Testimonials to the Breed
The slow morning sunrise is casting a glorious light on the miracle of Baia and the majesty of Nemes. In honor and celebration of the greatest gift of my life, we’ll spend the day in tribute for when you and Stephen opened the door to the world of the inimitable Bergamasco with my beloved Honolua Althea dell’ Albera Silver Pastori, born 2003-05-13.
“We walked home together, I was never the same…”
Forever thankful to you, my friends!
I’ve been fortunate enough to know the Bergamasco since 1997. In all the years of living with and caring for these amazing creatures two things always remind me of that fortune. First… The childlike look that I get to witness in others faces when they see and touch a Bergamasco for the first time. Those moments seem to be getting harder to come by and the simple pleasure of watching true joy in others is a blessing. Second… The fierce passion that I see grow in almost every Bergamasco owner that I’ve met who’s been brave enough to truly let the breed into their hearts. These two things are what make memories like the AKC Meet the Breeds so special for me. To everyone who attended yesterday and brought their dogs and their hearts to share with the world… Thank you.
It was an honor and a privilege to share those memories with you. Here’s a few of those moments captured in the pictures we took. I hope they make you smile like they did me.
It was such a pleasure to meet you at the show in Philadelphia two weeks ago. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with you and your amazing dogs.
I have finally found the time to look through your website and I am utterly wowed! It is the loveliest canine website I have ever seen. Your devotion to, and love of this breed is evident on each page. I have learned an amazing amount about the Bergamasco by pouring over your website, and enjoyed every minute I spent doing it!
If each breeder was as interested in maintaining his or her breed as you are, instead of bending the dogs physically and emotionally to suit themselves, I believe our breeds would be far healthier, and more closely resemble the purpose for which they were originally created.
Thank you for the time you spent with me at the show, and for your amazing website.
Sheila Dee Paske
You may remember our email exchanges when I was considering re-homing Mia, the Bergamasco I rescued in 2008 from a foster home in Greensboro, NC because I was concerned about her living in an urban condo while I needed to tend to end of life caregiving for my ex-husband.
You were uncommonly helpful to me in understanding that while I had Mia’s best interests front and center, I was not understanding her bedrock need to remain connected to me. Interestingly, I did locate another Bergamasco in NH living with a remarkable home schooling mother complete with free range chickens and lots of land. Mia and I went to visit her regularly to see if Mia would adapt to her, the land and her family. The woman was not convinced that I had the stamina to let Mia go. She was wonderful, could communicate with Mia the way I do via mental telepathy and was very patient with this process. Mia, on the other hand, had an agenda of her own. I was walking her one day in between trips to Dana Farber Cancer Center when Mia literally jumped into the lap of a man sitting on the steps of an ice cream store. She acted as though she had known this man her entire life. She licked his face, wagged her tail and embarrassed the heck out of me while simultaneously blowing my mind because her behavior toward him was so out of character for her.
To make a long and fun story short, Mia was solving HER residential problem for both of us. She and I are happily dividing our time between my urban condo and his large rural spread. Turns out he is convinced she has somehow tapped into the energy of his deceased Bearded Collie, the passing of which he never really recovered. He often calls her “Emma” when he forgets that she is “Mia.” We share Mia. It is clear that he is more fun for Mia but that I am her heart and that Mia is working very hard to keep us all together. I thought you would love to know all is well that ends well!
Thank you, Donna. I haven’t been on Face Book for a very long time. I’ll try to figure it out.
Annie seems better today. She hasn’t lost control of her legs, not fallen, and no unusual movements. She has been eating well all through this. Gave her some Activated Charcoal today to hopefully takes out that poison. Poor baby. She is such a good girl. She has been coming to church with me lately. She gives so much love to everyone. She’s a magnet. Always gives more than she gets.
We were in Costco one day and I heard one woman who passed behind me say to her friend, “what a beautiful dog”. Her friend said, “Yes, I know her. She comes to our church.”
