Welcome to the Berner Inc. blog! Here you can learn how to purchase a healthy BMD puppy, find our latest updates concerning rescue and read more on what BERNER Inc. is all about.

December 20, 2010

Olivia needs a very special person

This little girl is 6 weeks old and, no, she's not in rescue! She's still with her mom, her litter mates and her caring breeder. BERNER, Inc. is simply helping to spread the word so that little Olivia, who was born deaf, can find that special person who will help her lead a normal Berner life.

She's a happy little thing and is smart as a whip! For the person who wants a great working partner, Olivia will certainly teach you a lot! Do you have enough imagination to find ways to communicate with a clever dog who can't hear? She can see, she can smell and she can THINK! Like every Berner, she wants mental challenges - she wants to work. If you can think outside the box, she'll be a blast to work with and won't let anything stop her!

If you're just feeling sorry for this puppy, this is not the pup for you. Olivia wants someone to help her reach the peaks in life. She knows she's headed there and wants a partner who will work as hard as she will - who has the same energy and drive to learn, to work and to experience the best of life!

If you think you're special enough to share your life with Olivia - to teach her and learn from her, shoot me an email at: rescue@bmdcnv.org.

December 6, 2010

Update on 7-year old sisters Lucy & Missy

This wonderful update comes from Pete VanderLaan in NH who adopted two mature girls earlier this year. (I want a video of "dog-tipping"!!)

"These girls are just wonderful! They are such a great addition to our lives. They love the farm and snuffling the pond and the creek. They have a morning ritual of conning me out of mouthfuls of fish food which I throw for the trout in the pond.

The eye surgery was really successful. They both have mostly clear eyes all the time. Missy has occasional watering in her left eye but all in all it has been a blessing for both of them. Lucy's are both fine. While each dog has some conformation issues, they are doing awfully well, particularly at their ages. They took a mile long walk through the woods this morning with us when we went out to see if the wind had brought down any big trees, which it had but not terribly. Firewood falls here faster than I can burn it.

They love car rides. It must have been a major part of their former lives. If we are dumb enough to leave a truck door open in the driveway, it is quickly occupied by two Berners in the back and they will not get out with out a shoehorn. They don't care for the glassworks that much, preferring to stay in the yard while I work although they do come in sometimes. I think it's too noisy. They are great with the chickens and totally accept them and they simply give the horses a slow wide berth. One of the horses has gotten in to "dog tipping." Wingman, a quarter horse Freisian cross born in to my arms and now 1200lbs will sneak up silently on a sleeping Berner in the field and quietly flip them over which wakes them up efficiently. He doesn't hurt them, he just rolls them.

They have their rituals. Biscuits in morning after being let out, then marrow bones and then breakfast. Then it's nap time and then bark at anything time which is an unfortunate thing they learned from our Crazed English farm collie- the equivalent of a Border Collie on Steroids. The barking is hard but it is what it is. These dogs never had an ounce of discipline and when they don't want to do something, they just faint. It's like Dog jello on the ground. Utterly unmovable. Time to call the horse and then they move.

This program has been wonderful. While it is sad how they wound up being available, we have been thrilled to have them here as part of our lives. They are part of the pulse of the farm. I wish they were younger so they could be here longer."

November 2, 2010

How cute is this face?

Contemplative girl. What could she be thinking? Wondering if life could be any sweeter? She's got a new family - complete with adoring children. "Mom" just brought home a new companion for her - a rescue golden called Lilly who's become Panda's best buddy. Mom says: "Panda is really finding her personality. She loves to get attention and is just now really learning how to play with toys and other dogs. It just makes you wonder what has gone on in her world for all these years. I really don't think she had much of a social existence but she's learning how to live in a pack...and doing it really well!"

Happy Panda!

Panda (formerly known as Hazel) is enjoying life with her new family...even though her mobility has been restricted as a result of two(!) ACL surgeries. She's finally getting ready to start her long-awaited training classes - she has no idea how much fun she's going to have! She says "Enough of this bed rest stuff! This girl has things to do and places to go!"

October 29, 2010

Warning! Cuteness Alert!!

