Herpel - Hobo and Harmony - Mountainville, NY

Hobo and Harmony (and Dakota) 
Berner-Garde 71100, 71101 (48808)

Susan & Ed Herpel
Mountainville NY

In March 2009 I received an email from the Bernese Mountain Dogs of Greater New York (bmdgny.org), a doggie social-networking group, saying two Berners were in need of a Forever Home because their owner passed away.

While many people were interested in adopting one dog or the other, friends overseeing the adoption were looking for a home that would keep both dogs together.

At the time, my husband and I had a two-year old female BMD, Dakota.   We always talked about getting another BMD but we weren’t sure if we could handle three. A minute of thinking, a phone call, and we were off to meet Hobo and Harmony for the first time. I took Dakota, a pocket full of Liver Treats, and a lot of hope.

Hobo & Harmony came running up to us as if we were their long-lost friends. Tiggy, the woman boarding the dogs, was surprised by the warm welcome we received. She said H&H reacted to other people differently, and even barked at them. (I didn’t mention the Liver Treats in my pocket)

H&H were gentle and easy to handle; it was obvious that they had been loved and well-trained. And Dakota couldn’t wait to play with them. So we offered to give them a home. Tiggy said there were two other families being considered and that a decision would be made in a day or two.

Well, we didn’t have to wait long. That same evening Tiggy called to say, “…the dogs picked you!”

Because the family of the deceased man was not interested in the dogs, or in the adoption process, H&H arrived with only a 1-page record from their Vet. I was happy to have a brief medical history, and to know that they had lived in Manhattan but I had hoped to learn more about their heritage.

A few weeks later, something extremely unusual happened while we were hiking in Black Rock Forest, a 3,750-acre private preserve near our home (and 60 miles from NYC). It was 8AM on a Sunday morning, a quiet peaceful time on the trail, when a voice called out from the woods, “What are the names of your dogs?” I stopped and looked around. I saw a woman on the other side of the stream. I said, “This is Dakota, and Hobo and this…” “..is Harmony”, she chimed in. Wow!

The woman in the woods turned out to be a close friend of the previous owner. She told me all about the man, the dogs, and the breeder. Both of us were so astonished, and completely delighted, with our good fortune to have found each other this way.

I contacted the Breeder via the internet. Her name is Maija Heinila of Milkcreek Kennel in Norway. She was sorry to hear the sad news but happy the dogs found a good home. Hobo is two years old and Harmony was four; same mother, different fathers. And Hobo’s sister had a litter in September.

Maija was one of the judges at the Potomac Valley BMD Show in March 2010. We drove down to Maryland for a little reunion. She gave me copies of H&H pedigrees and a big hug!
Needless to say, this is quite a story with a very happy ending. We love our wonderful Berners!

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