In 2020, Ernest won the not-so-pleasant award for ‘Longest Stay.’ No, it’s not a testament to his patience to sit for a treat, but a tragic truth about senior dogs in rescue shelters.
When we transported Ernest in February 2020, he was 12 years old, 65 lbs and deaf. The adoption odds were already stacked against him, and with his medical issues, we knew Ernest would be hard to place. Over the next few months and into the summer, he kept our medical team very busy – but thanks to donors like you, we were able to provide all the care he needed.
Beyond the standard neutering, Ernest had a cancerous mass and many rotten teeth. He needed biopsies, ultrasounds, bloodwork, and more surgery.
He also needed medication for arthritis in his elbows, to normalize his liver and for his dry eyes; antibiotics for skin and ear infections; and special food for his sensitive senior tummy. We even provided allergy medication to stop his constant scratching and make him more comfortable.
Though he was a very friendly and playful dog, Ernest did show signs of separation anxiety, perhaps from being abandoned. Our behavior team jumped in to work with Ernest and his fosters to help him relax and adjust. It seemed to work and one of his fosters noted that sleeping was his favorite “activity.”
By late summer, Ernest’s medical needs were finally under control and he was cleared for adoption. Our fingers were crossed that hundreds of people would queue up to adopt him! But they didn’t. He had many inquiries but none that could accommodate his ongoing medical and behavioral needs. But we never gave up on Ernest, and because of your donations, we had the resources to care for him for as long as it takes before he finds a new family.
Would anyone be the right match for Ernest!? We had to be patient and wait… and wait… and wait. Finally in December, after months of searching, a family with senior dog experience took Ernest on a trial adoption. We waited once again… then, with just hours until New Year’s Eve, his trial adoption ended and his new family made it official! He had been with Berkeley Humane recuperating, mending, and learning to trust again for over 300 days. Happy New Year, Ernest!
Please donate to our Hope Medical Fund so we can save more animals like Ernest.
From our Spring 2021 Newsletter.