The first woman said, “that lady?”
Her friend said proudly with a happy laugh of ownership. “No, the dog. She comes to our church. Every Sunday and women’s bible study, too.” “Everybody knows Annie.”
It’s fun to watch when Annie meets people. The progression usually starts with a few pets and, often, the person ends up down on their knees with Annie wrapped in their arms. When they realize this, they usually look up in mild surprise, like “how did I get here?”. they usually say something like, “Sorry. I didn’t ….” I say, “don’t worry, it kinda happens, … a lot.”
She loves to make people laugh. She has her little routines. Before and after church, she usually has about 6+ kids at a time giving her a belly rub, all at one time.
Kids + a good dog = good times for all.
You know, it hurts to call her “a dog.” I feel like I’m betraying her. She’s so much more. She knows when someone is hurting and/or needs a lot of love. And she leans into them with her whole self and sometimes, almost wraps herself body around them in a kinda understanding hug. She knows.
She never goes out of the gate without me. I know, because I have accidentally left the gate open a couple of times and my heart flies out of my body as I come around the corner seeing it’s open. And, there Annie is, lying on the front steps. Like, “what’s up, Mom?” So, Annie goes with me everywhere. I’ve had people calling her name from 2 blocks away. People say she should be the City of Sequim’s mascot. Unofficially, maybe she already is.
She rides on the big lumber carts in Home Depot because I can’t handle the cart and her wandering and making friends, too. Easier to get her on the cart. People think she’s pretty cute. Well, she is.
It has become more than I ever thought. Because she is so unique, beautiful and so friendly, she introduces me to people, some who are feeling alone, especially the newly widowed women. I live in a smaller retirement destination and those women don’t have family here to help them when their husbands have been sick or when their husband’s die are left alone. they don’t have anyone to talk to. Often, they are overwhelmed with the finances and dealing with everything they never learned how to deal with before. that’s where Annie comes in. She gives them the “let’s be friends” eyes, and then they start to talk to her, and she loves on these people and then tell me their story. I hope when they leave us they know someone cares and maybe some of their depleted batteries have been charged up a little. She is well known and well loved. She’s well known in Sequim. And, very loved. Because, she loves first.
– M Somero
August 22, 2016
I’m Wilbur Smith’s girlfriend in Colorado, who also happens to be 100% obsessed with Uani (your U litter) and the Bergamasco breed in general. First of all, she has to be the sweetest dog I have ever known. I grew up in a devoted labrador household (my neighbor happened to breed labs for field trial and we got the rejects who wanted nothing more than to be loyal pets), so I thought I had high standards but Uani far exceeds them all. I also had the opportunity to get together with Stephanie Popper and meet Axel and Bacci and it was great to see three Bergamascos playing together, it made me, and the dogs, so happy. Seeing them all play, I knew that Uani needs a playmate that plays like she does and that breeding is the ultimate route we’d like to go.
I could go on forever about how much I love Uani, but I’ll get to the point. As you know she’s turning 4 in December and is still intact. She is one happy dog, and perfectly healthy according to our vet and of course from everything we’ve witnessed. We moved out of the city last year and have an unused sunroom that we already call the whelping room and I’ve helped enough in my teen years with breeding labs that I’m comfortable with taking care of newborn puppies. It’s just everything in between now and the puppy part that confuses me.
Wilbur and I have discussed breeding Uani for over a year and are ready to move forward. We’d love to be able to give back to the breed and help keep the lines pristine, which is the main area we’d love to have your insight and help as there is no way we could understand all the lineages the way you do. Obviously we’re quite biased but we think she’d make a wonderful momma dog.
I’m sure you get questions about this all the time, so maybe you have a form response about breeding you could send to get us started? But if not here are my main questions. Also, I know Wilbur has his contract with you somewhere, but I have not read it, so I’m sorry if these questions are already answered somewhere.
