Davis - McKinley - North Pole, AK

The Last Frontiers Majestic McKinley, CGC, RN
BG # 30726
March 22, 2004 – January 4, 2013

McKinley was the father of our very first Berner, Buster. He was owned by a couple who lived less than a mile from our home here in North Pole, Alaska. We found them through their puppy ad in our local newspaper. When we contacted them, they only had 2 boys left so we hurried over to see them. When we got there, we found McKinley on a chain, in a chain link run. After about 30 minutes or so he was let out to see us. He was a pretty happy boy, but a little skittish. We visited for a while and left, only to return the following day to pick up our new bundle of joy, Buster. After that day, we basically had no contact with his owners.

Fast forward two years (and another Berner) later, and we were contacted by the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Alaska Rescue Coordinator, looking for information about McKinley. His owners, who had a child in a wheel chair, had to move to a smaller home-a home too small for their kids and all of their pets. They contacted Golden Retriever Rescue of Fairbanks (GRRF) to take the golden retriever, and they also took McKinley (and Denali, Buster’s mom). That started the rescue ball rolling. We were friends with several Club members who knew where we had gotten Buster from, so they passed our information along. We immediately told the coordinator that we would love to have both of them join our family! Since we were new to the Berner community and the Alaska Club, it took several weeks of e-mails and phone calls before we were able to convince them that we should have them with us.

A good friend, who was fostering McKinley, called us on a Friday evening and said she had great news and that we could come and get McKinley and bring him home.

His addition to our family, while a godsend, has not been without problems. For the first 8 months, McKinley showed a fear of Ron. Sometimes we would have to herd him into the house, other times Ron would have to leave the room. That all changed when we received McKinley’s AKC Registration in the mail. It was like a switch had been flipped because since that day they are the best of friends! We think that somehow McKinley knew on that day that he was in his forever home. He is always on the couch with Ron and, along with one of our other rescue Berners (Bailey) sleeps in our bed. When he is in bed he sleeps between us with his head on Ron’s pillow.

In November 2012, the news came that every Berner owner dreads. McKinley was diagnosed with cancer—2 very large masses on his lungs and one large one in his abdomen. Given the size of the tumors, and his age, we decided that it was in his best interest to make his last days as happy and enjoyable as it could be. We prayed that he be able to spend one last Christmas with us, and our prayers were answered. He crossed the Rainbow Bridge to be with Sherman at 7:30 pm on January 4, 2013, just a few hours behind his “sister”, Bailey. He was Ron’s best friend and buddy, and it has been very hard, but we know he is in a better place, waiting for us to come play with him. Run Free and Play Hard Buddy—We Miss You!

Ron & Kristi Davis