Saks - Bogey and Ricola - West Lafayette, IN
Both Bogey (BG#: 64721) and Ricola (BG#: 64722) came to us, Deborah and Robert Saks, in West Lafayette, Indiana, via the Heart of Michigan Bernese Mountain Dog Club (HMBMDC) rescue group. We had rescued a Berner, Olaf, from HMBMDC, and he had significant aggression issues, and after his death, we were still in mourning when we were asked if we might be interested in rehoming a very happy dog who was two years old. While I was reluctant at first, I wanted to help another Berner, so I drove the hundreds of miles to meet “Butch.” I fell in love, but adopting him put us one dog over par (3 in our house), so we renamed him Bogey.
After he had lived with us for six months, we had him tested, and he has now been a registered therapy dog with Delta Society for 3 years, and he brings joy to senior citizens at nursing homes and to children in a local “reading fur fun” program. Everyone loves his happy personality, and they love his “nose nibble” trick where he will lick the end of your nose on command. His only challenge is in the reading program where he often likes to doze off while children read to him. One little girl was not happy when she finished reading to him, and when I asked why, she said, “Bogey wasn’t even paying attention.”
Bogey has begun training for the Novice Draft Dog title, and he absolutely loves to pull things. When he puts on his harness, he dances around and spins with joy. It is an activity that gives him one-on-one time with his dog mom, and he knows he’s special.
When we were contacted about a Berner puppy rescued from a puppy mill, we were once again down to three dogs, but I did not want to jump in to raising a puppy unless I could spend the time to do it correctly. Of course I had never raised a Berner from puppyhood, so it was an opportunity I had always wanted. It also helped that my husband agreed that if I would train the new puppy, he would get up in the middle of the night for “hurry” breaks.
When I met Ricola (nee “Sheldon”), he was very shy and seemed unsure of what to do with humans. He seemed like a dog who liked dogs, but he wasn’t too fond of people. Given that his parents were both four years old and still nameless dogs on an Amish farm, this made some sense, but I wondered if he’d ever warm up to us. Luckily, as the weeks passed, he got more and more “user friendly,” and now, he’s so social it’s hard to believe he’s the same dog. He actually gets happy when he sees guests arrive instead of barking and leaving the room. Hopefully in 2010 he’ll be good enough to be registered as a therapy dog. We hope when he’s older that he might enjoy draft work along with Bogey.
Bogey and Rico are great buddies, and whichever one of them goes outside first will turn and wait for the other one before getting off the porch. There’s always a little romp between them before getting down to business. We can’t imagine life without our rescued Berner boys.
Pictures - Bogey (above) & Ricola (below)