Bunson has a new home!!

Bunson went to his new home on May 19th. He now lives with his new family andhas a new Berner girlfriend and an older mix to play with. He is happily pounding everyone that is willing to play with him.

We decided to split Trina and Bunson up because we found such an exceptional home for Bunny and by splitting them up we had a home for Trina as well. If all goes to plan she will be going to Lewiston, in northern Michigan, and she will have 2 new Berner “sisters” to live with to give her support.

Hopefully, both will do will with their new families. Trina will be especially hard since she has been here 5 months and we are very attached to each other.

Trina and Bunson would be GREAT together!

What? We're not doin' anything!
What? We're not doin' anything!

Trina and Bunson (aka, Bunny) are the best of friends and if possible we would like to see them stay together. They seem to help each other by being a team. Trina helps keep Bunson occupied and will put up with his rough housing. When Bunson gets bored he will start to look for something to do, which usually will be trouble. He will grab a towel, clothes or paper and look at you for your attention. He seems to know that will get it for him. He is so funny, it is hard not to laugh even though he is doing something wrong. Bunson does have a bad habit of counter

surfing and has started grabbing clothes when he gets excited. Sometimes he pinches skin when grabbing a sleeve.the big difference we see is in Trina. We think Bunny has really helped her accept new things and people.
We like to share
We like to share

In her old home she would go to a different level of the house to avoid people. Recently we had 14 people over helping put up a new fence, and she stayed in the dining room (although under the table next to Linda and I) and was taking treats from everyone!!! Bunson had no problem with the people and helped himself to a sandwich.

We will be working on finding a home where they can stay together. That home will require a real, above ground type fence. We will not be able to entertain a home for them without one, either together or separately.

Bunson and Trina are Best Buddies!

We are surprised that Bunson (Bunny) and Trina have become best friends. Trina is more than able to put up with his antics and Bunson even allows Trina to beat him up when wrestling. He will lay on his back and let her win. They tear around the yard taking turns chasing each other and are often together sharing a stick or bone. These two would go great together! Bunson would be a great source of confidence for Trina by setting an example for her.

Trina has really come out of her shell around us, me (Bruce) especially. She is so happy to see us and when she is waiting to come in she is bouncing like spring. Her feet will be over a foot off the ground, ALL 4 OF THEM!! Both are quite comical and loving. Trina has started greeting us on the bed in the morning with kisses, she is very sweet. Bunson just plops down so we are woken with an “ooooff”, and cuddling.

Bailey has a new home!!

Look what came with my new yard, my own little girl!!
Look what came with my new yard, my own little girl!!

Bailey’s new life has begun.

We took her to Caro to live with her new family which includes 3 playmates (counting the one in the picture), 2 furry ones and one 2 legged one. Along with a new Mom and Dad.

I’m not going to say she will be spoiled but Kinsey, the little girl was surprised on how much room Bailey takes up in the bed at night.

Bailey has 2 playmates with 4 legs, a mix that is a little older than her and a yellow lab that is in charge and 12 years old. She has a big yard to play chase in and will be able to got spend the summers along the lake excercising her favorite hobby, swimming.

We hope Bailey and her new family will have many years to enjoy each other.

First Quarter 09

Rescue Report February 22nd 2009,   By Bruce & Linda Whiteside, Rescue Committee

                 Things were a little slower the last quarter, but still we had plenty to do. We found homes for Koda and Ripley, and took and placed Trina. We also lost several friends and got disappointing news about several others.

                 Good News first! Koda went to his new home with Ruthann Gnade and her husband Jerry in Okemos, MI.  Koda was the shy 5 year old from Traverse City. He has done very well with overcoming much of his shyness and has become a huge helper in his new home. Koda’s new parents are retired and Jerry is in his 80’s if I recall correctly. Koda will notify him mom if Jerry calls for her. He makes sure that she knows he is looking for her by going to get her, and barks, letting her know she is needed. So Koda has self appointed himself as a “service dog”! What a smart boy!!

