Sibley - Boomer - White Lake, MI


Berner Garde # 64805           DOB 1-1-02   Age: 7

Kathy and Bob Sibley   White Lake, Michigan

Boomer (formerly Jacob) was a re-home from Bruce and Linda Whiteside (Michigan Bernese Rescue) His former owner after 4 years, decided he didn’t want him anymore.  As the story goes the owners new wife didn’t like big dogs so she made Jacob stay chained up outside.  Being fearful of thunderstorms, he panicked, freaked out and tore the siding off the house.  This is what caused them to call rescue.  Boomer had some “quirks” about him.  I think he was just confused about everything going on.  He was given to a very nice Berner family but was returned 6 weeks later because of his “quirks”.  Bruce was having a challenging time placing him and feared that he would have to put him down due to the outbreaks or “quirks”   It looked as if he would be “un-adoptable”.  When my husband heard of Jacob’s fate, he insisted we take him. Talk about a life changing experience.  We got him a few days prior to the 4th of July.  Living on a lake, fireworks begin sometime around the first of June.  Jacob hated the booms and the fireworks so we soon renamed him Boomer to begin his new life.  He freaked over fireworks, thunderstorms, garbage trucks, and his greatest nemesis, the UPS and Fed-ex trucks. 

Boomer and my husband Bob soon became best friends. (I think he must have known who really saved him).  Boomer loves being a garage dog and hanging out with Bob and his hot rods.  For some reason the sound of the loud exhaust pipes doesn’t make Boomer crazy like the other sounds, and in fact he seems to revel in the racket.  Boomer attends most all of the car show outings we go to.  He’s walks around and visits all the guys with their hot rods, lets their kids hug him, and ultimately makes his way to where the hamburgers are being grilled.  He’s found great pleasure mingling at these outings, and the black & white fuzzy dice dangling from his collar is a dead giveaway that he’s one of the car guys.  

Because of Boomer I have learned so much about animal behavior.  With the help of behaviorist, dog trainers, internet group discussions, calming music, anxiety wraps, alternative medicine along with prescription drugs, we’ve managed to work out most of Boomer’s “quirks”. 

In September 2009 Boomer passed his test for Canine Good Citizen as well as passing temperament testing for Therapy Dog International.  We have visited some old folks and he loves the attention, but his real therapy work comes at the car shows.  One day while at a car show at the local VFW, I noticed two veterans in wheel chairs there.  One of them drove his wheel chair up to me and asked if he could pet my dog.  Boomer stepped up to position and let the petting begin.  The other man, who was being pushed by his caregiver, then came over to us.  I walked Boomer up to him and asked if he wanted to pet him, before I realized that the man could not use his arms.  Boomer took two steps closer and rubbed his head on the man’s arm and then laid his head on his lap.   I wanted to cry but instead smiled and told the man how much Boomer liked him.  The man had a huge smile on his face and just glowed.  I couldn’t have ever asked for a more touching moment, and it remains a very special memory in my life.  Boomer turned 7 last November and is now a Veteran himself.  He’s a big loveable boy and I thank God I’ve had the chance to learn so much from him. 

Special thanks to: Bruce and Linda Whiteside:

Helen Hollander and all the members of the Yahoo groups: Shy/Aggressive Bernese.