaq on the bed - a huge treat for him.
Just a side note here. It's not really part of the story, but Zaq is a bed hog. He kicks and pushes (only half aware) and sprawls on his back. Our bed bed barely held the three of us!
After a couple nights of that, we transitioned the boys back to the downstairs; and they did just fine. Drummer had a kennel if he needed to feel secure. Zaq had his bed and a "blanky" to cuddle up with.
One week later, we journeyed back up to the breeders home and told her that we wanted to keep Drummer. She had grieved letting him go, but that was simply her situation. She felt comfortable that he was going to a good home; and she made sure that we were all set up with information on his food and supplements routine.
So now he is home. Drummer is a cuddlebug - perhaps more than Buster ever was. He still hasn't got the concept of dog beds here at home, but we'll work on that. He came to us not knowing simple commands like sit, down or stay, but he is learning quickly.
And I am learning how much my heart can expand to love another. I think I will always miss Buster. He was more than just a special dog - he was really our furry child. And he had the heart of a lion - big and bold and unafraid to love. He gave everything and lived as much as he could. How can I not miss that?
But just as I miss Buster - even when my heart swells up and I feel on the edge of tears - I feel the weight of Drummer at my side. I think he understands, in a hazy canine sort of way. I think God knew when he created Drummer that this boy needed to be a comfort. If there was ever a family that needed a Bernese lapdop, we are it - and that is Drummer "to a T."
So this is Drummer. He is three.