                 Ripley, aka Rippy, Rippers, Ripster…… now lives in Traverse City with Lynda and Peter Starkel and their kids, John, Martha and Oscar (Oscar is their other Berner). They had very recently lost their other Berner, Polar, and had sent me a note that they would always consider rescues when they were ready. I knew it was too soon, but they were such a great home and we were so attached to Ripley, we could not send her to just anywhere. So I told them about Rippers. They came for a visit since they were in the area that week and saw how sweet she is, and decide she would be good for their family. Ripley has stolen their hearts and Oscar has a new buddy. She is super sweet and loves anybody she meets. Her only issues are a very stubborn bladder infection that is requiring several bouts of antibiotics with it just coming back.

                 Trina came to us on December 30th and was very, very shy. She started her life at an Amish farm (puppymill). Her owners got her out of there when she was about 5 months old, and much of the rationale for her shyness had already been engrained. She spent the next year living happy, but due to economic changes, her family had to take on more jobs and Trina was left alone. So they decided it would be best for her if she went to a home with more time for her.

                 Her first week here was a nightmare for her. When she first walked in the door, she got jumped by a dog we were babysitting for and she received a few small bite wounds. Then a few days later she got spayed, with issues. Her spleen was out of position so it got cut during the spay, and had bad bleeding that had to be repaired. All that on top of being scared, and hiding under our dining room table was not the highlight of her life. But she soon learned that our house was not going to hurt her and she started playing with everyone. She got to the point that others were hiding from her because they were tired of playing. Trina never had a playmate before so she was making up for lost time. It took about 3 weeks before she would come into the living room to join our gang. She allowed Linda to pet her right off, for me it took about a month to not be afraid of me, but we became friends too. We took our time evaluating her and decided that she needed a home with a secure fence, a quite home with few visitors and a buddy or 2 to play with.

                 That home came around mid-February. Brian and Karen Huggins in Linwood contacted us about Trina and things just seemed to fit both Trina’s need and the family. So they came to meet her and of course she was shy, but came out to investigate them. We decided it would be a good match, so we took her a few days later to Linwood to make sure everything was as advertised (we were gun shy after Lindy who’s story follows). All checked out and Trina actually was having fun walking around the property with their dogs, Lady and Chi-Chi, along with our Colin and Bob (her buddies).

It’s only been a few days but she is doing much better there than when she came her. We are keeping fingers crossed for her.

                 Now bad news. We lost several of our placements and learned that others have serious health issues. Chloe and Harley (Harley is not a rescue but comes here often) have cancer. We lost Hercules, Shiloh, Tia, Chester, and Lindy.

Lindy was just plain tragic. She was adopted with Toby because they did best together and then Toby killed a chicken and acted out, so the new owner turned him into animal control. We managed to save him, again, and he is doing great. But we had no contractual recourse to reclaim Lindy, but she seemed happy and was loved. Around Feb, 1st she ate a bottle of Motrin as many as 30-50 tablets, a very dangerous amount. Her owner never sought treatment for her even though she knew she had overdosed. At least not until she became symptomatic 3 days later. The vets told her the treatment would be expensive which she refused to pay, so she said give her back to rescue. The vet contacted us and thought they could save her because she was healthy and strong. So we agreed to pay for her bills if she was surrendered back to us. Unfortunately, Lindy turned for the worse. Her temp spiked at almost 108 degrees and was

having constant seizures. We had to make the decision that she was terminal and stop her suffering. We take responsibility for the poor choice of placement. We placed them without our usual home check because of the distance and we had 6 fosters art one time. So we reduced our standards, and Toby and Lindy paid for it. It will not happen again. We will enlist others to do home checks if we cannot do it ourselves. We are so sorry Lindy.

                 The rescue took a big hit of almost $1,000 and no Lindy to show for it. Bill Salbenblatt made a challenge to the yahoo group to help raise funds to replace the funds used to try and save Lindy. So far in just 3 days we have received $220.00!!!! Thank you!

                 On a better note, we approached the board with the “official” plan to make the rescue a free standing organization with the intent of making it a 501c3 charity. There are many advantages to doing this, too many to go into here. The board agreed. So with the help of John Stuive we are currently drafting up the letters of incorporation. We have involved members of the club to serve as the board of directors. Although the rescue will not be part of the club, it will tied at the hip on working together to keep saving Berners that need us.

                 Along with this, we started up a new web site for the rescue. It is at: http://michiganberneserescue.org/

This way we can keep it up to date because things change so rapidly with the rescue and we won’t have to bother the web people to keep changing for us. The web site is still a work in progress as we are working on a logo using the artwork from when the club had the specialty here in Michigan.

