Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Heidi Turns 12

Today, Heidi turned 12 years old! The average age for a Bernese Mountain Dog is, perhaps, 8-1/2 or, at most, 9 years old. So, that makes Heidi over 100 years old in human terms.

This photo was taken about 6 months ago, but she looks the same today. Her brown accent colors are mostly grey. Her eyes are a bit clouded. She doesn’t hear great. And, because of hip dysplasia and some neurological problems, she has a hard time walking.

Rick and Lynne Robinson, Fort Collins, Colorado

But, she still is alert and has a lot of spirit. She barks a lot—always has—but more than usual. I think because she can’t get around well she wants us to know she is around.

Heidi has always been mischievous. When we first brought her into our home we were living in France. We got her from the deSavora kennel in Switzerland. We had also brought home a boy, Indiana, about 3 weeks earlier. He was a real sweetie, never doing anything wrong. He didn’t bark, he stayed in the yard which was loosely fenced in by a hedge. When Heidi came she showed him how to escape the yard and how to bark.

But, Heidi has done a lot of good, too. She was trained as a therapy dog and participated in a local Animal Assisted Therapy program. She and I worked with children in the area that were in foster care because of abuse or neglect. Often, they would talk to Heidi about things that they would not talk to a person about. She was very obedient and they could “train” her to follow commands. And, she had several games that she liked to play. We’d used her to get the kids to talk, to build their self esteem, etc. But, after about 4 years she got tired of it and a bit cranky, so retired from therapy work.

Please join us in wishing her a happy 12th birthday!

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Posted under: Dog Stuff • by Rick on 04/19/2005 at 10:13 PM
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  1. She’s a beautiful girl and sounds like a real sweetheart.  I hope you got her lots of birthday presents. wink

    Posted by Lisa  on  04/19/2005  at  10:38 PM
  2. Congratulations to Heidi…what a beautiful dog.  We nearly lost our new miniature schnauzer “Ringo” last Thursday that we acquired when Cheryl’s Dad moved into a VA assisted living center.  He escaped the back yard via a gate the lawn mower left open and got hit by two cars out in the street. He suffered severe head trauma and nearly died at the Vets but survived and is returning to normal now. It is simply amazing that he has NO broken bones! He is nine years old.

    Posted by John Fly  on  04/26/2005  at  10:33 AM
  3. Congratulations Heidi!!!!

    I have a Bernese Mountaindog named Heidi v.d. Panicha. Heidi and I are both import from Holland. Heidi will turn 9 in June.
    She had a spinal surgery done in October. We thought she didn’t recover from that but we almost (Vets appointment on Friday) know for sure she has now she has HD. I saw your dog has it too. We’re new in this. Can you tell us what you do for her HD?

    Brenda and Heidi

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/28/2005  at  10:32 AM

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