Now, remember, THIS is a puppy who was late to learn bite inhibition so she bit EVERYTHING... And she had attachment issues, so she didn't like to be touched... Berner puppies are cute for a reason — so they survive to adulthood!  Even well-bred, well-raised Berner puppies are often just so darn cute you want to hug them to pieces and ALL they want to do is BITE you... into bite-sized pieces!  And THIS puppy had an extra dose of that due to a rough start... So this is part warning — a rescue puppy IS cute, but is NOT easy — and an encouragement — a rescue puppy CAN be put back on the road to good dog-dom.


What?!  I'm just thinking how that toy basket would taste... I haven't started actually chewing it YET!

With my buddy Teddy — TUG with a stick! The best game...

Whatcha doin'?  Can I play, too?

October 28, 2010

We Love Lucy!

So, we were just considering getting a puppy…then Anya called us just before 4th of July weekend and said there was a puppy that needed an immediate foster home.  OK!  At 3 months old, Lucy had already been through the mill, so to speak.  She was bred by puppy brokers in Kansas, shipped to a “holding facility”, and then put up for sale in a pet store.  She was purchased by a young couple who had no experience raising a puppy.  Lucy had giardia, coccidia, worms and yeast in her ears.  Lucy was intensely jumpy, mouthy and a serious biter.  Although the couple tried to love her, Lucy was not connecting emotionally.  With regret and relief they enlisted Berner, Inc. to find her a new home.
Lucy was a typical puppy mill “product.”  Separated from her mother and litter too soon, she had not learned the bite inhibition her canine family would teach her.   The weeks she spent in quarantine and in a cage at pet the store deprived her of the human contact and socialization all puppies need to develop normally as companions.  Lucy’s first month with us was tough.  House-training was a challenge—she had frequent diarrhea.  The biggest challenge was teaching Lucy bite inhibition.  Her need to lead with her mouth was much more intense than in a normal puppy.  Lucy knew no boundaries.  She grabbed at hands, feet, and faces.  She tore at clothing and flew at anything that moved.  She chewed everything she could get her mouth on, even stainless steel appliances!  
But Lucy is a bright girl.  She quickly learned “watch me” and “uh-uh” cues, and then more cues to control her mouthing and jumping.  We did lots of “soft mouth” training with toys, treats and puppy chews.  Soon Lucy was doing world-class “sits” and “downs” instead of charging at us mouth-first.   Helping in Lucy’s bite-inhibition training was our 18-month-old rescued Berner, Teddy (left above).  Teddy showed Lucy what she had missed from her siblings—how hard to bite and when to stop.  Of course, we humans made sure that Teddy didn’t get too carried away with “teaching” the puppy!  Soon the two were chomping on toys and chews together instead of mouthing each other every time.
It was over a month before Lucy clicked with us emotionally.  She hadn’t liked to be touched, and would grab us when we tried to handle her.  Then one day, I went into a room where she was lying down--she “smiled” and wagged her tail like a lariat.  I knelt down and rubbed her under the chin, and she flopped on her back and began to “purr” as I rubbed her chest.  From that moment I knew for sure that Lucy would go from “foster puppy” to ”our puppy.”  Before we met her, Lucy’s “critical period” of socialization had suffered some major deficits.  But with intensive training--and sometimes intense fatigue and frustration!--we restored the social skills Lucy had missed as a pet-store puppy.  She has become a happy, well-behaved and healthy family member.  We love Lucy and we know Lucy loves us!

October 9, 2010

Happy Days for Greta!

This lovely photo of Greta and her "big sister" Hannah was taken just this morning. "Come on Mom - grab a paddle & take us for a ride! We promise not to rock the canoe! We've been patient forever!"

August 24, 2010

Best wishes, Greta!

On Saturday, Greta went off to try a new "forever home." We'll wait and see before announcing that placement, but I feel good about it.

It's been almost eight weeks with little Greta.  She's really blossomed into a full-fledged personality as we got to know her a little more all the time.  She progressed from the skittish giraffe-necked little dog that flinched at every sound and was afraid of men to a dog who would bound into the middle of a team of male softball players and soak up loving from everyone.

We'll miss her, but she deserves a chance to be part of a pair rather than the "odd man out" that goes with "three-dog-itis" —Tosca and Jago are a pair and so she fell into the role of bossy fun police.

So, I guess this means we have "succeeded" at fostering!

August 3, 2010

Greta as a phoenix?

I posed Greta in the midst of these cold coals this morning, thinking she will soon be a bit of a phoenix—reinventing herself, building a new life, rising from the ashes as it were... John starting asking her if she were happy in her new life with US, so it's definitely time for her to move on to that new home (a couple of prospects have arisen) before he falls for her completely!

