I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.

For me they are the role model for being alive.

~ Gilda Radner

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Berner Report: New Beginnings, July 23



First, I have to apologize for the lack of pictures. I was so intent on Alf not getting loose and escaping, that I couldn't focus on much else. Also, two dogs on leash (3 with Fenway) makes operating a camera difficult.

Alf made the journey from dirtville to Vegas and Vegas to California in the same manner he has done everything: with class and like a gentleman.

He really did come to love going for a drive. When we were driving he could barely stand to put his head down. He wanted to see everything!

Civilization was a curious matter. He showed no fear, but was definitely confused by the hustle and bustle. He stood, for what seemed to be hours, his nose in the air, tasting the smells.

Mr. B did just fine at the vets. He napped while we waited to see the vet, in spite of all sorts of cats, dogs, and rodents who were also waiting.

The staff loved him and couldn't believe that a mere six months ago he was running with wild dogs. They did comment on his Houdini act and stellar escaping abilities.

We arrived in California, early Friday morning.

At about 10am Alf finally got to meet most of his new family. We kept the meeting low key and brief so as not to upset Alf with any emotions we might be feeling.

On Saturday, Alf's mom updated me and included pictures.

Alf on his new, plush bed, sitting with his 2-legged sister


Alf with his mom and 4-legged sister, Sophie.


She said, "...Here we are. He is beautiful! He whined a bit in the car, and then rested his sweet little head on my arm. He is really bonding with Brandy. Getting on fine with Sophie. She barked at him a bit, he did nothing. Then he found his voice. How can so much voice come out of such a little body? He is laying in the laundry room sleeping right now, and Sophie is out by the fireplace. We came home, took a tour and he officially christened our living room ottoman. Watched me scrub and lecture no relieving in mummies house. Looked pretty uninterested. Will keep you updated. Pulled out two sticky icky thorny things you had on your blog..."

I can't believe that boy, peeing in the house! He never once let loose in my house (that was the home of two male dogs before it became Stumpy's home. Or in my son's house where one male dog was living and another had lived up until a year ago! Then I thought to myself, "He's home, he knows it, and he's making sure the world knows it, too." Silly, I know, but I like it. As long as there are no more peeing in the house incidents.

I also can't believe he had two of those stupid, evil stickers in him. Both the vet and I went over him, completely! Also, I had promised Alf, on the way to Cali, that he would never be subjected to those evil things again!

Again, I want to express my heartfelt and eternal gratitude to every one of you for your support throughout Alf's introduction to the world of beans.

To Alf's family, there are no words. But if you ever need a dog sitter, give me a call!

Paws crossed that all the homeless/neglected/abused animals find their happily ever after home and family!


The Berner (now known as Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner)is/was a semi-feral dog trying to survive in the Mohave Desert.

He has a family of his own, now, and is living happily ever after and well-loved in sunny, SoCal.

If you're a new visitor to our blog, the Berner's story can be read in the posts listed below, in chronological order. Updates are posted on Saturday.
#1 Who's been sitting in my chair?
#2 Runnin' with the big dawgs
#3 There's a Berner in my living room!
#4 He's everywhere!
#5 He's gone
#6 The Berner: coming and going
#7 Berner News
#8 The Weekly Berner Report (March 28 - April 3)
#9 The Weekly Berner Report (April 3 - April 10)
#10 The Weekly Berner Report (April 10 - April 17);
#11 The Weekly Berner Report (April 17 - April 24)
#12 The Weekly Berner Report (April 24 - May 1)
#13 The Berner (aka Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner) Report: May 1 - May 8
#14 The Weekly Berner Report: May 8 - May 15
#15 The Weekly Berner Report: May 15 - 22
#16 The Berner Report: May 22 - May 29
#17 The Weekly Berner Report: May 29 - June 5
#18 The Weekly Berner Report: June 5 - 12
#19 The Weekly Berner report: June 14 - 19
#20 The Weekly Berner Report: June 27 - July 3 (Experts weigh in, please)
#21 The Weekly Berner Report (July 3 - July 10)
#22 The Weekly Berner Report, July 17, The Details and Boatlaods of Gratitude
#23 July 20: Vegas, Baby!
#24 The Berner Report: New Beginnings, July 23, 2010
#25 The Berner Report: August 7, 2010 Update

Sunday, July 25, 2010

It happened in Laguna...

