Johnson - Eddie, Dolly, and Dani - Milton, WI

Eddie - BG#40158 - DOB 6/12/06 - Adopted 9/23/06 - Left in picture
Dolly - BG#41399 - DOB 4/27/06 - Adopted 1/11/07 - right
Dani - BG#22600 - DOB 2/9/02 - Adopted 8/08 - center


 I first saw a Bernese Mountain Dog at a local dog show and was immediately taken.  After attending every dog show that I could find that would have one there and talking to owners and breeders, I knew this was the breed for me.  However, my heart has always been a “pound puppy” person and all my previous dogs had come from local shelters. 

I stumbled across BARC on the internet and submitted my application in September of 2006 after seeing they had some 3 month old puppies available for adoption.  I was approved and my boy Eddie entered my life.  Eddie has been a total joy.  He’s my clown, my goofball, my shadow.  Eddie has passed his GCG, done rally obedience and agility, all of which he enjoys.  Our next venture will be drafting this coming spring.

In January of 2007 I soon realized one Berner was not enough.  I went back to BARC and luckily for me, they had a sweet little girl that was just two months older then Eddie.   Dolly joined us and immediately became best friends with Eddie.  The two are inseparable.  Dolly has also passed her CGC and I call her my “Walmart Greeter” as she feels the need to say hello to anyone and everyone that she meets.  Due to hip and elbow issues, we aren’t able to do any obedience or rally, but she enjoys her daily walks and loves going to the dog park!

In March of 2008 I volunteered to foster Dani for BARC.  She was one of four dogs that an Amish puppy miller turned over to them.  She’d spent six years in a cage in a long white barn at the puppy mill. When Dani joined our household she was terrified of everything.  She wouldn’t stay in the same room as we were in; she wouldn’t look at us directly and would immediately get up and pace when someone walked past her.  In August of 2008 I realized there was no way I could let this shy, timid girl out of my life so I adopted her. She’s been with me for two years now and she has made huge strides thanks to Eddie and Dolly and lots of advice from knowledgeable people. She will always be a nervous girl and will forever bear the effects of having spent too long in a puppy mill churning out puppies, but she’s unloaded a lot of the “baggage” that came with her.  She greets me in the morning when the alarm goes off tail wagging like a propeller on a helicopter and she’s the first at the door for our afternoon walks when I get home from work. 

Little did I know that I would end up needing these dogs as much as they needed me.  In December of 2009 I found out I have stage IV cancer.  I’ve been through radiation and have now started chemotherapy treatments.  Eddie, Dolly and Dani have been my nurses throughout my ordeal.  On the days that I barely have the strength to go for a walk, one of them is right there at my side or behind me, pushing me along, making sure I’m safe and moving along .  They know to be gentle on days I’m not so strong and are always right with me.   I couldn’t ask for any better nurses then my three Berners.  I love them with all my heart……  So I guess the question is, who rescued who?

Patti Johnson

Milton, WI