Here's everyone that I woke up with this morning... So, we did NOT go for a leash walk but instead DROVE to an off-leash park where they socialized briefly with a pair of basset hounds and then had a nice run-around and walk in the woods.

That's our little "loaner lab" Scholar wondering what happened to that purple tennis ball... Ah, well.  We're down one tennis ball.

August 2, 2010

Meet Gabe!

This handsome fellow is just about 4 years old. He's sweet and affectionate but has had little structure in his past homes. He becomes very attached to his caretakers - to the point where it borders separation anxiety. He has lived with dogs and cats and now in his foster home he supervises some chickens as well! He needs a home where his humans will commit to providing structure and training. He'd really like a job to do! Chances are that if he's not assigned one, he'll decide on his own job description - not an ideal situation.

Gabe is looking for a home where his humans will share plenty of time and activities with him and will see that he gets lots of exercise. He is not interested in going to a home with children or where children often visit. He will be a great companion to the special person who is willing to put in the time that he needs.

July 30, 2010

How small is she?

Well, not THAT small!  Here's Greta sitting next to giant Tosca.  Doesn't it make you laugh when people ask you how you tell them apart?  It's a whole lot easier than telling a pack of beagles apart or a herd of labradors, that's for sure!

July 22, 2010

Greta... Still "GREAT," still adorable... snuggly... sweet...

So, here she is!  Just wanted to share a few more pictures... Last night she was snuggling in bed with me and was FAST asleep in my arms... It's always so wonderful when a dog sleeps that deeply with you — eyes closed up tight.  I could sit up in the middle of the night, look over at Ptolli, and she'd be looking back at me.  I'm not sure that dog ever slept.  When Greta first arrived, she was a little jittery and I would expect her next transition to be like that again—until she settled in.  She's certainly proven she CAN settle in!

This one I call "100% Berner, 1% Border Collie — don't ask ME how that math works!"  We have her pedigree, so we KNOW she's a full-blooded Bernese Mountain Dog, but she's got a bit of "farm collie" look to her... One day I took her with me to a garden we share so I could pull some weeds.  I put her on the run there and first she did what I would say was a typical Berner thing.  She protested by going to the end of the leash and then leaning backwards against the leash so her head was straight up.  She went with that approach for a little while and then decided to be collie about it instead—went to the other end of the run and laid down in the shade in some nice cushiony ground cover.  And there she stayed while I pulled weeds for an hour.  Good girl!

This one just says, "Turn the A/C back on already!"

And this one was just so you could see her soft, sweet expression and that she's not afraid of the camera.

When I walk the dogs—most mornings, if the heat hasn't yet reached extreme levels—I leash them all and we walk to the baseball field at the end of our street where I turn them all loose.  The three dogs zip around and get their business done.  She's learning to check in for cheese.  She's relaxing with Tosca and Jago and enjoys racing around and barking a bit with them, as well as with the pair of labs (one black, one chocolate) who often join us there.  Then back on leash for a walk downtown.  In addition to exercise, I'm hunting small dogs for her to react to.  Today we "passed" one small dog and "failed" a larger dog.  But as has been true all along, her reactions are quite manageable and DO show some improvement... If I didn't have the other two dogs in hand as well (and Jago would LOVE to join a fracas), I might be able to practice this a bit better.  But still, we walk on and I have the cheese out and she doesn't completely lose her mind... It's definitely the confinement of the leash that contributes to the problem (but of course the leash must be there!).  There used to be a lady in this town with a lunatic boxer who would say "it's the leash!" and suggest that we should all just drop our leashes and everything would be fine between our dogs.  No thank you, Ma'am!  And definitely NOT on Main Street!

At home, she continues to be a wonderful companion, following us everywhere, seeking out everyone for snuggles.  I love that I didn't have to explain to her where the right places to "toilet" were—she just recognized that my "middle yard" was the "dog yard," and she dashes right out there. I shall definitely miss her when her forever home is found, but I'm hoping she'll get the opportunity to be part of a pair—three-dog-itis is pushing her into the role of fun police here, not that she minds!  And when necessary, I'm comfortable leaving all three shut in our bedroom with the A/C running.  They seem to take turns on the big bed.

She's been a terrific dog here, really quite easy.  We've boarded dogs that we counted the hours until they went home.  NOT this one!