Police Files
as reported by The Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot
July 22, 2010

Poplar Street: A turtle reported in a driveway was taken into custody at 12:28 p.m. July 16.

*Turtle pictured above is not the turtle that, allegedly, was loitering in a driveway and subsequently taken into custody. All parties are innocent until proven guilty, in a court of law.

*Berner update, coming soon. all is well!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vegas, Baby!

This evening, we're headed to a town affectionately called Hooterville, just outside of Vegas. I lived in Hooterville about 22 years ago. Back then, it was a small town with more desert than town. That's not the case, now. These days,it's a sprawling metropolis that feels like an extension of Las Vegas. Also, it's usually about 10 degrees hotter in Vegas. Yipeeeeeeee!!!

Visiting in Vegas is not a new experience for Stumpy. Is Stumpy offering Alf some secrets to winning big in Sin City or how to get out without losing your shirt? Yeah, I didn't make that joke, but I did think of it!)


And because I didn't update you this weekend, with regard to Alf's training progress, here are a couple of videos.
There's two doors to pass through to get in and out of the house.
Door #1

Door #2

Please, be sure to note the lack of a leash in both videos!

As for riding: when we're outside I leave the truck door open. Alf jumps in, sits for awhile, then comes to get me as if to say, "Let's go!" He's ecstatic when my chores are done and we can finally go for our ride.


We didn't go for a ride, and Alf didn't want to get out until he had his ride!

He's got the, "I can't hear you!" thing down, doesn't he? Cracks me up.

Stumpy doesn't really love the new riding arrangements (and neither do I)

She'll be riding shotgun and navigating, again, on Friday.


Alfy and Stumpy got baths for the occasion. Stumpy doesn't love her bath, until she realizes it includes a full body massage and a rub down.

Alf wanted to climb into the tub with Stumpy, but was not thrilled when it was his turn. Always the gentleman, he made it through the episode without too much objection. He also loved the full body massage. No pictures or videos until after bath-time, though.


I'm sure it comes as no surprise, that I've become Big Dogs, Huge Paws, (BDHP) biggest fan. Whenever I get the chance, I'll be sharing information about them and tooting their horn. BDHP is holding an event this weekend, in Denver.


Event this weekend in Boulder, CO! Come see us!

Big Dogs, Huge Paws is having an event this weekend in Boulder There's plenty to do up north, so you can make a day of it! Take a nice drive up North, have lunch, walk around Pearl Street and come visit us! Bring your own pups too! Hope to see you there!!!!! Please help us spread the word!

Farfel's Farm Fundraiser for Big Dogs Huge Paws-Saturday, July 24th, between 11 A.M. and 3 P.M

Farfel's Farm is excited to announce a fundraiser event on Saturday, July 24th, that will benefit Big Dogs Huge Paws, a Colorado organization dedicated to rescuing and rehoming unwanted giant breed dogs that have been abused and/or abandoned.

Get a mug shot of your dog (all breeds are welcome) for only $15. Groomer Sue Schultz will donate her time to spruce up your pup for their close-up. You will get a 4"x6" print to take home.

Your entire $15 donation will benefit BDHP in their rescue efforts. Additionally,Farfel's will also donate 5% of the day's proceeds to BDHP.

Come to Farfel's Farm and enjoy a day of primping and photography with your pet!


Farfel's Farm
906 Pearl Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302
Tel: 303-443-7711
Toll-free: 800-806-6994
www.farfels.com

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday's Snooze









And to help you cool off...