1. Is 4-5 years old too late for her first litter?
2. Finding a sire – any ideas? A recommendation or introduction from you would be excellent, if not necessary, I have no idea where to start for this. Is there a specific way to go about asking someone to provide a sire?
3. Is there any rhyme or reason to mating a merle dog and a black dog? Or does coat color not matter?
4. What information should we be ready to provide to a potential sire? What information should we be asking for?
I could ask a million more questions, but I think that’s a good starting point for now. Thank you for all you do for the breed, I have loved learning about bergamascos first hand and through all the other owners out there. I’m so thankful that I just happened to meet a guy who loved his dog so much, he brought her on our first date, and proceeded to tell me all about her. Between the two of them, there hasn’t been a dull day since.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Attached some pictures too!
P.S. we love the calendars and can’t wait to gift them to our families and friends who have taken a keen interest in the breed. They turned out fantastic!
Galena del’ Albera “Blossom” September 2002 — July 19, 2015
Blossom gave us a final gift that we have never received from any of the dogs we have had: she died of old age in her bed at home. Over the last several months she had been slowing down and sleeping a lot. Over the weekend, after a hearty breakfast of toast and eggs Saturday morning, she stopped eating and then stopped drinking. She otherwise did not appear sick at all. By Sunday evening she really could not support her weight and was happy to lie in the grass. Sally and I cuddled her and figured we would be taking her to her vet Monday morning. She slept with us and was alive when I checked her at 11 p.m. When Sally awoke at midnight, she was dead. We dug a hole then in the backyard and buried her in front of the sculpture of my first Komondor. We were so thankful that she didn’t need to experience the fear of the veterinary hospital and could die in the company of her pack and her flock.
I gather something obviously precipitated the eventual demise. Whether it was kidney failure or an unknown cancer, I did not see the need to know given her age and that fact that she was plainly on a fading path for many months consistent with advancing age. It was not abrupt until the end and her last blood test did not show anything unusual notwithstanding the Addison’s Disease.
As always, thank you again for the gift of this wonderful dog. She was a delight in every instant. Regal in walk and run and when she jumped she was like a flying squirrel. I often think of how she snuggled within Giada’s legs to sleep while Giada was alive. And given that she whelped our first litter, she certainly left the world a better place with her puppies living on to share their special joy.
Our best to you both and your family of humans and extraordinary dogs.
Gaza sadly missed
On Friday around 7:30pm, Gaza passed peacefully with his head in TC’s hands and my hand stroking his back. He was a wonderful addition to our lives, and I am so grateful that he was with us, even for a short time. Please do not feel sorry at all. We are lucky to have known him, and unfortunately, prostate cancer is so rare in dogs, it is just terrible luck and circumstances.
He loved to chase tennis balls and to have his ears scratched. He would jump in circles when the leash was picked up, and would burrow under tables when we had to leave the house. He was an amazing dog at coffee shops throughout Philadelphia. He would silently curl up under the table and people would only notice him when we left, thinking he was a rug. He was well-behaved and obnoxious and cheerful and contemplative. I will miss him very much.
Thank-you for sharing him with us. He was our treasure.
First of all, thank you for letting us come down and welcome in the new year with you and your husband and your beautiful furry family. We had a wonderful time! Our journey was 15 hrs 45 min door to door and we are ready to do it again. The boys asked yesterday to go back down to play with not just the puppies but the dogs. They love all of them. Jack is carrying the lock of hair around and is sleeping with it. He is so proud to show his grandparents and uncle a part of what the new puppy will grow. Aedan loves the “puppy pile action” and loves the big guys too as much.
We are soo excited, more than we thought was possible. He is just perfect! Adorable and sweet. They all are, we are thrilled! Thank you so much for opening your beautiful home to us and for this opportunity to add a family member. We are beyond grateful!
