Berti my anxious hero!
Berti’s life was and sometimes still is like a ride on a raging current. You do all to control the situation but most of the time you are rather helpless. We got Berti with 10 months from a lokal breeder and thought that this would ensure a well socialized and well trained young dog. We were wrong. I am not able to tell Berti’s whole story here, that would fill a book, but let me list some of his fears:
- Shadows – Sounds crazy but more than once he barked at his or mine shadow while we were walking in the evening sun.
- Unsure footing – Long time he wasn’t able to walk over dry grass and jumping over a branch was almost impossible.
- Water – Rain was for a long time his enemy. One time I gave Berti my jacket to save him from sudden rain. It was fall, so it was rather uncomfortable but I just had to help my poor dog.
- Rolled newspapers and flyswatters – Have you ever seen your dog walking backwards in fear? I don’t know what happend to him before we got him, but until now I smack no fly if Berti is around.
- Horses – I think they are aliens for him…
- Dogs – We discovered this fear at the first visit in a little dog school. This was a devastating day for my wife. Berti totally freaked out. Barked and yelped like mad. Tried to escape and attack at the same time. This was the first fear that we realized and more that three years of intense and expensive training made it a lot better.
He is still far away from a normal life but after a lot of work he has a happy life now.
One little story I have to tell you, so that you why I call him my hero…
It was on a cold and snowy winter day that Berti and me walked through one of our favorite places. We were on a path through a little forest. And we loved this way because hardly ever a other dog or human walked this way. Daydreaming I listend to the noise of my cheap boots on the snow and inhaled the cold and icy air. I didn’t realize that Berti’s movement froze until I almost bumped into him. There was a dog, dark, black, huge and unleashed. Berti gave me no chance to hold him close to me. Like an avalanche he started towards the other hound. In my panicked state I did the possible stupidest thing in my life. I stepped on the leash willing to stop my dog but I almost killed myself.
The next thing that I knew was that I opened the door to our 4 miles distant flat. I can’t remember how I got back on my feet again. I don’t know how I reached my car nor how I drove it. But one thing I can tell you for sure. Berti was with me all the time. He didn’t chase the other dog through the forest. He didn’t get lost. Together we found our way back home. This makes him my personal hero.