This is a dog that knows how to have fun!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Weekly Berner Report - The details and boatloads of gratitude



I've been out of my mind the last month and particularly the last two weeks. I've been thinking the worst with regard to Alf's future (or lack of one) I truly felt, in my heart, that euthanasia was a better option than a shelter, for many reasons.

I absolutely have to get back east, and soon. I set a departure date for August 1st (for about the 12th time) this time I knew I had to stick to it.

I've been emailing and calling rescues all over the country and posting on forums for weeks. On Saturday a horse forum member (yes, I posted on a couple of horse forums, too) referred me to a rescue in Colorado, Big Dogs, Huge Paws (aka BDHP).


I emailed BDHP and received an email that same day telling me they would help Alfy! I was psyched. BDHP is actually a national rescue, the one I contacted is located in Colorado. Awesome! Lucky Alf is going to get out of this god forsaken desert! All their dogs are in foster homes, they've got a great program and as far as I could tell they do everything exactly as I would; better, no doubt

By the way, BDHP has a blog. I hope everybloggie will check them out and show them some love.

That same day, I called Sue, the rescue contact for the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Watchung

Sue referred me to an international Bernese Mountain Dog mailing list. The email had barely been sent and I was receiving responses. The Berner people stepped right up and began networking to find Alf a home. Monday I was contacted by a woman in California wanting to give our boy a home. She comes with great references, including a well known, responsible BMD breeder/rescue. The family who will be taking Alf has one of her bitches. You've already met Sophie, a five year old Berner girl. Einstein, pictured below in the forefront, is Sophie's younger brother.

That's Sophie, in the back. Einstein, also pictured on our sidebar Berner rescue button, was a rescued Berner adopted by Alf's new family. Sadly, they lost him as a result of bloat.

We're pretty sure Einstein has his paws in this whole journey and has orchestrated Alf's destiny to help heal the broken hearts he left behind

Alf's new mom doesn't want me to speak of Einstein's abuse but of the love and joy he brought to their family. I'll only say this: Our Mr.B and Einstein stories' share some similar circumstances.
"...He was precious loving, and curious about everything. Even when he first arrived. He loved to walk. I would go early so he could feel the sun on his face. I used to tell him it came up to greet him. And at night, while on our walk when the sun would go down I would tell him it was kissing him goodnight.

He was so proud to walk with his family. He was curious even when I put that funny stuff on my face. I let him smell everything.Even my parfume bottle. He would curiously sniff, then shake his nose and smile at me. He loved riding in the car. My little navigator. He would jump in and head straight for the armrest. Front paws on armrest back legs on backseat. Then Right before I would take off, kiss for the driver. It was a ritual for him. I could not get in and drive without his kiss. As far as Einstein was concerned that is what made the car go. He loved Sophie and she him. In the morning he would go up to her and sniff,and kiss her on the nose while little tails wagging. It was one of the most endearing beautiful moments of our day.

If he heard a police car, fire truck , or ambulance, he would bark and howl. As soon as Sophie barked at noises outside or people walking by, Einstein would run up to her and join in. He would wait for Sophies cue and stop only if she did. It drove us bananas and made us laugh all at the same time. It was way too cute. He loved to cuddle. He would sometimes fall asleep right next to Sophie..."



Coincidentally, the adopters live in the same town as my sister, in California. My sister will go over on Monday to do a home check. (Side note: Yipeeeeee! Stumpy's going to the beach AND I get to see my baby S'tar)

As planned, Alf will go to the vets on the 21st and I will deliver him to his mom on the 23. We'll spend some time together, first at the park and then in Alf's new home. I'll stay in Laguna (yes, this lucky boy is moving to sunny SoCal!) for a couple of days to visit with my sister and make sure Alf settles in.


Blog land has been especially kind and supportive of Alf, throughout this journey. I know many of you have cried tears of happiness with each step forward and tears of frustration with every setback. We are so grateful for your advice, encouragement and help.

I'm grateful to Paula who blogs at Woof Whinny Whisper and Sandra who blogs at This & That for posting Alfy's search for a forever home on their blogs.

