Posted by: bernernewf | January 6, 2011


I still get so sad over the loss of Loki.  Lately, it has been hitting hard again.  It has been nearly 6 1/2 months.  The bad vet is hiring.  My husband occasionally bugs me to get a job, I told him I would love to work at a vet’s office.  Not that one of course.  Just driving by there every single day (it is really close to my house) is so hard.  To remember them bringing me into the room.  I thought that I had to have misunderstood the morning they called me to tell me they found him dead.  I thought when I got there, he would wake up.  He did not.  I thought my crying over him, would make him wake up for me.  He was such a beautiful dog.  He may not have been a show dog, but he was a gorgeous dog that got compliments from everyone.  I wish I had magic tears like in the movie Tangled, that crying on him would have woken him up.  It is still so hard.  Easier than it was of course, but still so hard.  I loved him so so much.  And he was so young.  It is not like he was old, or sick.  He was not even 3.  He had a few stitches in his ear.  

I have been watching the show Pit Bulls and Parolees.  It is actually quite the good show.   They often have dogs on there that were used for dog fighting, or as bait dogs.  There was one I saw on a show that I watched today, it was a bulldog girl used as the bait dog.  They showed pictures of her when she was found.  She had puncture wounds all over her body.  Even internally (her lung).  Bite marks, sores, open holes.  Yet, she did not die.  I will never ever ever understand why Loki died.

Posted by: bernernewf | December 2, 2010

New Blog

I decided to move my blog to a new one for HÜSKER DÜ and Mr. Blue.  It does not feel right to write about HÜSKER on this blog where I shared so much of Loki. 

The new blog address:

I will put posts starting with HÜSKER”s earlier life soon.

Posted by: bernernewf | November 30, 2010

Introducing HÜSKER DÜ

After Loki died, I knew that I need to fill the void with another Berner.  Not to replace him, because nothing in this world can ever ever replace my Loki.  How my heart still aches.  Often times it is still a stab to the heart, when I think of him.  It has been 5 months now.  I still cry almost every day, just thinking about him, or something will remind me of him, or the dates for the plans I had for us roll around, such as obedience trials or draft tests that we were going to enter, or were entered in.  Or Christmas.  My daughter and I were shopping at Target the other day, and she said we need another Christmas sock, and it took me a second, and then that stab to the heart feeling was there immediatley.  It’s been hard.

Anyways, back to the introduction.  It came to be, that Loki’s breeder, Laurie, had a puppy that just turned 6 months, that for one reason or another, just was not working out for his family, so he was to be rehomed.  After seeing many pictures of him, and even a little video, I decided that I wanted to see how he would fit in my home.  I picked him up back in early July.  And he became mine.  So, yes, I have had him, about 5 months now.  He is a delightful puppy. 

His registered name is Trillium’s New Day Rising, and his call name is HÜSKER DÜ.  I came about these names, because the registered name had to have the word “new” in it.  His registered name was New Kid In Town, but that did not fit our situation, that evokes happiness, like just adding a new puppy or something.  This was not the case here.   So, I knew there was some sort of saying about new day rising, or something similar.  When I typed in “new day rising”, it came right up as a song and album by an old punk band called HÜSKER DÜ.  My husband is a big fan of HÜSKER DÜ, and started singing the song New Day Rising.  I thought that was a perfect registered name, and also loved HÜSKER DÜ for a call name (his call name was Hogan).  But, it gets better, HÜSKER DÜ means “Do you remember?” in Danish, and is a game of focus and concentration, perfect for an aspiring obedience dog.  But that’s a whole ‘nother story. 

So, HÜSKER has been a wonderful puppy.  He is helping to fill in some of the cracks of my broken heart. 

HÜSKER DÜ, 6 months old

Another HÜSKER, 6 months

HÜSKER enjoys boating and swimming!


I will put more posts up in the next few days.  I might start a new blog, if I do, the link will be on here.

Posted by: bernernewf | July 27, 2010

Loki. “So it goes.”*

I was not planning on posting this, as I do not have the heart, but I know people check this blog from time to time, who probably are not aware of what happened.  On June 24th, a Thursday, later afternoon, Loki and Blue got in a minor scuffle, I ended it immediatley, as did they.  Except, that Loki’s ear was torn.  This stuff happens.  He was bleeding, a lot.  I took him straight to the vet, they had to keep him so that they could stitch up his ear.  I picked him up the next morning, his ears were bandaged down to his head.  He was hating this.  Within minutes, he shook everything off, busting the stitches.  I took him right back, they *insisted* on keeping him again, and wanted to keep him through the weekend.  I agreed willingly to keep him Friday night, but told them I would want to bring him home Saturday morning.  I called Saturday morning, and everyone encouraged me to leave him there, at the vet’s office.  He was still messing around, and we did not want to end up at the emergency clinic off and on, or anything further to happen to his ears.  So I left him.  I missed him, whined to my husband to go bust him out, was singing off and on Saturday “come home Loki, come home Loki, come home”. 