July 19, 2010

Spenser Revisited

From Jim in Vermont:

Weʼve now had Spenser for almost 3 years and heʼs done very well adjusting to us and we him. Heʼs an exceptionally affectionate guy (I think even for a Berner-hard to tell) and fits right in with our other two dogs. We had Ebbie when we got Spenser and last fall my son, who lives at home, got a chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy who he

named Dutchess. At first Spenser didnʼt like Dutchess and she was very attached to

Ebbie who mothered her like it was her own pup. As Dutchess has grown to adulthood she & Spenser have really bonded into best buddies and she teases him incessantly but follows everything he does such as chasing rabbits and squirrels and shooing the pigeons away from our bird feeders.

Spenser & Ebbie are still lovers though. When I have them out together theyʼre

practically inseparable which results in me taking a lot of pictures of the two of them

together. They particularly love wrestling around in the snows of winter and are usually almost white after theyʼve been outside for any length of time.

Spenser is a wonderful addition to our family and we canʼt tell you how happy we are

that we got involved with the BERNER, Inc. rescue program. Spenser is laying on his

bed in my office as I write this. Of course dinner is over and my office is air conditioned and most of the rest of the house isnʼt but I like to think heʼs here because he loves me so much. Actually, when we got him Ebbie was totally devoted to me & I to her but over time Spenserʼs done everything he can to horn in on that relationship and now Iʼd have to say, while Ebbie and I have a really special owner-dog thing heʼs become a real buddy to me. Karen complains that she hoped Spenser would be her dog since she lost Ebbie to me right from the time she was a pup but Spenser decided on me as well. I love them both as we all know anyone can love a Berner. The best dogs Iʼve ever had!!

July 14, 2010

Greta update...

I just noticed... "Greta" is an anagram for "Great!"

As I put this together, Greta is lying on a dog bed next to my bed letting me rub her with my foot, something Ptolli would have NEVER allowed.  Tonight I started teaching her "down."  It didn't help that Tosca hovered and offered the correct behavior in the same space, but we made a little headway.  Her one trick is "sit" and "paw" so we have to overcome those as being the only possible behaviors to offer.

So, after two weeks, we have narrowed her "issues" down significantly  She was supposedly reticent with men.  When she first came, I had to escort her to a spot sitting with John and then she tolerated it while not making eye contact.  Then we had a LOT of people here, in and out, for the 4th of July festivities and she discovered that all men are not like men she had known and she began going to them for loving.  Supposedly she likes children a lot.  She pays no attention to ours whatsoever, unless they're eating.  Whatever.  She tolerates hugs from them and doesn't chase them and that's "good with kids" in my book.

Really, the one thing that one has to remember with Greta is that if she sees a small dog, especially a small dog barking at her, she goes ballistic back.  But even this problem is relatively manageable — don't just stand there!  WALK ON!  And request her attention and praise her with food when you get it.  And if possible, once she's stopped barking, let the dogs meet each other.  That's not going to be possible often, though.  The small dog going ballistic tends to continue going ballistic until out of sight.  But once there's any distance, Greta quickly comes back — "you were saying something?"

I take her to the field and turn her loose with the others and she's fine... She streaks around like a border collie — zip, zip, ZOOM!  But she doesn't take off and she's fairly responsive and when everyone's "done their thing" and I've cleaned up, I can get everyone back on leash for the balance of the walk.

Someone is going to get a really great little dog.  She sits on feet, especially of women.  That's just how she says, "hello, love me?"  She turns into them and sits on their feet.  This makes most everybody fall in love with her immediately.  She's very companionable.  When I take her to work with me, she goes into the space under my desk for my feet, curls up and lies down.  I haven't had a footwarmer since Tycho (who died in 1998).  And her BEST feature is how she'll come up and punch you with her nose.  The other morning, she was all happy and hoping I'd get out of bed now that clearly everyone was awake thanks to some kid-generated disturbance, so she came over and punched me (gently!) in the ear with her cold, wet nose.  It's very funny.

Tosca bullied her a bit when she first came but that hasn't happened for a while and Greta has also found her spine, now that she's been with us for over two weeks, and so doesn't let Tosca push her around too much.  They charge through doors together and if they bump as they go through, they don't even bother to grumble at each other about it.  Tosca is clearly superior on the status totem pole, but they've settled into their spots and don't have to argue about it.  At the field, when they're all loose, the three dogs all get some good running around and are happy even if they don't necessarily play WITH each other.

