A Place to Bark and Meow Blog by Bernie Berlin

Thursday, September 25, 2008
OOoohh... Momma, Mommas!!!
"A home is a kingdom of its own in the midst of the world,
a stronghold amid life's strains & struggles."
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It wasn't until I started doing rescue, that I began to look at life so very differently..
Began to truly cherish, the moments of my life, the quiet times, the very simple moments, the people and things I love that I took for granted.  
Realizing that life is what we make it...

Many of you who read, know only what is on these pages..
And while I try to keep this upbeat the best I can, there is a part of me, that feels I should share just one day of my emotions with you.
Those of us who do rescue, are in the trenches so to speak, trying to save life..
It changes you forever.  It is so very easy for it to overwhelm you.. 
Your soul screams why??!!!  Your heart breaks a million times over..
Many nites my mind replays, over & over, the faces I left behind and could not take with me..
The eyes, as you see with so many of the pictures on my blog, the eyes say it all.
Doing this type of work day after day is emotionally hard, it is easy to become jaded, bitter, angry and just wanting to shut down.  
I struggle everyday with being positive, knowing that I have to keep my mind strong with positive thoughts & words.

As always, I want to take this moment to Thank YOU for being here:)
Your comments give me strength and courage to keep going on..
The power of  kind thoughts and  words, are immense, to the point of being everyday miracles.

These past months have been loaded, with moms and pups at the pound.  
It kills me to see them there and so it has been very, very, busy here!!!!
The before and after pictures are as always, so amazing...

This is "Britta" and her pups.  
There are 7 of them, many were under the cot when this picture was taken.

She is a small Lab, approximately 1 year old.  Super shy of people.  
Afraid of fast movement and especially men.
Note the change in body language and of course the eyes in the next picture.  
She is a love, when she gets to know you.  
I'm sure time will change her fear of people.  Her pups love everyone!!!

This is "Willa" she was terrified when we first picked her up.  
Skin and bones, cuts & wounds all over her body, part of her ear is missing.  

Approximately 11 months to 1 year, she LOVES people.  
Can't get enough of hanging around with us!!
Not sure what she is but we'll say lab/something tall, possible greyhound or whippet mix.
She has 8 pups, who knows what they are, but they are darling!!! 
Slowly gaining weight now that her pups are weaned.

Next we have "Gidget" she is ???? Boston Terrier or some type of terrier mix.  
Very undershot jaw.  
Approximately 1-2 years of age, weighing about 35 pounds.

Another one that loves people and food!!!  Super Happy & Silly girl!!!
She had 10 puppies if you can believe that..
Poor darling...

I couldn't stand it anymore, seeing all these momma dogs...
So we sponsored the "Spay Station" to come to the community I live in, Portland Tennessee. 
We truly didn't have the money to do this, but how could we not..  
I just don't want to see anymore adoptable animals at the pound being put to sleep needlessly, especially pups:(
We scraped it together and over 30 animals were fixed that day, with a waiting list for the next time we can afford to do this again.    
The cost was $425.00 to co-sponsor, the end result, is priceless..  
Think about it, if the 3 moms I have can create 25 new lives, how many lives were saved by fixing over 30 animals!!!  WoW!!!

We will be working on non stop fundraising next year, so we can do more and continue helping the animals.  The shelter is up, our septic is in, but we still have to buy the heating and cooling unit, kennels, cages and many other things to be fully functional.  
Times are financially tight for everyone and it does scare me, but I will keep thinking positive thoughts and know that one way or another God, the Universe or whatever you believe in will provide.  We have no choice the animals need us...
So we will continue on and keep going!!!

I know this post was a bit of a downer, but please focus on all the lives saved.  
Look at their faces and know they are safe & loved here and will be on their way to new homes in the near future. 
I promise the next post will be really cute and fun!!!



Bernie, no post is a downer that shows so many lives saved!!!

Those before/after pics of the mommas tell the story........ Your intervention meant EVERYTHING.

Bernie, I didn't see this post as a downer in any way! Just in the 30 animals fixed that day, if each averaged only 5 pups, that's 150 puppies saved! And that's from each only having ONE litter! And then those 150 pups can't reproduce either! Thirty doesn't sound like many when you see so many left, but it's HUGE! Great work!
It can not always be about the cute and funny. You have to share the down in order for people to take this problem seriously. Sure, some won't read it, but lots of others will and will be there to help. You are doing the work of love. Imagine if the rest of the people in the world could spend one day with you. They would put aside some time and pennies to help.

Peace and love to you!
Dear Bernie, After reading this post I knew I needed to rethink some things. Those new boots and maybe a few new sweaters to make me feel better,I really don't need. The check will be in the mail soon.That will make me feel better.
Love to Jeff and You.
Nancy A.
none of your posts are ever downers to me. i see your heart and that always lifts me up. if i can donate any artwork or jewelry or even a copy of my jewelry book for your fundraising efforts, just let me know where to send it. love to you, bernie!
This post wan not a downer, it was an eye opener! I have Annie, who was so much like Britta. It has been six years and she is still skittish to noises, but who knows what she went through before we found her. I was fortunate to get her and her male friend just under a year old we believe and have them fixed the first week we brought them home so no puppies were born. Puppies are wonderful, but right now we have more than we know what to do with in this world. I love your post, keep them coming! I believe spay and neuter and education is the only way to stop this horrible epidemic of homeless animals. Hugs to you and all those who are blessed to be with you!
Thank you for always sharing.... I believe that sharing a sad moment/thought/experience - helps to relieve the pain from a persons heart/soul. Each person you tell - takes a grain of pain - and moves along...the grain changing their life or the way they think.

