Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1-10-12 Delsin the Dog

I am a private person and rather on the introverted side of things. But my dog isn't. He likes the attention of as many people he can find. In fact, just so he can get his people fix, I will bring him into a busy area - such as the main street in Stillwater Minnesota, where there are countless visitors on nice days  - and just stand still so my dog gets his fill of people admiring him. I can't tell you how many people have pictures of Delsin on their phones and cameras - people from all walks of life and all over the world. Literally. They see him, they pet him and they want his picture. My worldly dog, all without the travel.

I brought Delsin up to be a show dog, meaning I helped teach him to believe his poo doesn't stink. Why? Because you want a show dog to show himself - to say to the world (or in this case the judge) "look at me  - aren't I the best?" So now when my nephews call Delsin "Big Head" - it really IS big - due to it swollen up in a big ego :)

Not to say Delsin is a bad dog - far from it. He is fun, silly, gregarious, but also very loyal and wants to be with me 24 hours a dog. A true Bernese Mountain Dog.

Delsin was born september 26, 2002 - so he is over 9 years. The sad thing is about this breed is there are many health issues and with that, a very short average life span. Only 7 years. That isn't to say they all die by 7, as that is the average. But it is to say that about 50% will die of cancer and that average is about 7 years. I tell people looking for this breed that if a breeder says there isn't any cancer in their lines, that the breeder is either very ignorant about the breed or they are lying. That is how wide spread the cancer is.

So why would I have such a breed? After all I have had this breed for 30 years. Yes, my heart has been broken on more than one occasion and each time I think "never again". But I can't tell you how much I connect to this breed. My life simply would hold very little meaning without my berners in it. They complete me.

So while I know I most likely will outlive my dogs at this point, and they may not live as long as other breeds, I may end up spending huge amounts of money to address health issues (did I tell you that a friend of mine has spent over $12,000 on her dogs' health issues with in this last year?), I also can't be with out my berners. So I dive in and have as much fun with them, live as much life with them as I can.

So with Delsin, I relish everyday I see my nine year old bounce around with a ball in his mouth like a puppy. He smiles, I smile.

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