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Great Dane Meets Elderly Woman On A Hike, Decides She’s His Grandma Now
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Great Dane Meets Elderly Woman On A Hike, Decides She’s His Grandma Now

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What’s so great about the great outdoors? Well, you can see a lot of adorable wildlife dwellers, have a cup of hot cocoa while looking at a scenic view, improve your health, and even make new friends. Alyssa Berkovitz and her Great Dane, Kernel, are avid hikers who love nothing more than a few hours of exploring the forest in the company of their beloved Grandma Wanda, who they met on a hiking trail. Take a look at their exciting adventures, and maybe it will inspire you to dust off your hiking shoes.

More info: Instagram

Hiking is a wonderful activity – you never know who you’ll meet on the nature trails

Image credits: kernelthegreatdane

Before getting Kernel, Alyssa wasn’t a big fan of the outdoors and would spend long hours sitting at a desk. A lot of us do – we’re sitting like shrimps and then complain about back problems. So, to avoid health issues and be able to receive top-tier snuggles every day, the young woman decided to get a dog. However, Kernel wasn’t just any dog; he was an embodiment of her manifestation. “Kernel was also a figment of my imagination at the time — I had him all picked out, named, and ready in my head for at least five years before I got him!” she shared.

The pair bonded instantly and started exploring hiking trails together whenever Alyssa had free time and needed a break from the screens. Kernel was also attending daycare and it wasn’t exactly what Alyssa had imagined for her four-legged pal. That’s what inspired her to try and establish a dog-walking program where canine friends would be able to get plenty of physical and mental stimulation.

In 2017, Alyssa opened an off-leash dog-walking program called Wagnificent Co. and since then, they’ve taken numerous pups hiking around the Boston area. The beginning wasn’t easy, as some of the dogs needed special preparation to be able to enjoy the outdoors safely: “I knew this meant I would need a niche group of dogs, but I committed to the idea in 2017 and it’s been fulfilling for us since.”

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Image credits: kernelthegreatdane

Alyssa and her Great Dane, Kernel, were hiking when they met a lovely elderly couple who couldn’t stop admiring Kernel

Image credits: kernelthegreatdane

Sadly, the husband Cal passed away, leaving Wanda alone

Image credits: kernelthegreatdane

Wanda went out looking for Kernel, whom she had a soft spot for – that’s when Alyssa decided to add her to their pack

Image credits: kernelthegreatdane

Hopefully, Alyssa pays Kernel a good salary in the form of treats and scratches, because he does his part to ensure all dogs are happy: “Kernel rarely misses a hike! He’s a hype man for the other dogs and acts like every hike is the first of his life. He’s incredible at helping me keep the other dogs in check if they’re not on their best behavior.”

It’s no wonder that such a good boy caught the attention of other people, like the adorable elderly couple, Cal and Wanda, who loved hiking in the same area. Alyssa recalled their first meeting, “I saw this old couple walking through the woods together and smiling at my Great Dane.”

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Kernel charmed them with his affection, and Alyssa shared that “Kernel does have a thing for old ladies.” All dogs know that grandmas give the best cuddles and the best, often unlimited, snacks.

Image credits: kernelthegreatdane

Befriending Kernel and Alyssa helped Wanda, who is simply known as “Grandma” on social media, to deal with the loss of her husband

Image credits: kernelthegreatdane

Sadly, the husband Cal passed away soon after befriending Kernel. Brave Wanda ventured out on hikes to reminisce about all the beautiful walks she had taken with her beloved husband and hoping she would see her pal Kernel. Much to her delight, she met the pack and confessed that she was looking for them.

“When we saw the lady in the woods again, she said, ‘Oh, I came out here to look for you!’ So I said, ‘Okay, let’s exchange information,’” Alyssa felt like Wanda, who is now known as Grandma on their social media, was a missing member of the pack.

Now, Grandma hikes with them at least once a week, giving well deserved pats to all the doggies in the daycare, but of course, Kernel remains her favorite. Who could blame her – just look at his adorable face!

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Image credits: kernelthegreatdane

Every week, Grandma attends hikes organized by Alyssa’s dog-walking company. She gives pats and cuddles to all the members of the pack, but Kernel remains her favorite

Image credits: kernelthegreatdane

Going on hikes with Alyssa and her best boy, Kernel, has helped Grandma through the toughest of times. Losing a loved one, especially later in life, can be isolating. Grieving people often ask themselves “What’s the point?” now that their loved ones are no longer here. But, if the afterlife exists, the departed spirits would much rather see their family members enjoy life to the fullest, instead of missing out on another beautiful day.

People in the comments believed that Cal was the one who set Wanda up with Alyssa and Kernel. As it was his time to go, he wanted her to have someone to hike with and share adventures, so she wouldn’t feel lonely. And if angels do exist, they most likely look like Kernel the Great Dane.

Grandma is lucky to have a 100-pound friend who is always there with a gentle nudge whenever she needs extra love. Unfortunately, not everyone gets Kernie cuddles, and if you know anyone dealing with grief, there are ways to help them. Be a good listener, let them share their pain or happy memories – just be there. Grief is a difficult emotion that we naturally want to avoid dealing with, but often, having someone simply holding your hand, saying “I’m here for you” can be a lifeline.

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Dogs are woofderful creatures that can help humans through the toughest of times, one tail wag at a time

Image credits: kernelthegreatdane

Whenever you feel like the world is a dark place, just remember that we have dogs on this planet. They are loyal companions, ready to do anything for the people they love, making us laugh every day. Sure, they sometimes get naughty but it’s hard to stay mad when they look at you with their puppy eyes.

As these adventures of Kernel and his beloved Grandma continues, Alyssa encourages all pet parents to go and explore their local areas. Perhaps your doggie too will find a friend like Grandma?

Does your dog enjoy the great outdoors?

Commenters loved the special bond between Kernel and his new grandma

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Margo Butautaite

Margo Butautaite

Author, BoredPanda staff

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Sometimes the world can be a dark place but you just how to know where to look for some good news. Hint: take a garner at my profile. I write about happy things like dogs, good teachers and inspiring elderly people.

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Margo Butautaite

Margo Butautaite

Author, BoredPanda staff

Sometimes the world can be a dark place but you just how to know where to look for some good news. Hint: take a garner at my profile. I write about happy things like dogs, good teachers and inspiring elderly people.

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oceanblue513 avatar
Znaya
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dogs understand so much about people and their needs 💕 that's what I love about them and it's always unconditional

cr1stalfairie avatar
tee-lena
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have a pitty boy that I look for when I do go out(disabled) his dad lives at the veterans apartment building that alpha project runs in my neighborhood. He loves getting scritches and hugs from me and it helps me so much!

Load More Replies...
oceanblue513 avatar
Znaya
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dogs understand so much about people and their needs 💕 that's what I love about them and it's always unconditional

cr1stalfairie avatar
tee-lena
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have a pitty boy that I look for when I do go out(disabled) his dad lives at the veterans apartment building that alpha project runs in my neighborhood. He loves getting scritches and hugs from me and it helps me so much!

Load More Replies...
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