Saturday, March 9, 2019

Bärli 30/10/06 - 8/3/19

I'd forgotten how grief creates physical pain. There's now a great aching hole in my heart, shaped like a Bernese Mountain Dog. Yesterday was a very rough day for us, as we said goodbye to our beautiful girl Bärli , after more than 12 wonderful years. I've already said all I wanted to in a post on Facebook, reproduced below, but wanted to share it here too, so that when I print my next annual blog book these beautiful photos of her will shine from the pages. Next, I plan to write down the happy memories, the small things, in case I forget anything. I don't want to forget. RIP my bear.


Today we said goodbye to our beautiful girl Bärli (“little bear”), originally Zanzebern Q T Pie, aged 12 years and 4 months. That’s a pretty good innings for a Bernese Mountain Dog, but it doesn’t make it any easier to lose her. She was a grand old lady but in the last few days life had become a struggle for her and we had to let her go.
Our late friend Alan once said that I look at Bärli like a mother gazes at her newborn – and he was right. I absolutely adored that dog. She was my first dog and the best cuddle ever. She was funny, gentle and placid with many facial expressions and not an aggressive bone in her large 54kg body. Many people (even folk who know Bernese) mistook her for a male due to her size – she got that from mum Orsa and dad Denzel, both gorgeous Zanzebern dogs. Thank you to breeder Nicole for letting us have her.
Bärli had a happy life, first in Sydney then in Tasmania since 2010 where she got to enjoy the snow like a proper Swiss dog. She loved the water too. And car rides, head out in the wind. We thought we’d lost her a few years back but thanks to some quick action from the kind vets at Southern Tasmanian Vet Hospital we got to enjoy another three years with her. Much of that time she spent on the lounge, as you’ll see in these photos! The second you turned your back she was up there, even during her very last night.
Bärli was on TV, in the paper and magazines and even in an advertisement for chicken coops (see photo). She once won a “greediest dog” competition in a group of around 30 Bernese, because she gobbled up celery and snow pea sprouts that other dogs spat out. She’s had millions of pats and cuddles from us and thousands more from strangers, especially hordes of little girl fans everywhere we went.
Goodbye sweet girl. We love you so much.


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