Questions: who makes the padded harness? Rolled leather collars? Any specific gear like coats/jackets for rain or snow, booties? The contact in Colorado. Can we get on the list for another puppy in 2 years? 🙂 And I start with basic obedience to see if becoming a therepy dog may work for this little guy correct? Pin Brush? I know I will have many as his coat comes in. Potential breeding? This is something I am interested in talking to you in depth about since he will not be fixed (originally we would of had him fixed). I am not saying we are looking to breed by any means, but we are curious of what that would look like if he was ever needed. And do you prefer cash or a check when we come down? (I cannot remember the exact amount). We will try a narrow down a name this week. Albus is Aedan’s favorite.
We are ordering that bed. Our vet has been called and alerted the puppy is a go and we will schedule the shots on Monday. I feel I am forgetting something. ………..it will come to me.
We are so thankful Donna, and thankful for what you have done with the breed. Your love, dedication, and hard work definitely shine through in them. I have never seen such meticulous care.
Looking forward to seeing you soon! We can hardly wait to pick up the little guy! thank you for everything!
Things are going very well with Willa. She is now just over 30 lbs., had her updated shots this week and had her nails done…very pretty girl 🙂
She is getting more comfortable in and out of the house and Mary is convinced she is part cat as you can see in the one photo. I told Rebecca we were going to have Willa not get comfortable on the couch but that has definitely not gone as planned…oh well she is all cuddle.
We are so happy to have her and she has added a spark in our home and I just wanted to again say thank you.
I hope all is well.
January 22, 2014
Hopefully, you remember us. I contacted you a little over a year ago about Dante’ s joint problems and you asked for pictures. So, finally, after this inexcusable delay, I am finally getting back to you. As an update, Dante’s health is really declining, but he is still our sweet boy. He is struggling physically, but continues to have a good appetite and his insatiable thirst continues, as well. I hope you enjoy these photos. I would have to assume that it would be fun seeing grown photos of your puppies. How many of his litter are still alive? Do you know? He will be 14 on November 6th — which is impossible to believe. Thank you so much for all you have for this incredible breed.
September 27, 2013
July 9th, 2013
She’s coming around a lot in the last few months. We had an issue where we had a painter come over to give an estimate on painting a room at our house. Lauren said she was nervous about the guy being there and scared about being alone. She said that Thina was growling and barking very protectively, like she had never heard before. Obviously she was picking up on Lauren’s emotions and was protecting her. It really gave Lauren comfort and since then the relationship has totally changed. That night Lauren said “we” are going to the store and to run a few errands…I said who is “we” and she said me and Thina!! I was so shocked I couldn’t believe it. I always take her with me but the dog isn’t allowed in Lauren’s car so obviously progress is being made. I can’t tell you how happy this has made me because she has no idea how great of a dog we have. If she had a normal dog that misbehaved and had a mind of its own she would be in total shock. Last night when we were talking about the possibility of another puppy she was looking through puppy pictures and said “I wish I would have loved her more back then”. She missed out because I certainly did!!
Anyways enough rambling I look forward to hearing from you. I included a picture of her sucking some wind while riding with Lauren that evening…you were right they really so love wind.
February 24th, 2013
Just wanted to say thank you again for giving us the sweetest, cutest, smartest little girl and all your help so far. The love and care you provide these puppies is second to none, so evident, and we feel very lucky to have found you. Thank you for so warmly welcoming us into your home and letting us watch such an amazing litter grow up.
To update you, Lily is doing extremely well in her new home! She seems to love her room with her toys and bed and did not cry once overnight. She has eaten all her food each time, explored the backyard, and peed and pooped out there with no problems. She bounds toward us as soon as she hears the word “come”! We feel so connected to her already, it’s amazing.
I read through all the material you provided this morning and found it extremely useful. The registration paperwork is complete and ready to be mailed.
Couldn’t be happier. Will keep you updated and I’m sure will be till of questions along the way…
Maryam, Michael, Lily
December 4th, 2012
I thought you would like an update on Luca. He will be 8 years old (I believe) in January. He acts and has the energy of a 3 year old. He has been very healthy, He is quite lean and muscular and his heaviest weight has been 62 lbs, (his weight now) he has a very delicate stomach and any food other than his daily diet goes right through him. Having said that he is the sweetest and most wonderful companion I could have.