Alfy's was listed on Petfinder, thanks to The Huppie Syndicate

Although,RUFFF (Rescued Unwanted Furry Friends Foundation)was unable to provide sanctuary for Alf, they were more than happy to allow Alf to go to their vet and receive their discount for all procedures, tests and vaccinations.

They also provided advice and encouragement, throughout our journey.

I hope the members of the Berner-L yahoo group and mailing list know how much I appreciate their network, the support they provided and their encouragement. I extend my gratitude to the member that offered to foster,those that were prepared to make sure Alf had a great future and those that took the time to share his story, which resulted in this very happy new beginning.

Thanks, too, to that wonderfully crazy and hugely supportive Horse Forum, whose members referred me to BDHP and other rescues; and one member in particular who was prepared to give Alf a forever home, in New England.

I am so grateful to my neighbors and friends for keeping track of Alfy, and watching out for him when he was wandering.

And more than anything or anyone I'd to thank Alfy's new family for opening their hearts and home to this special boy. I am beyond thrilled for Alf! I wish Alf and his new family the very brightest future possible, days filled with love and laughter. I know Alf will continue to grow and respond to your kindness and love.


Last but never least, I must thank Stumpy. I'm quite sure she let Alf know, right from the beginning, that the two-legged that lived here was a sucker with an endless supply of treats, bones and chewies; that I was constantly buying pillows and chairs for canine comfort and that belly rubs and back scratches were given freely.


I figure when Stumpy first told Alf about her two-legged sucker, she did it in a bragging sort of way (all part of Einstein's plan); never thinking she'd have to share her treats, bones, chairs and pillows.

In the picture above we see Stumpy sulking because Alf has his own bone and doesn't want hers. Alf likes this. You can be sure he will plant himself right in front of Stumpy anytime there's a bone to be chewed.

One more piece of the puzzle falls into place: the vet who will be doing Alf's brain surgery lives in the same town as Cuzzin Fenway and my son! We'll also get to spend a couple days there,with Fenway,

(oh yeah, and my son) while Alf recovers.

The Berner (now known as Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner)is/was a semi-feral dog trying to survive in the Mohave Desert.He's ready for his new home and will be delivered there shortly

If you're a new visitor to our blog, the Berner's story can be read in the posts listed below, in chronological order. Updates are posted on Saturday.

#1 Who's been sitting in my chair?
#2 Runnin' with the big dawgs
#3 There's a Berner in my living room!
#4 He's everywhere!
#5 He's gone
#6 The Berner: coming and going
#7 Berner News
#8 The Weekly Berner Report (March 28 - April 3)
#9 The Weekly Berner Report (April 3 - April 10)
#10 The Weekly Berner Report (April 10 - April 17);
#11 The Weekly Berner Report (April 17 - April 24)
#12 The Weekly Berner Report (April 24 - May 1)
#13 The Berner (aka Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner) Report: May 1 - May 8
#14 The Weekly Berner Report: May 8 - May 15
#15 The Weekly Berner Report: May 15 - 22
#16 The Berner Report: May 22 - May 29
#17 The Weekly Berner Report: May 29 - June 5
#18 The Weekly Berner Report: June 5 - 12
#19 The Weekly Berner report: June 14 - 19
#20 The Weekly Berner Report: June 27 - July 3 (Experts weigh in, please)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Three Public Service Announcements

This could save you dogs' life!
Elaine Acker, CEO of Pets Amercia, demonstrates the proper technique for performing CPR on pets.



2dogs2000miles is having a calendar contest for their 2011 calendar. If you have a dog that currently is fighting cancer, or have lost a dog to cancer, your dog is eligible for this contest. Below is the info to enter, and the deadline has been extended to August 31. Details are available on their blog

*Many thanks to the Berner_L group for sharing this information!

Another important announcement is Norwood's birthday!
He'll be celibrating his birthday tomorrow!

Stop by his blog and wish him a very froggy future!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I believe in angels, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and unicorns.. Just name it, I now believe!!!

