The following entry was recreated from an email sent out 6/18/04.
We've been talking about it [getting another Bernese Mountain Dog] for several months now. We decided to send off an application early last week, and everything moved quickly from there.
Loki is adjusting to Thor. They haven't played together yet, but I think it'll happen any time. Loki did try to iniatiate play on Monday, but Thor was a little overwhelmed, I think. He's been shy around new people, but we think he's starting to come around and act more confident. We started puppy preschool Wednesday night. He's on the older side for the group, but he needs the play and socialization and confidence building.
Thor has had no accidents in the house at all, but up until last night we had yet to get a full nights sleep. Somewhere around 4 a.m. (give or take) he would start to make a lot of noise. Either he was lonely or hungry or needed to play. If we took him outside, he usually just laid in the grass. Some mornings we could get him back to bed. Other mornings Loki and I slept on the dining room floor getting occassionally trampled on by clumsy puppy feet.
Last night we tried a new strategy and let him have the run of our bedroom instead of confining him to a pen, and it worked perfectly. He slept soundly all night. Figures.
Loki went to Doggie Daycare Wednesday and they said that they thought she seemed a little depressed, or tired, or missing the puppy, not sure which. She stuck around the humans alot and didn't play nearly as much as she normally does. Hopefully, this will pass. We keep trying to make her feel special, and as the week goes on, she seems to be getting better. We're taking her back to class tonight for some refresher work and for some quality one-on-one time.
Friday, June 18, 2004
The following entry was recreated from an email sent out 6/18/04.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
The following entry was recreated from an email sent out 6/16/04.
It seems that everyone in the Bernese Mountain Dog community says that one Berner just isn't enough. Well, that proved true for us. So meet Thor, Loki's new younger brother. Click on the link to Ofoto and look at the slide show to read the story of how Thor came into the family.
The following entry was recreated from an email exchange on 6/15/04 and 6/16/04.
When we picked up Thor at Amy's farm, he jumped all over us and seemed total puppy exuberance, but he started to show signs of being shy around people shortly after that. We emailed Amy:
Things with Thor are going well. He's settling into the house nicely. No accidents at all. Loki even tried to initiate play with him yesterday.
He is so smart and so cuddly. He won't go into a crate yet, but is handling an X pen. I'm trying to get him into a puppy preschool class that starts tomorrow night.
The vet vaccinated him for rabies yesterday, and he's being treated for hookworm and another really common parasite that I can't remember the name of right now. ...
One question for you though: Did you ever notice him being shy around people he doesn't know? When we picked him up, he showed no shyness, but everyone he's met since then he's been shy around. He'll back away when they try to approach him and he has a very unsure look on him if he does let them touch him. He's met my mother-in-law on three separate occasions so far and he still won't let her touch him. (He exhibits none of this toward the two of us, though.)
When he's in a place that's new to him (vet's office, my aunt's house), he tends to freeze up and will just passively lay in the same spot. It makes him very easy to manage, but yet it seems like he should be exhibiting more curiosity and exuberance.
We're hoping that it's just the trauma of the move and he'll get more confident as he settles in. Is he in the middle of a fear period?
Do you have any thoughts or suggestions on how to handle this shyness? I don't want him to become fearful. Is this just classic Berner aloofness he's exhibiting?
Amy's response, which was good, sound advice:
No, he wasn't shy here at all... I am sure this is something he will work out of, maybe just a little bit of insecurity. I would just expose him to as much and as many as you can. He will come around I am sure, he was just very comfortable here.
Being on interceptor should have taken care of the hookworms, I am a little disappointed that it didn't, that is the biggest reason they are on it!
Let me know how things go, but I would just expose him a lot, encourage people to interact with him, maybe have people carry treats and offer it to him, the biggest thing is DON'T play into it. If you do, he will figure out that being shy gets him more of your attention and he is a smart pup that WILL figure that out! :-)
Sunday, June 13, 2004
The following entry was recreated from emails dated the week of 6/7/04.
We'd been playing around with the idea of getting a second dog for a while now. But when we pulled the trigger, we didn't realize how quickly things would progress.
We sent in our application to BARC on Tuesday. Wednesday night we emailed to double-check that they received the application.
Amy Kessler emailed us back at 11:45 a.m. Thursday:
I did and I am happy to say that I have an approval this morning...
I am thinking that Mason would probably be the best suited for your home and for what you are looking for. He is the youngest pup that we have, he is about 4-5 month old, very sweet and great with kids and other dogs. He is smart, almost completely house trained and healthy. If this pup interests you, please let me know and we can go from there. If not, we can discuss some of the other options available.
She responded to some of our questions at 4:40 p.m. Here are some of the questions and answers:
Can you tell us any more about Mason? How long has he been with Barc?
***We got Mason in April, he has been with me since the day we got them.
We waited on placing him because of of some sick puppies that we had gotten in, I wanted to make sure the pups that were already here weren't going to get sick or carry anything away from here. All is past and things are fine. I just like to play it safe.
Since he's 4-5 months already, you probably have a pretty good assessment of his personality. Is Mason's personality more rambunctious or couch-potato?
***He is right in the middle, he will play given the chance, but will snuggle up at EVERY opportunity!
Are there any games he likes to play?
***He likes to play with the other dogs and with toys (which were a whole new experience for him when he came!)
Is he much of a barker?
Is he much of a cuddler?
At 9:30 that night, Amy sent photos! She wrote:
Sorry about the red eyes........oh, and the mud! :-)
We talked to Amy again on the phone, and at 10 p.m. she emailed the contract.
We promptly decided to rename Mason as Thor.
Friday night, we dropped Loki off at JW's house and drove to Kansas City, where we spent the night (nine-hour drive through thunderstorms).
Saturday morning we picked up Thor and drove back home. He was as cute and easy as could be.
Sunday we emailed Amy to let her know the drive went smoothly:
We arrived home safely last night. Mason/Thor was a doll the whole ride and proved to us that he can hold his bladder for at least 8 hours. Even though we made potty stops at least 4 times, he never went for us.
The introduction with Loki went smoothly, but Loki is not quite as enthustiac as we'd hoped. But already we're seeing improvement. At least she doesn't leave the room the moment he enters anymore.