You are a godsend - a million thank yous!
oh thats brilliant- the spay station!! LOL

only $475?? seems like a bargain to me! Getting one dog fixed in SF is about $300+ Gonna have to put up an auction and try to sponsor the next visit!

PS. We got begged to foster another chi who was on death row the day we got back. Rob agreed as long as he is TEMPORARY. His name is Archie and he will be a great little dog for someone!

Bernie you are such a miracle worker - I love to see the before and after photos - after, you see the joy and love in their eyes - so much love as they look at you.

I love your quote of the day today. (Actually I always do!)

Hi Bernie,
I loved the post. The spay station was great!!!
Please contact me at
Weim Rescue
the spay station is fab! it should be a routine sight in areas where low income residents live...

i hope you will find time to see some sort of therapist regarding the strong emotional "trauma" you feel at times. it's not a weakness to seek help to assist you in working with these feelings. it is important to feel great empathy, and be moved to tears at times... but when it happens constantly, and feelings of frustration and helplessness happen constantly (not being able to save many...all the time) i think it's an unusual circumstance, and you may find a mental health professional could support you.
okay, i'll mind my own business now. i said the above out of concern for your mental and emotional health... and perhaps the health of those around you.

how do we get more of these free spay/neuter vans?
Hey Bernie! You continue to inspire me and the folks here at the office. Never feel like you shouldn't share your heart with us! It is your gift. In fact, I welcome you to share it more, would be good therapy and probably does you good :) You motivate me to get up off my but and do more! Hope to see you very soon on my next visit to TN.
Keep up the great work. The animals truly appreciate it. I can see it in their faces on your pictures.
been trying to get ahold of you and your mail box if full...call me when you can. thinking of you and sending warm thoughts love to you and the animals.
Bernie, you are an angel in disguise for all of us and the animals are so thankful for you! Take care of yourself too and GREAT JOB!
How are the puppies and mamma's doing??
I just found your blog today and find it inspirational. You are doing an amazing job. I thank you for it! All my best.
This wasn't a downer-only a reality check...how can you not get emotional? I've been watching "Dogtown" this yr-love to see the animals they save-and the difference they make-and i think of you doing the same thing-one person~always amazed at what you are able to do-I know it has to be hard to think of the animals you can't save, but think of how many you have.
My friend- Gnat from BarknKnit sent me over here. Those are super cute puppies! They & their momma's are so lucky you found them!
Winter is coming fast. No I Don't really need a new brown leather purse the black can just go with both. That sends more coming for the pups.
There is nothing I really need for Christmas either.The thought of the new shelter being up and running will be the best gift.
You work so hard for the kitties and pups. Sending the best thoughts your way. I believe.
Nancy A.
You do amazing work, and I cannot imagine the strength it takes to do what you do. That said, I do not see this post as a downer, it is a dose of reality, but also of great hope through your work and the work of all rescuers.
Oh just reading this post makes me want to cry...in a good way! I wish I had more time to work in shelters and such. Both of my pups are rescue dogs and I love them so much! Your work is amazing!

What you are doing is incredible!! You are an amazing gift to these animals. Their before and after pictures say it all. You have transformed their lives and brought them peace and love. You are an incredible woman. It must be incredibly hard to leave some behind at the shelters. I wish I could save them all too. I know it is hard and overwhelming, but you are doing so much for so many animals. My heart goes out to you and the animals. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Keep up the wonderful work. Blessings to you and the animals!

Bernie God bless you every day forever for what you do. I know I couldn't do it. I couldn't dig into the trenches like you do. I wouldn't survive. I couldn't handle it. Blogging about animal rescue and welfare is hard enough for me sometimes.

And I don't think anyone should expect you to be all sunshine and rainbows all the time. What you see everyday is enough to be a downer for anyone. It's okay for you to get down once in awhile.

I hope you know how truly wonderful, compassionate and gifted you are as a human being. You are the last hope for many of the animals that you save and there is a special place in Heaven for you.

Bernie you are so uplifting your posts amazing and your life is unimaginable (if that's a word!!)
The eyes truly are the windows to the soul and boy! those dogs' souls are soaring with happiness after meeting you.....
Your strength and courage knows no bounds.

I'm crying--not because your post is a downer but because you touch my heart with your bravery, passion and kindness. Thank you for helping the animals. I sent a little something via paypal--will send more as I can.

No way....Gidget looks like she could be my
Johnnie B's sister!
My boy was a stray and we figure he is a boston jack russell mix. He is about 25 pounds. He is a character.
You will manage!!!I know you will!!!;-)
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