Sunday morning, we were just sitting down to breakfast.  The phone rings.  I answer it, it is the vet’s office.  I could tell by the voice, and the hesitation, that something was wrong.  The only words the vet got out were “Cindy, the girls found Loki…”” upon, that I whipped the phone at my husband and started screaming.  I saw the look on his face, and knew that what they were trying to tell me was true. 

Loki died sometime that Saturday/Sunday.  Except we will never know WHEN, because when they left him Saturday, at 1 p.m., they did not return to him till Sunday at 7 a.m..  Not one single time.  They admitted this to me.  I doubt it would have made a difference, and I doubt it would have made a difference if he was home.  An infection set into his bloodstream, and he died of myocarditis, and infection to the heart, that caused a fatal arrythmia.   Those were the necropy results.  Except, that we will never what bacteria, or where it came from.  Because I knew in my hysterics at the vet’s office, that he would need a necropsy.  I did not know that the vet would start it immediatly after me leaving.  When I got home and called his breeder, she said to call back and tell them to send Loki to the state lab for his necropsy.  Which they did, but they started on him, which “muddied the waters”. 

So it goes.  I loved that dog with all my heart.  It has been just over a month, and my heart is still broken.  I have forced myself to get over all the torture I put myself through the first couple weeks, the what if’s, the should haves, etc.  I have had to force myself not to think of my bestest friend in the world, who never spent more than a few hours alone, there for that long.   It caused me much anxiety and physical symptoms as well as emotional. 

I do not know why this had to happen.  It was a minor dog fight, these things happen.  Dogs ears get torn, flopping around, bound to happen.  Dogs do not die from that. 

I am filing a complaint against the vet.  Maybe the state board can find fault with them, concrete fault.  But what we do know for sure is that it is quite inhumane to leave an animal, especially one under their care, no matter how minor the problem is for 18 hours. 

This vet’s practice is West Shore Animal Hospital in Denver, NC.  Dr. Lynn Reed, and Dr. Miller.  Please leave an email to me if you have ever had something bad happen with these vets.  He had practices elswhere in the state.

Loki’s 3rd birthday is next week.  August 4th.  He was not even 3.  He had a very bright future ahead of him, he needed one leg of his CDX, we were entered in a draft trial in September, we were very far in Utility training (proofing stages of most of it).  We had lots of plans.  Now he is gone. 

I just don’t know what else to say.  Except I loved that dog with all my heart.

*”So it goes”, is from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5 book.

Posted by: bernernewf | June 26, 2010

Beach Trip

Pouting puppies in the sand....

Loki and Blue snuggling up…

Well, it has been a long time since I have posted!  We went on a beach trip, back in April I think it was.  We stayed at a dog friendly house, rented through .  I highly recommend them, all their properties are pet friendly.  It was a nice place, and the dogs and kids had a blast.   Actually, yes, it was Easter time.  Nice time to go to the beach, because it is not terribly hot yet.  Blue enjoyed the ocean much more than Loki, though Loki did get some swimming in.  Devin could have thrown the bumper for Blue all day long.  He was actually pretty funny leaping in the waves.  Like a true Newfoundland!

Having fun in the surf!

Devin tossing water kong for the dogs...

Devin and the dogs

Chilling in the sand...

Posted by: bernernewf | April 7, 2010

Open Trial Update

We showed in Simpsonville a couple of weeks ago.   Went to a match Friday night, stayed at  a hotel, was ready to show bright and early at 8 a.m.  I thought all the stars were lines up perfectly to get our title.  Sadly, it was not to be.  At the match Friday night, we had 5 minutes of ring time.  I opted to a Drop on Recall, after some heeling.  The drop was picture perfect.  We did a couple retrieves over the jump, mainly because on the first one he went to go right to finish, rather than front first.  So I stopped him, and then we repeated the exercise, and it was very nice.  Then I opted to use my last bit of time to do a mini stay.  I set him up, the ring was very different looking from normal stays in the ring, since the jumps were still set up, and it was just him.  He followed me right out.  I firmly put him back in place, and left for a minute, and came back and praised, then our time was up.  We then immediatly had group stays.  He did stay, but he looked quite stressed. 

So Saturday’s actual trial was not good.  He did not drop on the drop on recall.  I think I need to stop saying his name, then down.  I think it might be confusing to him.  I have no idea.  We do not ever have a drop issue in training, and I do bring him lots of different busy places to do it.   He has had lots of proofing.  His heeling was nice, his retrieve he went to go right to finish, so since we already NQ’ed, I stopped him.  He nicked the broad jump (frustrating) and he nicked the jump on the retrieve over the jump (frustrating). 