He absolutely loves company. It’s as though they have come to see just him. He is very gentle, unless I play with him a rough house sort of way, then he becomes super excited and will play to exhaustion. (It’s usually me who gets exhausted). He’s very picky with dogs that he likes. Our groomer has a Lowland Polish sheepdog, a female, and if you can put a human characteristic on a dog Luca is downright smitten with “Roxy”, He will play with her literally to the point of exhaustion. He collapses and pants for 10 minutes and then starts all over again. It is hilarious, because Roxy feels the same way. We spend winters in Arizona, and when we get there, he recognizes the place and loves it. There is a Wieneramer (Spelling?) who lives in our complex and they are buddies. Both dogs he likes are females.
Any way he is the best dog I have ever owned, sweet, loyal, very brave and the best traveling dog in the world. He sleeps on our bed for about 30 minutes and then sleeps on the floor until he senses a change in our breathing, he knows it time to get up and jumps on the bed and lays on me, waiting for petting.
He is our joy. I visit your web site to keep updated. I trust you and Steve are well.
Take care, Happy Holidays,
Mario and Eva Garbin
Nedra Darnell Checking In
August 22nd, 2012
Donna, thank you for offering the Bergamasco group, but I withdrew. All of my crew are gone now – Menippo in June 2011 and Corte Lieto in November 2011. I treasure the time I had with each of them and miss them. Thank you for the opportunities you gave me to live with them, again and again, even when I goofed up.
Since March of this year, I have been renting a townhouse in Everett from my son and it is not a good place for a dog to live. I am concerned, too, that any dog I take to share life with now may outlive me and I don’t want to again be responsible for putting one of them through a major life change. I can’t resist sometimes looking in at your Facebook page and web site to see what is going on in your world and the Bergamasco’s, but it is difficult to be reminded too much of what was and can’t be now. Your posting of the Cherry Blossom pictures brought a flood of precious memories of that line up of special dogs and times and I had to thank you for that.
I respect and appreciate all that you have done and continue to do for Bergamasco’s and for all of us who have had and many who continue to have the pleasure and enrichment of them because of your dedication and hard work.
I think of you and Stephen often and of those times. Thank you.
2009 Bergamasco Speciality
Stephen and Donna,
It’s sometimes hard for me to wrap my brain around all I have gotten out of our relationship and the relationship I have been blessed to explore with Cato. To have a gathering like the Speciality helps put it in perspective. It NEVER gets old talking to those that share the same passion and enthusiasm for a being that defies the typical labels. To see the wide eyed excitement in so many people brings back so many great memories. The farm house where we first met (which looks a lot like the house in the end of Marley and Me…) and how it rained that day… Meeting Maria at the Cherry Blossom on the Mall in DC just days after Olivia was born…. Having Cato’s litter crawling all over me when we came to pick him out… Having to wait what seemed like an eternity to actually take him home. I see so much of all these 12 years we’ve shared in everyone there on Sunday. It’s funny, Cato is my buddy. I sometimes forget what his litter meant in the big picture because he’s just a big goober. That litter meant it was all going to be ok and that Maria had someone to carry on the tradition. It meant that everyone there on Sunday would get to experience what I have for the past 11 years with Cato and almost 12 with you. You guys are truly remarkable and we are all lucky to have you. Here’s to another 11 years of amazing memories….
Yesterday I took Mojo out for a walk (I take the leash in case I need it, but I rarely need to leash him), and while we were crossing the street, I looked back to check on Mojo and tripped and fell over a pothole. I scraped up my face, hands, ankles and knees, exacerbated preexisting micro-fractures in my wrists (car accident years ago) and have myself a lovely bone bruise on my knee. I still can’t put much weight on my right leg.
