Jessica and I are getting a puppy! Well…at least…we are really hoping to.
Since last fall, we have been calling, emailing, and visiting breeders trying to find a litter with an available puppy. Our hope is to get the puppy in the summer to maximize the time we can spend training it before school starts back up in the fall. Jessica and I researched and then eventually settled on a breed: the Bernese Mountain Dog.
Berners–as they are called– are big dogs. They were bred to pull 1000 lbs carts up the Swiss mountainsides. They are a couple inches taller than a lab, but they weigh much more. Most are between 90 and 120 lbs. Big dogs that are purebred tend to have lots of medical issues. This makes it important to find a breeder who is following best-practices to minimize the health risks.
It took lots of work, mostly by Jessica, but we have been in contact with a number of breeders. And, while they haven’t been able to provide us with a puppy yet, they have been giving us lots of great advice. One suggestion was to visit a dog show that a berner organization attends. That’s what Jessica and I did this past weekend.
We originally thought that the show was only for Berners, so we were surprised at how many people had shown up. You can see all of the RVs and SUVs in the above photo of Jessica. It was jumpin’!
After paying the entrance fee and parking, Jessica and I just wandered around to get out bearings. We eventually figured out that the show areas were sorted by breed and that breeders were prepping their dogs in nearby tents.
Eventually we spotted a Berner. The Berners had their own tents (of course!) and many of the owners had brought along puppies that were too young to show. They were incredibly cute! I’ll let the pictures do the talking while you provide the “awwwwwwwwwwwwwww”s.
After spending lots of time with the puppies, we saw that the contest was going to start for the older dogs. We snagged a pair of chairs and sat down for our first dog show!
It wasn’t quite as exciting as the show you see on TV, but it was still fun to watch the older ones strut their stuff. There was one part where the audience applauded and all of the dogs perked up as they trotted around the pen.