Then came stays.  He did not follow me out on the sit, but when I came back, he had laid down.  Great.  This is new.  Then followed me out on the down.  We are not showing for awhile. 

We need one leg for the title.  I do not know when we will enter another show.

Posted by: bernernewf | March 14, 2010

Open A Update

We have two legs so far.  We have been in 7 trials.  First trial, we qualified, and took 1st place.  2nd trial, a few days after the first, Loki did not drop.  Third trial, was beautiful, except Loki followed me out of the ring on the downstays.  Totally unexpected.  4th trial, I stupidly went back the next day, same thing:  qualified beautifully, only to follow me out on the down stay.  5th trial, we got a leg.  6th trial, would have qualified, but he followed me out of the ring on the SIT stay.  7th trial, no drop again, but perfect stays. 

Supposedly a dog that follows out of the ring, is an anxiety issue, not a training issue.  Still terribly frustrating, as he honestly very very very rarely broke stays in training or classes.  It honestly was not a problem I thought we would have.  Laggy heeling, no drops, possibly a broad jump issue, are things I expected…..not that I wanted them, because we certainly train to avoid those issues. 

We have been going to different places, places that are busy, to do stays.  The other day we went to Petsmart, and I downed him right by the vet’s desk, that happened to have dogs walking by constantly.  He maintained his stay without issue (thought this was not an issue before).  The biggest test, is for him to be in a stay, with people rapidly approaching him to meet him.  These are harder for him, as he is a very social dog, and someone just has to glance at him and he is ready to be loved on.  

His utility progress is coming along, though I know that trialing in Utility is far different than training Utility.  Don’t know when we will enter the Utility ring.  I know that is an extremely high failure rate, so I will wait till I know he is absolutely ready.  Knowing that that won’t make a difference:)  November right now is my goal, but doubtful.  With summer coming, and 3 kids home all day it is harder to train.  Especially with having to bring my jumps and ring gating (for go outs) on the road a lot.  Weather is also a big factor.  But there are plenty of big air conditioned stores that we can practice heeling and signals and scent work in. 

So, we are entered in less than two weeks now in some shows for Open.  We have a match on Friday night, are staying at a hotel, and showing at 8 a.m. Saturday  morning.  We are also signed up Sunday.  IF we get our title Saturday, which sucks to say IF, because we train a lot and he is good, but we both change dramatically in the ring, we will more than likely go back Sunday.  I am really curious if having the title, IF we get it, will make a difference in my nerves, which in turn will hopefully help performance.

Wierd things crop up each time we show lately, his first 4 trials were all very nice, (darn that stay issue!!!!), but the ones since then has Loki autofinishing, or going right to finish without a front, once even with a dumbbell in his mouth!  He also stopped to sniff a steward on our figure 8 last time, something he has never done before.  So either he is feeling very anxious in the ring, or he is wizeing up to the fact that there are not any corrections.  The match will hopefully  help this.  Also last time, we NQ’ed already on the drop, so I stopped him from doing the autofinish once. 

That is all for now.

Posted by: bernernewf | February 13, 2010

Top Obedience Novice A Dog for 2009!!!!

Was notified today that my own Loki dog was awarded Top Obedience Novice A dog for 2009 through the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America!!!!  This is extremely exciting news to me, and something so totally unexpected!  I knew we did well with our CD, but never imagined that well!!!!! 

Special thanks to Loki’s breeder, Laurie Farley of Trillium Kennels for breeding such a wonderful and intelligent dog. 

And to Suzanne Fairbairn for all her guidance, training, coaching, friendship in helping Loki and I attain our goals!!!!!

Posted by: bernernewf | February 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Blue!

I am a little late with this, shame on me.  Mr. Blue’s birthday was January 20th.  He is now 3.  The kids had the day off from school, so we headed to Belmont, NC, to a canine cafe for some doggy treats, then a walk in the park.  It was a nice day, very nice weather after an extreme cold spell. 

Posted by: bernernewf | February 1, 2010

First Tracking Class for Loki!

Loki had his first tracking class today.  It went well.  He seemed to like it, even if his article indication is to sniff it then sit on it!  I guess that works.  We did one track first for article indication, which was to let the dogs find each article, and praise them when they did.  He did quite well with this.  The second track was a straight line, with a few articles.  He got hung up on one article, he kept wanting to grab it….but once he figured out to get to the next one, which was also the last, he raced over and flung it up in the air!  There are just a few pictures….


With practice, Loki has learned to leave my side on the “track” command, track to the article, grab it and sit.  He likes to fling the article in the air, so this is fine, but I would prefer him to hold it till I catch up to him.  Second tracking class was raining and cold.  We do not have class for another 3 weeks, hopefully we will get some more practice in!

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