Paige - Hansel - Bahama, NC

Hansel Paige
June 21, 2003 – August 19, 2008
BG # 26734

We picked up Hansel on a hot summer day. He was my first rescue, but it had been in the works with Sloane Shepard of the Chattahoochee Valley Club for about a year. The aunt of the young wife was concerned for the health and safety of three Berners during a bitter divorce battle. The divorce decree divided the dogs; the husband got custody of two females, the wife got custody of Hansel. She was moving back in with her parents and her toddler, but she couldn’t take Hansel, too.

We arrived, met the dogs, and I realized I forgot to ask a key question. How much does the dog weigh? Hansel was the biggest Berner I’ve ever seen, and I love big males. Luckily, we had the dog ramp, because we couldn’t have picked him up to put him in the van.

Hansel was a very sweet guy and wasn’t any trouble. He panted and drooled a lot, but we attributed that to the heat, since the dogs lived in the guy’s garage. We arrived home and welcomed Hansel into the air-conditioned house.

I had a vet appointment the next day, but he was barely mobile so transporting him would be a challenge. Our vet visited the house and agreed I wasn’t exaggerating about him being a big guy! He took blood for analysis and was rather limited it the physical exam he could do. He estimated his weight at 150-175 pounds.

The blood results showed the lowest thyroid value my vet had ever seen. He tested it twice just to be sure it was accurate. This explained a lot, so we started him on medication right away and expected to see results soon.

I spent a lot of time on the floor with this guy, stroking him and giving him ear rubs. He wasn’t interested in going outside much, and who could blame him? He lived in the heat long enough. We noticed he really enjoyed fresh water and wanted to be the first to drink from the community water bowl.

After three weeks, his appetite was getting worse instead of better. I tried hand feeding him, but he wasn’t interested. The vet was scheduled to come to the house the next day to re-test him and evaluate his condition. However, during the night, Hansel became very restless. I called a neighbor to help me get him into the van to go to the emergency vet, but Hansel would not budge. I sat with him on the floor and told him we would get him help in the morning. But his breathing became more labored. I noticed that each of our three dogs came over to him and smelled him and then went to their beds to sleep. I realized at that point that Hansel may not make it through the night and I told him I wanted him to be free of pain and to run free. Within two hours Hansel passed away in my arms.

Carolyn & Don Paige
Blue Ridge BMD Club Rescue Coordinator
Bahama, NC