Most stray dogs are found wandering the streets in search of shelter and food, but Berkley was different.
Berkley was left behind when his owner was evicted from their apartment building. Confused, the big brown dog curled up outside in the scorching July heat to wait for his person to return. He never came back, but Berkley wouldn’t move from that front door.
“I know he would have waited an eternity,” Barbara Trevouledes, a volunteer at the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter, says, “he’s that loyal.”
Berkley was brought into the shelter six months ago, alone and confused. He was used to being in a home, so he didn’t understand that he was allowed to use the bathroom in his kennel.
Even now, he holds it until someone comes to take him for a walk. He doesn’t want to disappoint anyone by going to the bathroom inside. It breaks Barbara’s heart.
Berkley, in addition to being the most house-trained dog in a shelter of 100-plus dogs, is also one of the quietest. He sits in his cage and waits patiently all day until it’s his turn to go for a little walk.
His small nub of a tail wags slowly when he hears Barbara’s voice.
The volunteer will always remember the day Berkley gave her a kiss for the first time. She was saying goodbye and tucking him back inside his kennel when he lifted his head and licked her face. He’s done the same thing every single day since then.
When Berkley loves someone—like he did his first owner— he’s bonded to them for life. He takes care of Barbara on walks; whenever she stops on the trail, he stops and looks to make sure she’s okay.
“Berkley would chase all your bad dreams away,” she says. When she worries about him, he’s the one to comfort her.
Berkley’s defining characteristic is his patience, but sadly, it’s also the reason he’s probably been overlooked. “He doesn’t draw attention to himself,” Barbara explains. He’s just grateful whenever someone stops by to say hello.
He lives to chase a ball and drop it at someone’s feet.
Over the holidays, Barbara thought about Berkley. She hoped he would have been adopted before the snow fell, and it was hard for her when he wasn’t. Still, she hasn’t given up hope that his family’s out there. She’s taking it day by day, staying in the moment and waiting quietly for someone to come. That’s something Berkley taught her.
“If Berkley is adopted, he would watch over that person until his last breath,” Barbara says, her voice breaking with emotion, “He’d be more than a best friend. He would be your right hand.”
If you are interested in adopting Berkley, please reach out via his Facebook page or contact the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter at (516) 785-5220 or via email at email@example.com. Follow the shelter itself on Facebook.