I took her to meet horses on Monday.  That was clearly a first for her.  She was a little intimidated by the giant nose bending down to check her out.  She occasionally would bark to release some of the stress of the situation.  I circled her around and around, slowly getting closer to one horse, and then we were able to stand by the fence and speak to the horse.  Greta looked the other way, which is her way of avoiding something that worries her. All-in-all, a good new experience for her.  She was happy to be out and about, whatever that might mean.  And of course there were women with feet she could sit on who would tell her how wonderful she was.

We've met several people who know people who have recently lost their dog and think Greta would be perfect for those other people, but no one has called me yet — it's not too late to adopt this wonderful little dog!

July 7, 2010

What a sweetheart!

Well, it's been a bit over a week since Greta came to visit... A week full of company and everyone loved Greta!  She has settled in very nicely and so the relationship energy (to be new-agey about it) between the dogs has calmed significantly...  Tosca has stopped bullying her so much, although I'm vigilant around food (that's just Tosca).  Last night both Tosca and Greta raced through a doorway when I called them upstairs at bedtime and even though they bumped on the way through the door, they didn't bother to grumble at each other about it.  This morning all three dogs jumped on the bed to say hello.  So, Greta is doing just fine with her canine housemates.

Yesterday morning I walked them all and we encountered a number of other walked dogs as we went along.  Most gave us a wide berth — can't imagine why — and Greta was excellent as we went by a number of smallish dogs.  None went crazy at us, which helps, but still.  She's listening enough to respond when I call her name and offer a piece of cheese as we walk past a dog.

Over the 4th we had something like 13 guests in and out.  All of them thought she was the sweetest thing.  She even went to male guests for petting — it might've helped that they didn't make frightening overtures to her, and so she had the opportunity to seek them out.

Her eyes have softened and she gazes at people who pet her — will YOU love me?  She loves a ride in the car, loves to go for a walk, simply wants to be with people.  She's crate trained but hasn't liked where we put her crate here (next to the other two), so when we leave her alone, we put her in our bedroom.  We did crate her when we went to see 3rd-of-July fireworks, due to her history of being frightened of fireworks and thunder (as many dogs are).  She's interested in food when people eat or have food on the table, but so far hasn't counter surfed.  Having a dog that likes food actually makes training easier.  She recognizes a treat and understands the idea of earning it, despite her lack of tricks.  I've been working on WAIT before eating and she's just about got it.  She hasn't chewed anything or even dug a hole, not that she's had a lot of opportunity here.  It's hot and dogs are either walked or sleeping in the house.

She's a wonderful little dog and we've been blessed to spend some time with her.


July 1, 2010

Meet Greta!

Greta is a little Berner, just 69 pounds, perhaps headed towards 65, but no less.  She comes from a family that loved her dearly but had a string of unfortunate health problems that led to Greta not getting the attention she needs to be a relaxed, calm companion.  Greta is hanging out with us for a couple of weeks while Anya finds her forever home.

I picked her up from Dawn Flaherty on Monday night and she's settling in pretty well.  She likes to find a quiet corner to be alone — the above picture shows her squeezed between two pieces of furniture — in the thick of things, near everybody, but where the other dogs won't pester her. I took her to work today and she spent most of it under my desk in the space for my feet.

If she's uncertain about something or someone, she just avoids it.  She's slow to warm up to men, for instance, but I escorted her to this position on the couch with John and she didn't rush off.  Women, on the other hand, she'll immediately turn and sit on their feet quite forcefully!  At work today she met three men, including the mailman — she wasn't aggressive or terrified, but she was cautious and curious.  She would follow them and sniff them, especially if they were handling food.  She would step back if they wanted to pet her, but rather than being really afraid, she just doesn't trust them. 

And she doesn't know about living with other dogs, so she avoids them, too.  She might peek at the other dogs, but mostly she just goes where they are not.  However, I was able to walk all three together without any problems — a small miracle!

Her original family didn't have a lot of dog experience, so she needs some work.  But so far (three whole days!) it seems as though there are some simple things to help her get her to a point of being more comfortable in the world.  She's developed "a thing" about small dogs, but you can "walk on, WITH ME!" with a bit of cheese waiting to quickly reward when she reconnects with the person on the end of the leash rather than the small dog, and it's over.

