Happy news about animals
Bob the Bernese mountain dog doesn’t know how lucky he is.
Abandoned shortly after birth, Bob is on his way from Mankato to a new home in Vancouver, British Columbia — via a ride to northern Wyoming with a Good Samaritan.
Waiting for him will be two little girls and their parents just aching to make the puppy a part of their family.
“Obviously, a local dog would have been easier. But once we saw his picture and learned about his story we realized it doesn’t matter where he is, he has to come here,” said Terry MacEwan of Vancouver.
Indeed, the series of unlikely events that took place the past weeks makes Bob’s journey seem preordained. They include a chance sighting on the Internet, a Wyoming license plate on a car parked in a Mankato driveway and enough good-hearted people to make a Hallmark card-writer weep.
It started a month ago when 10 puppies — actually two litters of five — were found nursing from one mother in rural Faribault County. The dogs were saved from euthanizing by a farmer who got them to the Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society.
Humane Society volunteers Catherine and Don Nelson helped get the puppies and the mother in foster care until they could be adopted out.
Bob’s exact lineage isn’t known. Although his mother is bernese, he appears to be part golden retriever or yellow lab. Pure Bernese are usually brown, white and black colored.
A week ago Sunday night, Catherine posted Bob’s photo and information on the national PetFinder.com Web site. Just minutes later, MacEwan logged on to another pet Web site looking for a new puppy for his family — wife, Denise, and their 10- and 14-year-old daughters Alexa and Sydney.
They had a cocker spaniel for 15 years who died last summer.
“We waited a while and then decided we had a void in our life and we wanted to look for another member of the family,” said MacEwan, who owns a temporary fencing business.
As he clicked on links from one Web site to another he ended up at PetFinder and typed in “Bernese mountain dog.” An active family, the MacEwans had decided they wanted a large dog like a Bernese, which grow to about 80 pounds.
On the Web site, a photo of Bob popped up. Once the family saw him, MacEwan said he knew the search was over.
The MacEwans were planning to fly to Minnesota to bring Bob back, but the fast-growing 8-week old puppy was now too big to be allowed to be carried onto a plane and the Humane Society won’t allow them to be flown in cargo holds.
So Terry MacEwan began making plans for a 26-hour drive to Mankato.
But one nice evening last week, Catherine and Don Nelson were walking through their neighborhood near the MSU campus when Catherine spotted a car with a Wyoming license plate.
She knocked on the Ellis Avenue door of Bob and Dorothy Isdahl and found the car belonged to their visiting daughter, Connie King.
King, who would soon be heading home — near Cody, Wyo. — said she’d be glad to relay Bob part of the way to the MacEwan family.
“I’m a pet rescuer, animal lover myself,” King said. “I’m driving 16 hours west, so they only have to come 10 hours to meet me.”
Tuesday morning, the Nelsons dropped Bob off with King, who then headed out for Wyoming. Bob will have company on the trip — King’s Australian shepherd and Australian Kelpie, both stock dogs who help on King’s and her husband’s horse ranch.
The MacEwan family decided to make a family trip of it. The girls took a couple days off school and they plan to arrive at King’s ranch early Saturday morning to pick up Bob.
Catherine Nelson said the chance encounters and resulting happy ending are what make work with the Humane Society so fulfilling.
“Bob’s so irresistible. And there’s two little girls that are going to love him.”