                 The web site is thanks to Peter Starkel. When Peter adopted Ripley, (Oscar is also a HMBMDC Rescue) he made the comment, “if there is ever anything I can do to help the rescue, let me know”. Peter may have regretted saying that!! He had mentioned that he does web design, so with the door open, we walked right through it and asked about making a rescue site. Peter never even blinked and offered to do it… for free!! So Peter and I have been working on it, and he has patiently been tutoring me on how to update it. Thank You Peter, for giving so much time to help the rescue.

We had 6 placements at the BBB (Gus, Ripley, Lacy, Tasha, Zurich and Oscar), so we had a reunion with some of our old friends. We think all of them remembered us, especially Ripley, she was very happy to see us, but still wanted to go with her new family after the day was done, which we were very glad to see. She chose them, which is how it supposed to be. It was a great recharge for us.

Bailey (Bay-Bay) arrives in foster

Bailey, such a pretty girl!
Bailey, such a pretty girl!

Bailey is a spayed, almost 3 year old female on the smaller side at about 60 pounds. She is also loosing her home due the loss of her old home due to the economics and divorce. She just came today (3/07), is scared and badly missing her family. She is sitting at the door waiting for them to come back. She was dearly loved, but a very hard choice had to be made. She is use to children and had a 2.5 year old of her own. She gets along with other dogs, but is a bit overwhelmed with the furry herd here right now. She has warmed up very nicely and is seeking our attention. She even spent about half an hour on my lap in the evening watching TV.

She is crate trained but has been allowed the run of the house without problems. Bailey knows commands and we think will be a very well behaved girl. She does not have a history of any issues and appears to be in very good health. We will update more about her as we learn more.

Trina is back in foster

Trina was returned today (2/26). It seems that one of the other dogs (lab/mix) started resource guarding, and started several fights. Trina being the larger for the first time, stood her ground which she never did here (because all ours are bigger than her). She was doing very well with the family, especially the woman of the house. She was shy around the husband, which we expected. She was playing and seemed happy. They also have a small dachshund and she got hurt in one of the scuffles. The older dogs are of course going to take priority, and no one wanted to see things escalate.

Things might have resolved themselves in time, but all of us did not want to take a chance of a dog getting hurt, or it causing further damage to Trina’s shyness issue. We think that she still needs a predominantly female household as far as humans go, but maybe a male playmate would suit her best. Trina, we could see really liked Nancy in the new home and wanted her attention when she brought Trina back. They had made a great bond in the short week she was there. That part was very encouraging!

Part of our program ensures that if the placement does not work out for any reason, the dog can come back to rescue, in fact that is part of the adoption agreement. We are disappointed that it did not work out, because the home is a perfect home for her.

Trina has gone to her new home!!

Trina is spending her first night in Linwood with her new family. 2/18/09

We are keeping our fingers crossed that all works out OK. She has a big fenced yard in the woods, with 2 smaller buddies to play with, and a quiet setting way off the road. We were very proud of her on how she reacted to the new home. We took Colin and Bob (her best friends here) to show her thing were OK. We spent about 3 hours introducing her to the house and yard. She enjoyed running around as we checked out the whole fence. She took treats from Karen and Brian, her new parents. She would not take things from us when she first arrived.

She let both adults pet her before we left and was doing much better than we thought she would. We are waiting for an update to see how she did after we left. We hope she is a happy there as she was here.

Blizzzard Bash Rescue Reunion

On Saturday, February 6th, we attended the Heart of Michigan BMD Club’s Annual Berner Blizzzard Bash in Rockford, MI. There were in attendance about 60 beautiful Berners, 6 of which were dogs that we were fortunate enough to have had as part of our program.