Or The (late) Weekly Berner Report (July 3 - July 14)



I've been working on a post since Monday, but I just can't stand it any more.

I know you will share my joy when I introduce you to Alfy's new sister, Sophie!


I've got a story full of willing rescue organizations and amazing people that I will tell over the next few days, plus Alf's progress report (yes! he's jumping in the car to go for a ride, now!)

I split my day between crying with happiness over Alf's good fortune and feeling bad for myself and Stumpy for how much we are going to miss our boy. I KNOW, without reservations, that this is THE PERFECT home for Mr. Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner. Ha! Stumpy and I should be so lucky to be adopted into a home like this!

And look, here's Alf, as brave as can be in the back of the pick-up, for the first time! That smile tells me this whole time he was just in it for the hotdogs!

No, sillies! Of course he won't ride back there without protection (or at all) It's a confidence booster and a trust builder.

Here's a video of Alf riding in the car.

Our breakthrough came when we were out for our 3rd short ride and some bunnies and quail ran down the road in front of us. All of a sudden Alf figured out that the truck was a critter chasing machine! You could almost see the light go off in his head!



The Berner (now known as Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner)is/was a semi-feral dog trying to survive in the Mohave Desert.He's ready for his new home and will be delivered there shortly

If you're a new visitor to our blog, the Berner's story can be read in the posts listed below, in chronological order. Updates are posted on Saturday.

#1 Who's been sitting in my chair?
#2 Runnin' with the big dawgs
#3 There's a Berner in my living room!
#4 He's everywhere!
#5 He's gone
#6 The Berner: coming and going
#7 Berner News
#8 The Weekly Berner Report (March 28 - April 3)
#9 The Weekly Berner Report (April 3 - April 10)
#10 The Weekly Berner Report (April 10 - April 17);
#11 The Weekly Berner Report (April 17 - April 24)
#12 The Weekly Berner Report (April 24 - May 1)
#13 The Berner (aka Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner) Report: May 1 - May 8
#14 The Weekly Berner Report: May 8 - May 15
#15 The Weekly Berner Report: May 15 - 22
#16 The Berner Report: May 22 - May 29
#17 The Weekly Berner Report: May 29 - June 5
#18 The Weekly Berner Report: June 5 - 12
#19 The Weekly Berner report: June 14 - 19
#20 The Weekly Berner Report: June 27 - July 3 (Experts weigh in, please)

Friday, July 9, 2010

How do you spell relief?

Stumpy doesn't know (or care) how you spell it.

But this is what if looks like


Thanks for the scritches and scratches, everyone!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Weekly Berner Report: June 27 - July 3 (Experts weigh in, please)

Although I have wormed the Berner, twice, it seems he still has a load of parasites. Tapeworms! EEEWWWWW! YUCK! Gag me! Yes, tape worms. Evidence was clinging to his skirt/pantaloons earlier this week. In my experience, tapeworms/larvae are injested when a dog eats wild rabbit. The rabbit got the tape worm, via fleas. We don't have fleas in dirtville! Does this mean Alf came from somewhere, other than dirtville, that has a flea population?

My next question is which OTC dewormer is the one that does the best job. On line research references 3: Panacur (fenbendazole) or Praziquantel (Tape Worm Tabs for dogs by TradeWinds) or Safeguard (active ingredient is fenbendazole). Of course, my first choice would be to bring him to the vet. That's not happening, just yet, due to his anxiety in the car.

Below are some of the things I pull out of Alf, each day, during grooming.

This is an enlarged picture of the item circled in red. Evil, wicked #@$^%&!!! things.

No wonder he chews at himself all day. I don't pull the foxtail, goat's heads and whitestem seeds out of his fur. I pull them out of his skin! The poor guy! He doesn't have much belly hair due to chewing and his attempt to remove the foriegn objects from his skin. I wish Stumpy would clue him in about staying out of the danger zone.

