- Hickory's Wonderful Secret Garden
- April 30, 2010 -
Charlotte joined our family on June 27, 2010. It seems our search for our next Berner girl took us quite a while this time.*
There was an instant bond between Holly and Charlotte - very much like the bond that existed between Gretl and Holly and Holly has turned out to be a very patient and maternalistic teacher who initiates much of the play even at times I would think she'd be happy to let a sleeping puppy sleep! They both love toys, especially the noisy ones, and also love a good wrestle on the ground. With the digital age more than upon us I have some videos of Charlotte and Holly playing and these can be viewed on our photo site - http://brrnese.smugmug.com/Berners.
Charlotte is one of the sweetest Berners I have shared my life with and promises to be a wonderful animal assisted therapy partner. Socialization and training have been our main focus in these early months and she is doing wonderfully. By 9 weeks she had mastered sit, down, spin, shake and touch. Now at 16 weeks she is walking well on a leash and learning more skills including watch me and wait.
We have spent lots of time at our local Bon Air Center for socialization - no one can resist a puppy and I'm amazed at the number of Berner owners we have met as well. She was able to visit the Marin Humane Society summer campers weekly for 9 weeks and received some wonderful socialization and handling by kids ranging in age from 6 to 12. She has visited stores, walked the town of Pt. Reyes Station after hearing a talk at a dog friendly event, visited our 90 year old friends from Church, tasted cookies at the bank, stood with her paws on the lap of an elderly woman in a wheelchair so she could pet her.
We're in puppy class now and hope to complete the initial training before year end so Charlotte can pass her CGC and SHARE evaluation and formally join the SHARE program.
And in all the moments went we aren't socializing or learning new skills, Charlotte is just being a puppy and amusing us to no end with her puppy play and antics. They grow so quickly and it's hard to believe that less than 2 months ago she was that tiny 15 pound bundle asleep in my arms.
*It is increasingly challenging to lines relatively free of the cancers that afflict this breed. If you are interested in adding a Bernese Mountain Dog to your family, please do your homework ahead of time and take your time in making your decision.
I have some excellent links on my Links page - in particular BernerGarde (our online database which includes health information) and the BMDCA info series. In addition check out Dr. Nancy Kay's article on selecting a reputable breeder:
I'll be reporting back on Charlotte's progress as she grows.