We have met a few men, while out walking — men in hats, men leaning towards her, men in cement trucks, construction workers — she doesn't especially flinch, but she pays them ZERO attention.

So far, I haven't seen her play, although she is very happy just to run around and sniff things.  She apparently can "sit" and "give paw" and little else, but she certainly knows what "go for a walk" and "go for a ride" mean and is ready, Ready, READY! for either.  While she's busy dancing around and making it impossible to get a leash on her prior to leaving, she keeps her front paws tucked in, so she isn't jumping ON you, just around you!  At the gate, she's a kangaroo, SO excited to go do something.

In summary, someone will get to adopt a fun little companion who may just need some reassurance that her world IS a safe and stable place after all the upheaval she's gone through.

June 29, 2010

Roxie Settles In

Look at that big grin! Roxie looks mighty happy! Chester, well...maybe not so much. But really! He was just distracted by the camera! He loves Roxie and is often found snuggling with her.

Some of you folks who've been following the BERNER, Inc. dogs might remember Chester a/k/a Destructo-Dog from last year. He's the boy who re-landscaped my entire yard - even pulling a mature peach right out of the ground. I'm hoping that Roxie may be a stabilizing influence on this young man!

Funny thing about Roxie. She never made it out of foster care. This girl figured that a home where "mom" runs a doggie day care is *just* the place for a Berner girl with separation anxiety. She decided that this was *the* home for her and she worked her magic to get Chris to adopt her.

Chris is now 2 for 3 in the foster flunk-out ranks. She's fostered three Berners for BERNER, Inc. and only managed to let one go! But I'm not complaining! I could use MORE foster homes just like this!!

June 24, 2010

Hazel's Home!

Hazel's surgeon gave her a dispensation so that she could go home to her new family before the end of her 12 week recuperation ... if they *swear* to keep her quiet for the next 4 weeks. Easier said than done but they are working hard at it. Hazel now has two kids of her own - 14 year old Jared and 11 year old Cali. Jared and Hazel look pretty darned happy, no??

Her new family has a history of helping needy dogs - I know they'll take great care of this girl! She seems to be fitting right in with their other dogs an with their daily routine. She's impatient to leave this "invalid dog" persona behind her and just wants to romp with the family. Meanwhile her new "mom" is eager to get her cleaned and groomed. It's hard to have a coated dog who remains unwashed and ungroomed for 8-12 weeks post-up! I know that Hazel will feel a LOT better when she's been to the day spa at Auntie Alise's place! What a little princess!

June 14, 2010

Hazel's Laying in Wait...

...She's waiting to interview an adoptive family who have also been patiently waiting for the right dog. Hazel thinks they have been waiting for HER!!!

Hazel's foster mom, Alise, says: Hazel is 9 weeks post surgery today! The good news is Hazel has her bounce back and the bad news is that Hazel has her bounce back! :-) It's a bit more challenging to keep her at just a walk these days but the doc says she is doing great. I had hoped she could have a little "doggie time" in the fenced yard just sniffing around, but the chance of her chasing a squirrel could still be a problem if she twisted her knee, so we'll stick to the leash walks for 3 more weeks.

We had a friend's girl, Roo, visiting last weekend, she is an eight year old berner who bunked with Hazel in my office some of the time she was with us. Surprisingly, Hazel was a little jealous and kept herself between me and Roo whenever she had the chance. Not in a mean way, it was rather endearing! Hazel has been such a trooper through all of this, we will miss her terribly but will be so happy for her when she finds her forever family!

June 12, 2010

Roxie Interviews Adopters

Roxie is taking the interview process *very* seriously! She wants to make sure her new family understands the commitment that they're going to have to make and the skills they're going to need! She thinks Catherine is a keeper!

June 7, 2010

Meet Roxie

Roxie is a 4 year old spayed girl who weighs about 91 lbs. She is an incredibly sweet girl who has lived with other dogs and cats. She loves people - perhaps a bit too much since she suffers from severe separation anxiety when her owner is gone. She will damage the house and may, if the problem is not addressed, cause injury to herself. Roxie needs to live with someone who is able to be with her 24/7 for as long as it takes to work through the problem. People - this will involve actual work! This is not just a matter of giving the dog plenty of love.

May 24, 2010

Teddy thrives in his new home!

