Once Upon a Time…There was a home on 4 acres in Eureka. Bob and Holly Berthold had lived there for almost 20 years with their two dogs, who were brothers from the same litter. When both dogs passed away, the Bertholds found the peace and quiet…well, just a little too quiet.
About six months later, Holly found Penny during an online search. Penny was staying with a foster mom through St. Louis Pet Rescue, and her face reminded Holly of their other two dogs. “When people lose a pet, they always say they’ll never get another one, that it’s too hard,” Holly says. “But you do—the dog just chooses you.”
Penny, an independent 1-year-old terrier, was happy in her new home, but soon the Bertholds found that she needed another dog to act as a companion and help her burn off her excess energy. That’s when Jack, a 2-year-old border collie, came into the picture. “We took Penny when we went to meet Jack for the first time,” says Bob. “You want to know beforehand that they’ll be compatible.” They now jokingly call Jack ‘Penny’s dog.’
When the couple adopted Jack, he was on calming medication because he was rambunctious while living with his foster family, who were working with 4 Paws 4 Rescue. However, when Jack got to their home and had the ability to run the grounds (some 2 acres of the property are fenced in), his anxiety problems all melted away.
In fact, Jack turned out to be extremely obedient. Though the couple didn’t take him to training, he was “right where Penny was—and we took her to beginner’s and intermediate courses,” Bob says. “It must have been his foster mom working with him.”
For the couple, who are devoted gardeners (Holly works in public relations at the Missouri Botanical Garden and just earned her Master Gardener’s certification; Bob is a structural engineer) that type of obedience comes in handy. “They know not to go in certain gardens,” Holly says. “We trained them with leashes and flags—they have a whole field of their own, but I don’t want them going in my maidenhair ferns!”
Sometimes, though, Jack’s intelligence astounds his owners. “He can open the front door on his own, and he can get in the potato-chip drawer, and the cat food drawer,” Holly says. “One day, we were out in the garden, and had left the dogs inside, and all of a sudden, here comes Jack! We were telling our neighbor about it, and he said, Wait, so you’re telling me the dog is capable of rational thought? It was a little creepy. He just watched us open the door enough times and he figured out how to do it.”
The Bertholds also enjoy keeping in touch with their dogs’ foster parents, regularly visiting at adoption days at the pet store or going for walks in area parks. “They’re as good as gold!” Holly says. “And they really care. They want to know they were placed in a home that is good to their foster dog.”
The Bertholds are looking forward to their first summer with the dogs, and keeping up their tradition of visiting the Lake of the Ozarks, where they spend countless hours down by the docks. “We can’t wait to watch them swim for the first time!” Holly says.
FOR YOUR OWN FAIRY TAIL ENDING…
St. Louis Pet Rescue
4 Paws 4 Rescue
Proudly sponsored by Carol House Furniture
With their belief that bigger things can come out of selling furniture, Carol House and the Dubmans proudly donate a portion of each sale to local charities. One of the organizations the company supports is its very own Carol House QUICK FIX Pet Clinic, which spays and neuters pets for low-income families. For more information, call 771-PETS or visit CarolHousePetClinic.org.