Paperwork and Personalities

Hello friends,

My fiance and I took another visit to the now two week old Bernese Mountain dog puppies. It was his first time returning since we went to meet and discuss a home for our Newton, 3 years prior. We once again were received with face licks, body wiggles and Berner smiles (From the dogs, not the breeder – haha). After an little while chatting with one of the breeders and snuggling with the 2 week old puppies, we went to a friends’ surprise birthday party.

puppy snuggles are the best kind
puppy snuggles are the best kind!
Week 2 - eyes are open!
Week 2 – eyes are open!

My mind however lingered on the Berners. I know there’s a long wait list for puppies, so when we arrived home we talked. We talked about our readiness, our commitment, our finances, our time, and of course Newton. As you can imagine, I talked the most. What came out of our chat was that we believe we’ll be ready to welcome our arms up after our big three week trip to Europe in July.

While Newton still has my heart, I think I’m able to share what bits are left. Waiting for a bit longer will also give me more time to work on what I need to.

I need some more time just to honor and remember Newton. It may sound strange, but I feel as if I’m giving him a disservice if I stop what I’m doing now. Also, let’s be serious I could not have a new puppy or dog and leave for 3 weeks. Thank you to my Mr. for making me realize this. There is just NO WAY. Even though we’d have fantastic support, I’d constantly be thinking of everything I was missing out on! If it turns out to be a rescue or a puppy, we need to reintroduce consistency. Leaving for 3 – 4 weeks is exactly the opposite!

I also took my Mr. to the SPCA with me yesterday. He met my new buddy Rusty. Rusty is super sweet, but very timid to strangers and anything new. He’s like the 80 year old woman next door that peeks out from behind her curtains, curious about what’s going on but wants his door closed for protection against life. We’ve developed a special relationship – in the dog runs, he runs into my arms full speed and turns last minute and collapses in them. Always giving me face licks in the process.  I really need to work with him on the full speed ahead tactic 🙂 We worked with him meeting my Mr. (new people!), going past with his tail high and wagging, and ears up, rewarding him the entire time. He also went to meet my Mr. once free in the training room all by himself, sniffing his leg and hand, allowing my Mr. to even reward a head pat or two. What a good boy!

good boy
Being a good boy, greeting new people with tail wags!

Then there’s Des. You’ve met Des before, she puts me through my paces every single freaking time. Walking her is a workout. I can’t even try and manage her until she has run out her energy. We take her to a dog run, play “catch the snowball” and run the excitement out of her. Then we get to work on her resource guarding. Des is like the grouchy old man of my little pack that likes HER things. “Silly youngsters”, I can imagine her saying, “Keep your paws off my stuff!”. She has been letting me slowing get closer to her as she holds her tennis ball. Today she looked at me while holding her tennis ball with her tail wagging, I rewarded her with a butt scratch. She dropped the tennis ball at my feet. PROGRESS!!

old man
This photo does not do Des justice, she’s actually a beautiful dog. I had to spend all my attention on her, rather then taking pics.

So we came home and took one more step forward – We filled out the applications for both the SPCA and the breeder. We want to be ready in case we find the right rescue or the right puppy or dog for our family after our trip. We wanted to get started early as I know some people who have been waiting a year or two for one of their Berner puppies. There are a few reasons for this, first of all, they do not churn out puppies like a puppy mill. Secondly, they only breed dogs that pass their pen/hip score clearances and eye exams. This helps weed out early hip/elbow displaysia and the eye/health issues that Berners are prone to. We’re going to fill out another form for the Bernese Rescue Society of Canada after our trip.

I’ve discovered three things throughout this process so far.

1. I never want to be just a single dog family again. Ideally I’d like to welcome our arms in July/August to a new furry friend, then keep our eyes and ears open shortly after for another.

2. Filling out both forms was both exciting and gut wrenching *sigh*.

3. Our retirement plan will be to Foster dogs 🙂 Long term planning at it’s finest, we’ll see – maybe we’ll be ready before!

There was a guilt that I felt about moving on to another dog that I knew would be there, but still did not feel comfortable. Newton will forever be a part of me, this I know. I’ve said this once, but I believed he was the daily food for my soul. Sounds dramatic, but true nonetheless. I am trying to consider this next step a tribute to him. A testament to him, making us better owners and dog lovers. Newt would want us to be happy, living life to it’s fullest as he did.  Our lives are the happiest and richest when we have a furry friend by our side. Until July, we’ll keep taking it day by day, week by week, month by month.

Aww Newton, the best teacher in the world. Photo cred: Norma Jean Worden Rogers
Aww Newton, the best teacher in the world. 

Thanks for reading,



16 thoughts on “Paperwork and Personalities

  1. Newton would want you to live your life as fully as he did his. If that includes rescue and foster, I think his smile is even bigger. He is honored best with joy…so good that you are finding your way there. 🙂

    • Aww thank you so much. Newton, as most dogs are, was about joy. I needed time to discover life without, and realized life is always better with. I’ve also realized that I will always have a hand in rescue and foster. I’m looking forward to finding a connection – I know it will happen 🙂
      Thank you for reading, and as always for your kind words and advice.

  2. One day, you will look at a dog and you will fiercely know that dog is yours. You won’t worry about timing, or guilt or can you do it — you will fall unconditionally in love and that will be that. That moment can’t be rushed or delayed, it has all the control. What I know from my first heart dog is that he trained me to love well, and that love was meant to be shared! You’re doing amazing by getting out there and visiting dogs! I think at this point (in grief) I’m usually still in pajamas listening to sad songs!!!! Also, very jealous of a three-week getaway! Wow, how awesome!!!

    • Aww thanks Oh Melvin! Your blog is wonderful.