Linda and I got to see Gus, Ripley, Lacy, Tasha, Zurich and Oscar
Linda and I got to see Gus, Ripley, Lacy, Tasha, Zurich and Oscar


It’s days like this one that gives us the strength to keep working to help these beautiful dogs and the family’s that want to share their lives with them. If you meet us, Linda and I are in the upper left corner with Orson and Colin

New Female Trina

trina11We took in a very shy intact female named Trina on Tuesday December 30th. So far I can tell she is a woman’s dog and is afraid of men. She responds great to Linda but hides from me. She even came out to meet Lynda Starkel and Martha yesterday when adopting Ripley, but will not make any advance towards me. She hides under the dining room table and watches whenever I am at home. She was initially looking to jump the fence when she first came so we had to resort to a long-line and just walk her. She has stopped looking to jump the fence and we have let go of the long line so she can run. But she is never left out unattended. She has started enjoying chasing and being chased by our gang and Gracie and Angel (who we are babysitting for until Tuesday) She tears around the yard having a blast. I think that she is having fun has reduced the need to run away in her mind. She is getting spayed tomorrow which will slow her down and if the girls leave she should be able to relax more, so we will see how thing work over the next week or so. She is very sweet withLinda and wants attention from her. I don’t know what Trina’s history is with men.  Her owner said she got along fine with her husband and son. I think someone was heavy handed during her life because she ducks from Linda when she moves over her head. We may have not gotten the full story about her past, especially because her early history at the Amish farm is unknown.
        So many surrenders we take in we only get part of the story, and have to piece the rest together through observation and speculation. For some reason people don’t tell us the whole story, maybe it is because they think we might not take them if we knew it all, is my guess.
       They give false information about shots, heartworm, training, temperment and more. They just don’t understand that if can get the whole story, it makes it easier to formulate a plan for their foster evaluation time.
       So far what Trina needs is a home that is quiet with a buddy to play with, a tall fence, preferably with over a 4 ft fence and minimal male presence. I will keep you post on how she progresses.
Update 1-10-09
Trina is doing much better and is playing again after her spay. She still is very shy of me and we have to make friends every timeI come home, but I don’t think I am the 3-headed giant to her any more. We have stopped using the long lead and she gets excited when Linda comes home and she wants attention from her. She has joined our gang during food prep time and her general demeanor has improved. We believe she has a lot of potential but will most likely always be shy of men. Something in her life so far has given her reason to have such a fear. For this reason we think she would do best is a relatively quiet home withminimal male presence. Another dog, that is outgoing would do her good as well as having a buddy to play with.
Update; 1/20/09
Trina is doing much better at allowing me (Bruce) to touch her. She still is selective of it and every time I come home after a shift, we have to make friends again. I think at some point she will accept me. She is the type of dog that you can not show your frustration around, even if it is not directed at her. She thinks some sore of repercussion is going to follow. She is a good girl and has not had any directed towards her, but if she thinks things are stressed she will not want to come in. That and the fact that she loves the snow! She goes tearing around in it, bury’s her head in it, and then runs some more. She plays rough and grabs the legs of some of the other dogs (poor Colin) because she has never had a playmate before. A confident “buddy” would do her good. It would allow her to see dog/people interactions as an example and helps her learn who is OK in her world.
Update 1/29/09
Trina is coming along very nicely and is ready for her new home. She will come to me and allow me to pet her. She has even sought me out a few times. I knew we were there when I had my foot hanging over the side of the chair and she put her paw on my foot. She is still wary and when I am gone for over a day, she needs to warm back up to me. She has even rolled on her back in the middle of the floor to relax and chew on a toy. She like the toys ans picks them up to pile in her spot. She likes to lay with our gang and chew on a bone each evening. Most of all she loves to play with any of the dogs, out in the snow.
For this reason we would like to see her go witha family that has 1 or more dogs for her to play with, along with the fenced yard. Since she has shown that she can warm up to men, we would consider a home where the male is home all the time like a retired couple, or a family where the male works out of the house. We still think a predominantlyfemale home will work best with few visits of strangers. She will need a place to go and feel safe during visits until she feels comfortable to join the gathering.
Update 2/08/09
       Trina has come a long way. She now stops to let me (Bruce) pet her when she comes in, she will lay beside my chair so I can pet her, we both even got some kisses this week!! She is still uncomfortable at times but she seems to show that she may be able to work through some of her shyness in the right home. Her old owners said whenever anyone came over she would hear either upstairs or downs stairs. Here we have both blocked off, and we expected her to go hide in the bedroom or master bath. But she surprised us by staying in the same room with the new people and even approached close, but not enough for them to pet her. So she is adjusting and I think will come even farther. She is now a happy girl and is having fun.