What a kick it was to see Teddy (adopted 2/14/2010) yesterday at the BMDCNV Working Dog Day. He is clearly one HAPPY dog! His family keeps him very busy with lots of activities - always a great thing for any dog! Here's what they wrote about him recently:

"We didn’t expect to have another Berner in our lives so soon. But then we met Teddy. Our beloved Berner, Max, had died unexpectedly from cancer. We knew we couldn’t have a life without a Berner, but we needed time to mourn Max. Besides, we knew it might be a while for a Berner to be available through Rescue. But we sent in the rescue application anyway. Imagine our surprise when Anya Wittenborg called and told us Berner Rescue had a young dog she wanted us to meet at the Winter Walk-- the next day!

As we walked into the event room, there, prancing around like a pony, was Teddy. The first thing that caught our attention was his long legs, springy with energy. Then his head bobbed up and we saw his bright eyes—one brown and one a striking blue. And then he smiled a big freckled, pink-lipped smile at us. After a spirited group walk through the snowy woods and hanging out with other Berners and their people, we knew Teddy was the dog for us.

Teddy had been surrendered to a shelter at a year old and was almost put down because a shelter worker thought his blue eye made him “spooky.” Thanks to Berner Rescue, Teddy was placed with a foster family who gave him training and attention he didn’t get before he was given up. We took Teddy to an “obility” course where he continued his basic obedience and learned the first steps of agility. Teddy is a dedicated sniffer, so he’s taking a K-9 Nosework course and a Tracking workshop .

What else to do with all that young Berner energy?! Teddy loves hiking and exploring the trails and woods near our house. We discovered his herding talent when he took off after a flock of wild turkeys and cornered them up a tree! Teddy likes to hang out with people and makes friends wherever he goes. He loves to play with other dogs. Chasing and being chased around the beach is the ultimate dog day for Teddy.

A loveable and loving goofball, Teddy has inspired many nicknames in our family like “Tedster,” “TedHead” and “The Grateful Ted.” A natural clown, Teddy will strike comical poses, “talk” with his unique sounds, and juggle a mouthful of toys—the squeakier the better. When he gets running, Teddy has a distinctive four-paws-off-the floor leap, which we call his “Oingo Boingo.” In a very short time Teddy has leapt into our home and our hearts. Thanks, Anya and Berner Rescue!"

Linda & Gib

May 9, 2010

Hazel Bounces Back!

Hazel's foster "mom", Alise, says:

"Hazel had her sutures removed last week which means no more e-collar...can you say HAPPY DOG! Dr. Kochin was very pleased with Hazel's progress, commented that she is ahead of where he expected her to be at this point. We are to continue with leash walks - she can go as far as a 1/2 mile twice a day if she's up to it. He would rather see her walking in control than getting pent up and acting wild:-) I will continue with passive manipulation of the joint and massage. She is really settling into the routine here, such a love. At meal time she doesn't quite get that it takes time to feed multiple dogs, so she talks to me from the time she hears the first kibble hit the bowl. I don't think my gang agrees that she should be fed first, but I can't help it, she's just so darn cute! She goes in for another follow up appointment next week, I'll let you all know how it goes..."

I don't have any new photo and I simply can't post without a photo so you get to see the really cute one I took the day I first met her! More later...

May 4, 2010

Kodiak - Adopted

Well Kodiak didn't waste any time finding himself a new home! Last week he went to live with his new family and he thinks he's in doggy heaven! He's having a minor identity crisis though - his new canine "brother" has convinced Kodi that he's a Lab. He just can't seem to stop swimming and retrieving!

Rob and Marie are going to have their work cut out for them with this boy! How will they keep him from turning into a prune??

Marie says that he's a sociable guy who enjoys acting the clown. If there's no water available, he can be persuaded to lie on the grass and watch her while she works in the garden. "Hey, supervising is work too!" says Kodi, the working dog. Kodi still needs to develop a recall and get a little practice on lead, but we know that Marie is up to the job!

April 23, 2010

Wally is still looking for a WORKING home!

Meet Wally, the 10 month old Berner boy who has already passed through four different households in eight months.  After bossing all his former families around, Wally came into rescue on February 7th, has been neutered, and is currently fostered by Dayna Rousseau.  


What Wally really needs is a job.  He's a star in his Obedience class, heels like a pro, even skipped a grade!  Wally would love to work in just about any stimulating activity that keeps him from becoming a couch potato and having too much time on his paws. 

