Koon - Poppi - Richland, WA

On December 8th Poppi had her 6th birthday. When she came to me 18 months ago I wasn’t even sure I wanted to keep her. I just knew she needed some place better than where she was. Poppi had a few problems that don’t come with getting a new puppy. When I first brought her home she weighed 115#; so obese and deconditioned that she could barely pick herself up off the kitchen floor. She clearly suffered from poor care. She had been living year round in a corner of a backyard. Her dull, flakey coat had fist-sized mats. There were tiny close-to-the-skin mats over most of her body. The mats had hidden her terribly inflamed skin and the open sores at the base of her tail and covering her chest and abdomen.

I felt angry at the people who had neglected her and a little overwhelmed by both her needs and the challenges of integrating her into my household. Friends advised me to foster her until the right home could be found, to contact a regional club rescue, or to return her to her breeder. Somehow, I had developed an emotional investment. Maybe because I had discovered how desperately she needed to have a better home. Maybe because I’m a Berner person and found it heart-breaking to see such a sweet dog so terribly neglected. Maybe because acquiring her had already turned into a lot more trouble than I had bargained for and I was determined not to quit. I agonized over whether to keep her. There were ALOT of really sound reasons not to.

I left Poppi in the care of a good friend for 10 days. While I was away, I made the decision to foster her and find “the best possible home for her”. But then when I returned, she was unbelievably happy to see me and my heart melted. Over the next couple of weeks she was never more than about 2 feet away from me, even sleeping on my bed at night. I realized that MY HOME was the best possible place for her. I was her person. SHE had picked ME!

That was 18 months ago. Poppi, now a svelte 80#, is my constant companion; at my feet under my desk or at the kitchen table, always on my bed at night, and first to head for the car if she thinks I’m going anywhere. She is a wonderful working dog! She learned quickly to walk nicely on a leash, earning her CGC a few months after arriving. Then we started working on basic obedience and rally. In 2013 she finished titles for Rally Novice, Beginner Novice OB, Novice Draft Dog, Companion Dog and by the end of the year had earned her Advanced Novice Draft Dog title and AKC Community Canine (CGCA). She is a sweet, SWEET dog. She works so willingly for me because I have loved her. I am so very glad I said YES to her!

Indianlands Lavendar Blue “Poppi”, BN, RN, CD, ANDD, CGCA
Berner-Garde ID#71600
Owned and Loved by Melanie Koon, Richland,WA