In Memory of Berin
by Rick Bajackson
Berin in better days
May 22, 2019
When I first saw Berin, his name wasn't Berin. He was a great looking German shepherd. Our original plans were to foster him for All Shepherds Rescue in Maryland, but Berin soon changed them.
We had just lost another GSD and weren't quite ready to have another dog be a permanent resident in the house. But it soon became obvious that Berin had other plans. He looked around at the front and back yards and you could see the wheels turning in his mind. Any doubts that he had about staying here were gone when he saw the deer running across the front yard.
Once Berin made his decision known to us, we decided to adopt him. Or most likely Berin made the adoption decision for us. So we set out to strengthen the fences in our front and back yards so that he would be kept apart from Te, the horse.
The other factors that Berin didn't know, but we did, were that Berin had various "quirks." These included: wanting to stay home each day, not wanting to go for a walk at the local hiking-biking trail, not wanting to go for a ride (he'd serenade us if we even tried to put him in the Jeep), and a set time for his meals.
But one thing was for sure: Berin enjoyed all the foster dogs and pups that we had for him to play with. It was great seeing this big German shepherd play with the pups as much as he did with the adult dogs that were here for a short time. Berin was not in any way dominant. He just loved to play.
When he wasn't playing, Berin inspected the path that I dug for him in the snow so that he could do "his business" without freezing anything off. And of course you could always find Berin sharing "his couch" with Jennifer.
One of the things that drove us back to the vet's was Berin's teeth. He wouldn't let us brush them and he soon had problems. Twice up for routine dental care, and we weren't surprised when he needed a third visit.
However this time it wasn't routine dental care. This time the diagnosis was squamous cell carcinoma on Berin's tonsils. That was in late December. We took him home and prayed that our vet had gotten all the cancer when he removed the tumor. But the vet hadn't gotten all of it, and within three months, Berin was showing signs that the cancer had returned with a vengeance.
We helped Berin put up the best fight that he could. But in the end, we had no choice but to have Berin, the shepherd with quirks, put down.
We loved Berin immensely, even with his quirks. And Berin will be greatly missed. I know. I've got a hole in my heart that wasn't there before today.