Much to my dismay and consternation, Alfy still goes for a stroll every day, before it gets real hot (after we take ours). He's back in an hour or so ready to take advantage of the AC.

He's a lttle confused here because I am trying to follow him with the camera and he just wants to say hello. He says hello for Stumpy, heads for the water and without even taking a drink plops down on the closest AC vent.

He moves from the kitchen over to the vent closest to my desk, so he can block my cool air.



We've added "down" to his repitoire.



His "down" and "sit" have really come along way, since these videos were taken, earlier this week. I don't have to use food and I can use voice or hand signals. He also returns to the sit position after a down, when asked. Normally I would be working on "stay" about this time, but once Alf is down, he is down for the count. Also, leash work stresses him out. I know we have to do it, but it's really hard for me to be the cause of his stress. I will be biting the bullet this week, for sure.

Mr.B, willingly, climbs into the back of the cab.


And his stress level lowers, just a little, each time we picnic on hotdogs and cheese in the truck.

Mr.B discovered the window, this time. I'm hoping that helps decrease his stress even more.

The Berner (now known as Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner)is/was a semi-feral dog trying to survive in the Mohave Desert. If you're a new visitor to our blog, the Berner's story can be read in the posts listed below, in chronological order. Updates are posted on Saturday.

If you are interested in adopting this handsome boy please refer to my sidebar and check out Petfinder's "New Dog Adopter's" Pledge. This is the home Alfy deserves. He will come to you house broken, crate trained, vet checked, neutered, up to date on his vaccinations and micro-chipped. Alfy will bring his crate, his bed, favorite toys and some food with him. Vet references will be required. A home-check is a possibility. Because of his wander lust a fenced yard is probably necessary. Distance may not be a problem. I'll be traveling east in the not too distant future. I have also had offers for transport help, when the time comes.

#1 Who's been sitting in my chair?
#2 Runnin' with the big dawgs
#3 There's a Berner in my living room!
#4 He's everywhere!
#5 He's gone
#6 The Berner: coming and going
#7 Berner News
#8 The Weekly Berner Report (March 28 - April 3)
#9 The Weekly Berner Report (April 3 - April 10)
#10 The Weekly Berner Report (April 10 - April 17);
#11 The Weekly Berner Report (April 17 - April 24)
#12 The Weekly Berner Report (April 24 - May 1)
#13 The Berner (aka Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner) Report: May 1 - May 8
#14 The Weekly Berner Report: May 8 - May 15
#15 The Weekly Berner Report: May 15 - 22
#16 The Berner Report: May 22 - May 29
#17 The Weekly Berner Report: May 29 - June 5
#18 The Weekly Berner Report: June 5 - 12
#19 The Weekly Berner report: June 14 - 19

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fooling Stumpy

Last week, feral cats moved onto the property next door that had previously been inhabited by tweekers, hoarders and other freaks. Every once in a while Stumpy gets the urge to check out the kitty habitat. Once she turns the corner, when she's on a mission, there is no calling her back.

I can, however, call Alfy. Stumpy comes running because calling the Berner is synonymous with the BEST treats: hotdogs and cheese. It works every time.

a Public Service Announcement, from HSUS (of whom I am not a fan, but...)

To protect your pet on the Fourth of July, take these precautions:


•Resist the urge to take your pet to fireworks displays.

•Do not leave your pet in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects—even death—in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.

•Keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so be sure that you've removed any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep him company while you're attending Fourth of July picnics, parades, and other celebrations.

•If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.

•Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn't leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.

•Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly. Animals found running at-large should be taken to the local animal shelter, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ball reconnaissance mission



Stumpy doesn't leave the driveway when chasing balls for fear of getting attacked by the cactus. Every few weeks I go on a reconnaissance to reclaim the lost balls.

Can you find the tennis ball?



This hard rubber ball has been impaled on this cactus for a couple of weeks; through high winds and heavy rain.

Mission accomplished!

Now I get to remove needles from the balls and the soles of my shoes. Have I mentioned I am not a fan of cactus?