Don't be fooled by this beguiling, innocent face.  Wally is a challenging Berner that needs guidance, direction and a constant, daily working companion. This boy deserves structure, education and absorbing mental as well as physical activities to bring out the best in him.  He is fine with other dogs, but will not go to a home with children; it would be prefered if Wally is placed within the New England area.

  If you are interested in becoming Wally's working partner, please send an email to rescue@bmdcnv.org for an application.

April 21, 2010

Happy days with Sam I Am!

Michelle Keck and the miracle dog, Sammy, have quite a story, as Sammy serves as the "poster dog" for the BMDCA's rescue program... These days, Sammy is battling new health challenges but has an excellent team backing him up every step of the way. These are photos of happy times during his last four wonderful years with Michelle:

Here's Sammy from the December 2009 BernerBlatt cover...

Wearing a Lobster costume for the 2008 National Specialty in Warwick, Rhode Island...

Sammy attended a Berner "Girls" party and gamely played along in a beautiful pink boa:

Sammy, already a celebrity in the early months after he joined the Nashoba Valley family, went to the 2006 National Specialty in Michigan and enjoyed a massage... At this point he'd had some corrective surgery and rejuvenating water therapy. Is there any greater contrast to the life he lived before than this?!

And every celebrity deserves a National Specialty photo session with Pat Long and Joye Neff... Here's his 2006 LongShot portrait:

More on Sammy's story will follow...

Hazel's First Week

An update on Hazel from foster "mom" Alise Burbridge:

What a trooper Hazel is, she is the model patient. She has been taking her meds in a spoonful of canned food and tolerating them well. Her incision looks great, no drainage and she has had minimal swelling. She is restricted to leash walks with a sling supporting her rear for going potty only, for two weeks until her sutures come out. Then she can only go for short leash walks for the next 8-10 weeks, no playing or romping at all. She is staying in my home office off our kitchen which we now refer to as "Hazel's Haven". I tried to take the e-collar off while sitting with her but that only lasted seconds before she started licking, so back on it went until our appointment next week. This girl is wrapping herself around my heart very quickly, she is so appreciative of everything we are doing for her. Did I mention how SWEET she is? I hope you enjoy following her recovery over the next few weeks.

April 18, 2010

Sarge in Charge

Yesterday I went to meet a neutered 10 month old Berner boy who has lived all but his first 10 weeks in a fraternity house at an Ivy League college. Gee, does anyone see this as a less than ideal situation for a puppy?

Living with 20-plus fraternity brothers did not provide Sarge with the structure and consistency that that he needed as he tried to learn how to get on in the world. So, since no one else stepped up to the plate, Sarge figured it was up to him to manage his environment - which he did - using his mouth and teeth.

When we learned about him, Sarge was headed off to "boot camp" with a "trainer" who planned to use an electronic (i.e. shock) collar to address his behavior. Fortunately, we had a chance to change the direction his life was taking. But in order for this story to have a happy ending, Sarge needs to find a patient human with solid training skills who can help him learn to be a civilized good citizen. Basically he needs to be demoted to buck private and start his training from scratch. The good news is that he's smart and food motivated. He's modest in size and is agile.

Sarge will be a project. Work is involved. No question about it. This smart, loving, "bad boy" needs a human with good training skills who will be patient but won't be a pushover - someone to make up for the human stupidity that put him in the position he's in at this early point in his life. Are you the special person who has what it takes to give Sarge the future he deserves?

April 15, 2010

Introducing Hazel

This adorable girl, Hazel, came into rescue in mid-March after leaving her third home.  She's a sweet, petite girl whose family said that with two children under the age of two, they just didn't have enough time for her.  Hazel was lame and clearly in pain when she came to Berner Inc., suffering from a torn cruciate ligament.

Earlier this week Hazel received an over $3,000 surgery to repair the ligament as well as a torn meniscus.  Happily she is now resting in the care of her loving foster mom, Alise Burbridge, where she'll spend the duration of a six week recovery period.

With such an expensive surgery, the Rescue fund has suffered as well, while there continue to be more and more dogs coming in with medical needs these days.  Obviously, diminished resources inhibits how many dogs can be taken in, treated, and re-homed. 

Donations to aid Hazel's care and other rescue Berners can be made through PayPal or by check mailed to:

P.O. Box 1221
Arlington, MA 02474-0021
As always, your donations and support are greatly appreciated.
Be sure to check back for regular updates on Hazel's recovery!