Davis - McKinley/Denali - North Pole, AK

The Last Frontiers Majestic McKinley ~~~ BG #30726
The Last Frontiers Dazzling Denali ~~~ BG #30737

Denali and McKinley were both owned by a couple here in North Pole, Alaska.  It was our understanding when we took them in that they had whelped two litters. We have since discovered through Berner-Garde that there was a 3rd litter. They were breed 3 times at 6 month intervals.

Our first Berner, Buster, was a product of their first litter.  On our first trip to look at the puppies, we saw McKinley and Denali and they were beautiful, friendly and playful. They were running around the yard playing with the 2 puppies that were left from a litter of 8, who were 12 weeks old.  We were new to the breed and didn’t know much about responsible breeders.  We took our new bundle of joy home and began learning more and more about the breed.  We found out that McKinley and Denali had another litter about a year later, again a litter of 8.

About 2 years later we learned through the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Alaska that Denali and McKinley had been turned over to Golden Retriever Rescue (GRR), and were in search of a new home.  Susan Sampson, who previously had owned Berners, runs the GRR and wanted to find them a forever home.   She took them in and contacted the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Alaska, who started trying to find out more information about the pair.  We were contacted by the club because several club members knew we had one of their pups.  We immediately said I would take them both to join our family.

After several weeks of e-mails and phone calls, we received a phone call Friday evening from a good friend that happened to be fostering McKinley. She said she had good news and could come and bring McKinley home.  We were so excited that we went immediately to pick him up.  At home, he made up to me immediately but was not so sure of Ron.  He would avoid him by going around the furniture and kitchen island. 

On Monday we got the call to come and pick up Denali. She had to stay a little longer with her foster family because she had torn open her incision from her spay procedure. When Denali got out of the truck in our garage, it was like long lost lovers reunited.  They sniffed each other, whining as if to say “I found you, I’m so glad to see you”.  It brought tears to my eyes.

Over the next few months, McKinley showed a fear of Ron. We thought that he may have been abused, but learned that this behavior was consistent with the new home process. The day we received his AKC registration papers in the mail was like a switch was flipped and now they are best friends! They both are a wonderful part of our furry family.

Training is something that has not come easily with these guys, but we are working on it. McKinley started out in Rally last year and earned his Rally Novice title. We are now working on his Rally Advanced and Drafting.  Denali is much happier just being a dog, but we are going to see if she likes Tracking this summer.

We are so happy to have them, and try to give them as much love as they give us.

Ron & Kristi Davis

North Pole, Alaska