From Neglected to Spoiled

In 2016, a sweet freckled face bernese mountain dog (Lady) was taken to be put to sleep by a breeder since the dog was getting too old and could no longer have puppies. The dog was 6 years old and had no other major or concerning health problems. Instead of putting the dog to sleep, the vet clinic instead said they would rehome her. She was extremely underweight at the time (≈40lbs) and was terrified of anything and everything. It was obvious she was not given the love and care she deserved.

Long story short, that sweet freckled faced berner eventually became mine. The very first time I saw her I immediately fell in love with her and there was an immediate bond unlike anything I had ever experienced. Her story broke my heart and I knew I wanted to do anything I could to help other dogs that were in her previous situation. We then rescued Kylie and Gita and our “Berner Bunch” became whole.

Instead of taking the dogs to be put to sleep, the breeder then started surrendering the dogs they could no longer use to a mutual friend and/or vet clinic and I would then find them a good home (or I personally keep them). Over the past several years, I have helped to rescue and rehome 13 bernese mountain dogs from this awful breeder as well as a few dogs of other breeds. Each of these dogs are finally getting a second chance at the life they always deserved in their new forever homes.

(The terrible breeder stopped communicating with the mutual friend and vet clinic and has not surrendered a dog since April of 2020)

Unfortunately in 2020, we had to say goodbye to both Lady and Kylie less than 10 months apart. I miss them both every single day and not a day goes by where I don’t think about them.

Gita became very depressed after we said goodbye to Lady; she wasn’t used to being the only dog in the house. While I personally wasn’t wanting to jump into getting another dog right away, I knew Gita would benefit from having another companion. I started applying to bernese mountain dog rescue organizations, since the vet clinic had not heard from the awful breeder I rescued my old girls from in almost a year at that point.

5 months after losing Lady, I had the privilege to get a call from an incredible bernese mountain dog rescue organization, BARC (Bernese Auction Rescue Coalition). They had senior bernese mountain dog needing a home—she was a retired puppy mill dog. I immediately said yes and booked a plane ticket to pick her up from her foster home in Pennsylvania then drive her 10+ hours back home to Kentucky. A few days before I was going to fly to get her, she suddenly and unexpectedly passed away at her foster home. It was heartbreaking to get the news of her sudden passing and it brought back a lot of emotions that I felt with losing Lady and Kylie in such a short time.

About a month after, the adoption coordinator called me again and let me know that they had rescued 6 male puppies from a puppy mill auction in Missouri and she wanted me to have the opportunity to adopt one if I wanted.

I definitely wasn’t wanting a puppy… especially a male puppy, but for some reason it just felt right. A week and a half later, I drove to the amazing foster home in Kansas and picked up Weller, the newest and goofiest addition to The Berner Bunch.

Gita was not sure what to think of Weller at first, but grew to love having him around. They became the best of friends over the course of a year. Unfortunately, Gita was diagnosed with leukemia and we had to make the hard decision to say goodbye to her in June.