Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Amazing Feat

Lemon has amazed us for 3 nights in a row now (yes 3 nights, so it is a bit unbelievable I haven't caught it on camera yet). I got the dogs bones, and Lemon just goes crazy over them. She LOVES her bones. I let her chew on it for 15-20 minutes, and then I take the bones away and put them on the fireplace mantle to be enjoyed at a later date. Lemon, knowing they're up there, started out putting her feet up on the hearth (am I getting my fireplace vocab right? hearth is the thing you can sit on...) and sniff the air for the bones. But THEN, she figured out that she gets a teensy bit closer if she just stands, feet in the air and sniffs for them. So that is what she'll do, just pop up on her back feet, paws in begging pose, little nose in the air, and stand there, swaying back and forth for a few seconds (and if you really think about it, a few seconds is a long time). I find this incredibly unusual behavior for a Berner, at least compared to the 2 Berners we have. Berners aren't typically known for that kind of agility. Chris, of course, thinks his little girl is "brilliant", "talented", and "just the cutest thing ever," among other over the top adjectives. I'm going to have to start agreeing that she is at least smart enough to be coniving. Whenever she does this cute standing manuever, Chris gets up and gets her bone for her. "Ohhhh... Pito wants her bone back, doesn't she?"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Plaza Art Fair

Every year in Kansas City, the plaza hosts an art fair where vendors from all over the nation come display their art on the streets of the plaza. It is always fun to walk around and see everything. This year, we took Hilga with us. The plaza was packed, but she did a great job and everyone loved her.
People just absolutely love Berners, and there probably wasn't a minute that passed the whole time we were there that people weren't asking: "what breed is she", "is that a bernese?", "is that a bermese?", "I just love tri-colored australian shepherds", "isn't she small for her breed?", "is she a puppy still?", "can I pet her?", "does she shed?"
And I said: "bernese mountain dog", "yes", "yes" (n vs. m, who cares?), smile for the australian shepherd comment, "yes, shes a bit smaller than our other two", "nope, she is 5" (Hilga certainly didn't mind people thinking she was younger than she is), "of course you can pet her, she is VERY friendly, even if a little overwhelmed", and "YES".
It is so good for Hilga to go out in situations like that, and she really did do a great job. She loves pets of any kind, even if she is more of a 'let people approach me' kind of girl. People are so interested in the breed, and I love going out and talking to people about them. I dropped the HBMDC and BARC name a lot. I also love any excuse to get the dogs out and do something interesting with them. It was a BIG night for Hilga.

Anyways, I have a couple pictures. They didn't turn out great, but here they are:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wanna Be a Super Model

Jackson just got back from his first modeling gig, posing with a girl for a flea prevention product called Comfortis. I was a little nervous about how he would do in a strange setting with all new people, but he did a great job. I'm sure he felt a little comforted that his friends Gary and Moritz were there. He was very friendly and outgoing with everyone, and he even had to pose while his mama stood in a different room out of sight!! Hopefully I'll get some copies of his pictures in a few weeks and post them.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gray Summit Show

We just got back from a GREAT 3-day weekend showing in Gray Summit. It was our maiden voyage for the moho, and she made the 5 hour trip with ease. We had a bit of a rough start as the pups were very surprised by the rattling when we first took off. All 3 tried to climb over/under the front seats. I ended up with Lemon at my feet on the floor board, Jackson in my lap, and Hilga trying to climb over the back of my seat. Jackson finally figured out that he could sit on the bed in the back and look out the window (one of his favorite things to do, what a smart boy), and luckily Hilga and Lemon caught on to that concept for the trip home. Because Chris had class Thursday night, we didn't get to Purina Farms until 4:00 am Friday morning. We got in a few hours of sleep before we set up for the weekend.


We decided not to show Lemon. She was a little grouchy after not getting much sleep, didn't want to come out of her crate to get groomed... And we figure 3 days is a lot showing for a puppy. Since we want to keep it fun for her, we let her rest on Friday. It was actually really peaceful only showing one dog. Doing the hand-off between Jack and Lemon gets me a little flustered, because Chris has to bring the dogs over, I have to get new treats, switch my armband, etc... all in time to get back in the ring with the right dog. So, it was relaxing to only have Jack. Well... it would have been relaxing, but he was girl-crazy this weekend. 3 of the Berner girls were in season, so he was very anxious, very determined, and VERY interested in what the girls were doing. It made showing him a challenge, but he still did great! I feel like we reached the next level of handling this weekend, where we aren't totally lost on what we're supposed to be doing anymore!! On Friday Jackson took Best of Breed, which was a big accomplishment as there was some good competition this weekend. The judge was very excited about him, which we appreciated, since we think he is great too!! After group the judge came up again and told us what a wonderfully sound Berner he is (of course, the judge didn't think he was great enough to put him up in group, but we appreciated the compliment anyway!!!). I'm sure part of the problem in group was the soundness of the handler!!! Although... Chris was kind enough to tell me that while we weren't perfect, neither Jackson nor I stuck out like a sore thumb in group. Chris was able to take some pictures which I will post tomorrow!

