It’s hard to imagine the life Bernard the dog endured before he was rescued. He came from a hoarding situation where he lived his entire life in a dirty pen. He rarely had human contact, unless it was when he was thrown a bite of food.
Instead, he lived in a kind of hell, before he was rescued by Dogs Deserve Better. But life must not have seemed immediately better when he was saved.
The rescuers point out that if you are a dog, you don’t know what to make of the situation:
“You are snared and placed into a crate ending up at a strange place where they poke you with needles, stick a probe up your butt, take your blood, remove your testicles and give you funny pills that upset your stomach.
“You are then picked up by a transport van and driven to your new unfamiliar temporary home where excited humans who seem like aliens greet you with love and compassion.”
“Life seems to be getting better but you have no clue what love and compassion feels like so you are terrified and withdrawn.”
That’s how Bernard felt when he arrived at the Dogs Deserve Better Good Newz Rehab Center in Smithfield, VA.
In this short video, Bernard is being acclimatized to being petted. His rescuer’s only goal for the day was to let him know that human touch was safe.
Just prior to filming, his rescuer met Bernard in his kennel, removing the top so she could pet him, but he immediately jumped out and hid behind another crate. She slowly inched over and touched him with her hand and eventually, he made his way back into the bottom of the crate.
This is where the video picks up and where you can see Bernard have a breakthrough – human touch isn’t that bad, in fact it’s really quite nice. When he moved towards her hand at the end, his rescuer says she was both honored and humbled.
Watch the touching moment unfold in the video below.