      I appreciate the advice. We’re going to start the process of looking after our trip. Really it will more the dog, then the timing. My Newton trained me well, I’ve slowly realized that passing on what he’s taught me is whats needed.

      The dogs have saved me. There have been many MANY days that I wanted to sit home in my jammies, crying my eyes out to Smokey Robinson (ok there have been a few of those). Going to work with these dogs have given me purpose when I had none. This is why I turned in my application. If the right dog comes along, I want to be ready.

      We’ve been saving our pennies for quite some time – we’re very excited! Stay tuned, there will be many pics of it 🙂

  3. I don’t know your name so Ms- This is not a put down, Just some info that you can use or discard. First. Why are you not saving a dog from a shelter whose time is almost up and is surely not going to get adopted. Second there are Bernese Mountain dog rescues that could give you the ideal relacement for Newton. The dogs that are rescued, 99.9% of the time make the best pets for they are forever grateful and know that you saved their life. Third. I hope that you have read all there is to read about Bernese Mt. dogs Their life span is short compared to most dogs. And I don’t care how much a breeder tells you that their dogs has/have passed x number of health issues that is not always the case. However, if you must have a Bernese then get one and be prepared to shell out lots of money just for the puppy (I believe you know that) not to mention unforseen health issues. There is no guarantee that buying from a breeder is going to mean that your puppy will be free of disease and other problems.

    Now on a diifferent note. I think that you are a smart young woman and will go where your intuition and heart leads you. I like your blog a lot. So far. 🙂

    If you delete or edit this comment it will not hurt my feelings. It might be too harsh for youor taste and your blog.


    • Hi Petspeopleandlife,

      First off, I appreciate your comments. I’m sure you’re asking what many may be wondering 🙂


      Let me start off by saying that Rescue or a reputable breeder are the only two routes I would ever take. I do not support Backyard breeders, puppy mills or pet store sales. I do support reputable breeders if they are trying to better the breed. I did add in my blog above that we will be putting our names into the Bernese Rescue Society. I fell in love with the breed early on. I love working with them. Everyone has their preferences for breeds, character, activity level.

      Newton’s condition was rare for Bernese, it actually has only been found in one in a few hundred thousand. It’s much more common in Shepherds or Labs. It was the luck of the draw and something that could have happened to any dog. This was never something the breeders could have guarded against. They do take extreme care with their dogs/puppies. Any good breeder should, which is why their puppies should be a bit more. This outlines the costs to a Bernese breeder and why puppies can cost a bit more – Anyone who owns a Berner, or is looking to get one should ensure the breeder is giving them all of this.

      There are never really any guarantees with any dog/puppy you get really (healthy, life span etc.). If I’ve learned anything it’s this – Enjoy them while you have them. Whether it’s two years or ten years. I don’t think because a dog only has an average life span of 8 years it should not be entitled to as good of a life as a dog whose life span is 13 +. Life span does not have a bearing on our choices as owners. Bernese are prone to health issues, like other breeds – i.e. Golden Retrievers, Labs, Wheaton Terriers. For us, that’s not a swaying factor either. We know the cons of this breed and have already experienced life with one. After owning one and knowing the breeder, it’s a route I would take again. I have read many sites, books and articles. I’m a member of the BMDCC and we are well versed with the breed. I chose to work with this breeder as she is trying to eliminate early hip/elbow dyspepsia from her dogs. If she can help give these gentle giants longer and more comfortable lives, it’s something I’m willing to support. As I said above, everyone is different, with different tastes. It doesn’t have to be a route that you take.


      I love working with the SPCA, I will own a rescue most definitely. It’s why we filled out our applications to both as I noted above. I tend to work with dogs that are considered “high risk/oranges”. This was my choice, as I felt I was most needed here. They are usually the ones who need the most work, and sadly the ones who get the least attention. I will not be able to bring any of the dogs I work with home, as they have all been temperament tested (and sadly failed) with cats. As much as I love them all, I have two indoor rescue cats at home and I’m not going to put their lives in jeopardy. My work right now is to allow them to be adoptable to another lucky family (without cats).

      I’m lucky, the shelter in the part of the world I live has a “No kill policy” meaning they do not euthanize dogs/cats unless they are too sick for treatment or aggressive. There is no time limit – Our oldest tenant dog who had been with us for 13 months was just adopted yesterday.

      For us, what matters is not a Purebred or mix, Rescue or from a breeder – it will be the dog and the connection. I do not want to force anything. We are open to both, and perhaps if we’re lucky – will have both 🙂

      • What a lovely reply.I feel that I put you on the defensive.For that I am sorry. Yes, by all means if a Bernie is your love then a Bernie it should be. They are wonderful dogs. Of that I am sure. If there is a bad egg then it is the ex owner’s fault. Dogs do not start out with problems.People start out with problems. It is wonderful that you have the time to work with SPCA which I admire and support when I can afford to give money. May you find that ideal Bernie who gives you as much joy as Newton once did.

      • Good morning Petspeopleandlife,

        Not at all. Apologies if it came up that way. I never thought before to justify why I decided to go with our breeder and the SPCA. So it was good for me to explain further.

        As I said before, I’d love to have both a rescue and a Bernese! You’re so right – There are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners 🙂

        Thanks for reading!

  4. So happy to hear of your plans for the future. Whatever dog/puppy ends up in your home will truly be a lucky one. You have so much love to share, which I think is one of the many great gifts given to you by Newton . . . and by the SPCA dogs for whom you are such an angel.

    • We are very excited too! It will be a ways off.

      You know that I am a bit selfish in my reasons for working with rescues – it’s my version of therapy (Fur therapy?). Newton was pretty amazing, what I’m realizing is that his greatest gift was giving us the knowledge that life is richer with a furry friend 🙂
      Thanks for reading!

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