In the past the club has produced lists to celebrate the Golden Oldies alive in our breed and the Gone but Never Forgotten List as a way of keeping the memory of these longer living dogs alive and perpetually acknowledging their longevity at a time when this is sometimes in short supply in our breed. These lists were amazingly interesting to look at but also helped to identify and applaud those kennels who were consistently producing longer living dogs.
Unfortunately there is just no capacity to manage this list at the present time with no one volunteering to take it on and everyone on committee just having too many other things to do.
This is a very sad situation in my opinion but, in reality, people on the committee, which has been 6 members under strength for several years now, as well so can each only do so much and have to prioritise what they can and do carry out to keep the club’s events and activities rolling. With so many vacancies it is difficult to maintain basic club functions sometimes and, with regret, a few things have to fall by the wayside. People do occasionally comment negatively on these things when they notice they are missing but no one comes forward to assist.
If you agree the lack of these lists is a real shame and feel willing and able to help and take on the task of compiling this list, please email expressing your interest. You do not have to join the committee to take this on but just be capable of tackling it with a little guidance and in conjunction with the web site manager.
Basic computer skills, email, and basic spread sheet (Excel) are probably essential and social media awareness would help but these are quite common nowadays or the basics can even be taught to someone who already is a computer user. You would not have to update the web site itself, basically the role would to promote, compile and maintain the lists and pass them on.
If you are interested, or might be willing but aren’t sure exactly what might be involved please email or call for a chat if you want to know more.
BMD Breed Health CoOrdinator
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.
PLEASE NOTE THE COMMENTS ABOVE. THE VETERANS LIST HAS BEEN TAKEN OFF LINE AS IT WAS BECOMING TOO OUT OF DATE TO BE OF RELEVANCE.
The comments below, whilst they may be somewhat out of context without a List to refer to, are left in place to give an appreciation of the purpose of the Veterans List.
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 sends hearty CONGRATULATIONS to the owners and breeders of all longer living Bernese.