Almost forgot, we did have one funny incident in group. The Saint Bernard in front of Jackson was peeing on everything, so Jack wanted to follow him and remark the spots as his own. Well, I was really watching him since they really aren't supposed to pee in the ring. He was DETERMINED that he was going to pee on a pole and was pulling me over. I grabbed him around the stomach to pull him away, accidentally applying pressure to the kidney area, and he let out this big yelp (probably out of frustration more than anything that he wasn't getting to pee where he wanted) like I had kicked him in the gut or something. The people watching looked at me in horror for "abusing" my dog in the ring, or maybe because he was so out of control trying to pee on everything... anyways, they were horrified. The good news is I'm at the point in the ring where we're having fun, and I don't really care what the random watchers think!! If only they saw him today when he tried to mark our umbrella while we were standing watching the newfie's show. Unfortunately the umbrella was leaning up against my leg... After that I thought he probably deserves a good punch to the kidney every now and then (not that I ever would!!!). Like I said, with all the girls in season (we'll blame it on them), he was a little out of control this weekend with his macho manliness. Even more out of control than usual.


On Saturday Jackson took Winners Dog, and Lemon took Reserves. Lemon didn't get a point, but it was a nice acknowledgement from the judge, and we were glad to see some interest in Lemon. She was very cute this weekend once she got groomed up. She will definitely benefit from some handling classes, but I'm very excited to show her in Lawrence. The most fun part of Saturday was seeing all the Berners that came out!!! Not only did was have 9 Berners in the show, Jackson's brother, Chief, our old foster Hannah along with her Berner friend Penny, and Lemon's 1/2 brother Ozzy all came out to watch and BBQ afterwards. It was GREAT to get to spend some time getting to know people I'd only emailed with prior to this weekend and meet dogs that I've heard so much about!!! I was going to take a lot of pictures at the BBQ and completely forgot!!!


Jackson took Best of Breed again, and Lemon took Reserves again. The judge showed a lot of interest in Lemon and we may have been close to getting her first point, but she was a wiggly puppy and did not show very well. Again, she'll benefit from conformation classes!!

So, that is a pretty good sum-up of our weekend. We LOVED having the motor home. Made the show a million times more fun and less stressful. Can't wait for the Lawrence show on October 10th and 11th. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Socialization

I was very happy with Lemon this weekend. She took her first boat trip to an outdoor restaurant down at the Ozarks. First, she pranced right onto the boat like she has been taking boat rides every day of her life. She was never nervous or afraid, just stood on the floor, looking over the side at the water below. Fabulous! This was also her first time going to an Ozark restaurant, which tend to be especially crowded and loud on holiday weekends. Again, she did a great job. Tail never stopped wagging. She greeted every person who approached her happily and enthusiastic to recieve pets. It is a relief to have such an outgoing, happy-go-lucky Berner. Hilga is always open to pets, but gets very nervous in new situations. Jackson lets people pet him, but he typically never enjoys touches from strangers. He always looks at me like "mom, who is this person touching me????" Little Lemon goes crazy when anyone approaches, I worry she'll take off in flight her tail is wagging so hard.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I retract anything good I said about Lemon last Tuesday. In the last week, she chewed up my FAVORITE pair of shoes (very cute Madden Girl gray and black checkered peep-toe pumps). She had three accidents. She destroyed one of our kitchen rugs. She resorted back to eating poop one day. She is still VERY much a puppy.


I was thrilled to get an email this morning from Pat Stokes, Hannah's mom. I knew when I was fostering Hannah that it was going to take a VERY special family to adopt her and bring her out of her shyness. We knew it was going to be a long process and patience, understanding, and unconditional love would be needed. Hannah ended up with the perfect family who has given her all of those things. She has been with the Pat and her husband for almost a year now, and is looking absolutely wonderful. These pictures alone show the amount of care that she has been given this last year, and the difference a loving home makes. She looks healthy and happy, and from what I hear from Pat, she is coming along very well with her shyness problems.

Even from my limited experience, I know that rescues (especially from puppy mill situations) can be very difficult and heartbreaking. This is one of those situations that reminds us all that the risk of heartbreak is worth helping these dogs along into loving homes.

Hannah's before pictures:

Hannah's after pictures (I think the differences speak for themselves):