To refresh your memory about the two previous week's column; this is a story about a dog that had been abandoned, picked up and cared for by Animal Services. Several days go by. What does the future hold for this dog? He just waits.
I wake up to another day.
I feel so good.
I am not worried about anything today. This is a great day.
The other dogs seem to be having a great day, too. We feel special with all the smiling people around, taking care of us.
One of the smiling people came to the front of my cage and paused for a moment. She pulled out a paper from my cage, looked at it and put it in her pocket. She smiled at me and while opening my front door, asked how my morning was.
The smiling person had a leash in her hand, putting it over my head. I was being led out of my room and down a long hall to a large room.
Another smiling person met me and nodded at the other person. They said, "We will call him Berkley," whatever that means. Then I was taken outside and walked toward a van. I remembered the van that picked me up a while ago.
She put me into the van, which I knew was alright. After a brief ride, I again met the other smiling people with white coats. I am not afraid. I know I am safe.
Later that day, I found myself back at the shelter. I was in another room and surrounded by more smiling people. They were talking about me "being ready." They kept calling me "Berkley," too.
I think this is my name.
I was in a brand new area where I see a lot of new friends. I am not sure what happened to me while I was gone because I feel different than I did. I am still happy, but not sure what is going on. It is getting dark so I close my eyes to rest because I am tired.
I wake to the sun and barking friends.
New smiling people come toward my room. They were saying, "Berkley" this and "Berkley" that. I am now sure this is my name.
I don't know everything but I heard these new people talking about being "volunteers" and wanting to "play" with us. One of the volunteers took me out the back door into a large yard. I felt free and happier than I had ever been. I was playing with
toys and running around. This lasted only a short time before I was taken back to my room and given a special treat. The volunteer told me I had to share time with others. I do understand and I want my other friends to be as happy as I am.
The day comes and goes.
Smiling people are still caring for me and I really like the volunteer people who call me Berkley, play with me in the yard and walk with me around the lot. They tell me to "sit" and "shake." I found out that if I do these things, I get a treat. I like treats. Sitting and shaking is really easy, too.
Today is another day, not like the other days. Not only did I see the smiling people and the volunteers, there was a lot of new people walking around, stopping in front of my friends and in front of me. There was big people and little people all around. This is something new to me. What is going on? Who are these people?
Two big people and two little people kneel down in front of my room. They are calling me by my name, Berkley. They are smiling and happy. They seem to be excited. I am happy and excited, too. These people take me outside. I run, jump, sit and shake, just like the volunteers showed me.
Am I getting a new family?
Am I going to have a new home?
Am I getting picked?
I have so many questions. I am trying to keep calm.
A smiling person and the two big and two little people took me to a bright room in front where they wrote on some papers. I love these big and little people.
Next thing, I was walking outside with the big and little people, getting into their car. I love riding in a car. I later get to a house where I am taken inside. I love this house.
These people point to a bed, showing me where I will sleep. I love my bed.
I have new bowls where I will eat and drink, a large fenced yard where I will run and play. I love this yard. I especially love my new family. I am so happy, happier than I could have ever imagined. I have a new home, a new family, to love me and I love them in return.
I am Berkley.
I still dream about the smiling people and the volunteers who took care of me because if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be who and where I am today.
I am Berkley, the luckiest dog.
Kris Weiskopf, chief of Manatee County Animal Services, provides this weekly column to the Herald.