Thursday, October 12, 2006
house of sternberg
This is Bernie again, taken in one of his off moments. Bernie spends his days in school with me.
The year before last, the new super asked if I had ever thought about having a dog around the school; he felt that it might be therapeutic. Did I mention that I work as an educator in an alternative education program? Anyway, I nodded quickly.
I had actually tried bringing another stray the year before, a large chocolate lab who died a few months after I got him. Apparently Murphy had a birth defect.
When I got Bernie I had some reservations. I picked him up at an adoption event at a local pet store. Some foster parent was keeping him in a small cage twenty four hours a day. Furthermore, he was over a year old and had never been trained. At all. Bernie knew no commands and while friendly, was wild as could be.
I've trained many dogs before. My last three dogs were all trained from puppyhood.
My groomer looked at Bernie, who was wildly jerking around, and shook her head. "I think you can train him a little, but don't expect miracles."
The good news is that Bernie proved us all wrong. Yes, it was hard work, but Bernie is now a well behaved, good natured friend. He loves coming to school with me and enjoys the kids. When we get home, he and his bigger brother, Leo, spend the evening wrestling and making absurd growling noises.
Posted by Stewart Sternberg at 8:01 PM