As part of the initiative to highlight, promote and celebrate the longer living dogs the club started a Veteran’s List a few years ago. Owner’s are invited to contribute the details of their Bernese over 8 years of age.
If you have an older dog and it is not on the list……….. it should be! If your Bernese is featured on the list why not send us a photo so we can let the world share in his or her golden years, especially if over 10 years young. There is a gallery of some of our senior citizens but we need the owners to contribute. When your dog passes away this photo can be left permanently on the site, as long as you are a club member, as tribute to your dog and a thank you for helping with our list. (If you prefer it can of course be removed).
Ann and Keith Creasey’s homebred Champion Alphanova Zazu (pictured top) enjoyed life into her 16th year before finally passing on in January 2010. She is the oldest dog on our Gone But Never Forgotten list. Special congratulations to Brooke and her many relatives who have and still do feature on the list if not in quite such spectacular fashion (yet!) and congratulations to Anne and Keith on having so many of their Alphanova dogs featuring on the list both now and in the past. Also worthy of mention are Fred and Lynn Page’s multiple entries from their Halesbern dogs, including the oldest current veteran on the list. If you are a breeder with a older dogs around let us have details so that we can acknowledge and publicise the success of your dogs. The more owners that contribute their dog’s details the more meaningful the list will be, so please send in your oldie’s’ (over 8 years) details.
Sadly and inevitably, it is a fact that one or two dogs appearing in the live list will not stay on it for lots of years (although some do). This is almost by definition when producing a list of the oldest dogs and is not because they are on the list (as some people claim). It is not bad luck to let us all know about your marvellous long living Bernese but we do need to be updated when they finally do pass on. I hope this thought doesn’t put anyone off but if (when) the worst does happen we do need to know to keep the list meaningful and accurate. Running alongside the Veterans List and of even more significance, there is a list of the deceased dogs and the average age of these gives us an encouraging figure to quote.
Unfortunately, it is not as simple as just using dogs with these lines to improve our longevity because dogs with these relatives could still include other dogs with known hereditary diseases in their genetic make up, (OK I know all dogs, and people for that matter, carry lots of these which fortunately usually remain dormant, but that is not the real point here). Also, even if you could know all about all the potential health issues we all know there are all the other things to consider like temperament, type, size, conformation, markings, movement etc etc etc. All that is being suggested is to bear longevity and health in mind as a consideration when breeding (or puppy buying) and to take pride from breeding long-living, healthy Bernese just as much, if not more, as breeding show winners and there is absolutely no reason why the two can’t go together. Indeed, there is every reason that they ought to be one and the same thing, just as they were with Champion Alphanova Zazu.
So that is why the BMDC of GB says THANK YOU and hearty CONGRATULATIONS to the owners and breeders of all the dogs on both of the lists.
If you would like to put your Bernese on the list please download the form from the link below or browse via the links to enjoy our Veteran’s section.