It’s important to note that this was a street, a minor side street, but still a street. Still the occasional car, still pedestrians walking not too far away.
Mojo is *ten weeks* old. The minute he saw me fall, the minute he saw I was hurt he put his paws on my shoulder in a protective position and started barking furiously in the direction of nearby cars and people. I couldn’t stand up immediately, so when not one single HUMAN would stop to help (literally had a car drive AROUND me in the street), this dog – this amazing, wonderful dog – “herded” me, crawling, back to the grass until I could manage to stand up, and then *led ME* back to our front door. He took it one step at a time with me up the stairs, and sat there licking my face while I tried to dress the wounds. Praxx took over the majority of the “care” when he got home from work, but Mojo didn’t leave my side.
I’m tearing up while I write this because I never, ever thought in a million years that a puppy, any puppy, was capable of taking care of *ME* when I needed it. This is a memory I will carry with me for life.
I love my dog. I love his spirit!
Thank you, Mojo. You deserved the extra treats you got yesterday 😉
~ Lineia & Mojo
Hope you are doing well. I’m pleased to tell you that Kael is a very happy boy indeed. He’s lost all of his initial appetite issues (we swapped his food and water bowl around, that might be co-incidence too). He doesn’t whimper at the mirror anymore and he still loves romping around in our back garden. We actually just got back from our first real on-leash walk with him along a lesser populated trail and he took to it really well. He’s a little apprehensive about cars still but once we were on the trail and away from the street he was super happy and didn’t seem to mind the leash at all. A couple of people asked about him since they hadn’t seen a puppy with that colouring before, just wait until he gets his flocks! A very young girl approached him to say hello on the walk and he was very warm and friendly to her which was great to see. We’ve tried to have a lot of friends come over to visit so he’s used to people so hopefully that’s helping. He really likes playing fetch, although fetch often involves getting to the ball bringing it back half way and then wandering off somewhere.
We’re all booked in with the vet next weekend for his next round of shots. He seems very healthy though, we’re not crate training him so my wife & I are currently doing shifts to let him out at night. We walk him out, let him do his business and walk back in and he’s well behaved now, mostly 🙂 He tries to nibble on our hands occasionally when he’s hyper playful but we always tell him no and stop him. He never bites hard or does it at any other times so that behaviour is very much on the decline and should be gone soon I’d imagine.
He’s growing so fast, every-time I play with him he just feels like he’s a wee bit larger than he was before. I’m going to try and put together another video before he gets too big!
Again, can’t thank you enough. He brings us both a lot of joy and whilst we may be a little sleep deprived, we wouldn’t swap him for anything in the world!
All the best to you, your husband & the bergamasco family 🙂
I want to thank you for sending all of the videos! It has made us feel like we are able to be with them and watch them grow. We feel so lucky to be getting a dog from you both. The love is so obvious!
Kael just spent his first night at his new home and I wanted to let you know he’s doing really well.
He was apparently quite scared when he was in his carrier but Emily was able to take him out on the plane and just have him on her lap and he did much better after that. When he actually got home and I got to meet him for the first time he was incredibly friendly with me right away. After spending some time together he started checking out the house. I was a little worried because we have hardwood floors and he was slipping around quite a bit but it didn’t take him long to find his footing and trot around confidently. His tail has been wagging pretty much since he arrived and he’s been playing with all his new toys and the old ones.
We have full length mirrors in the bedroom on our wardrobe and he got sad when he saw his reflection as I think it made him miss his siblings. Once we were lights out though he settled down quickly. He woke up a few times in the night, played with us in the bed for 5 minutes then he’d jump down to his bed and sleep for an hour or so.
This morning we had a little adventure in our back garden and he was running around and playing with us and even saw to his business outside too! He definitely loves the outdoors! Emily drove me to work so we went on a car ride and he was very relaxed looking out the window.
He’s just so adorable and Emily & I love him very much already. He’s such a happy playful thing and so confident too. I can’t thank you enough for all the support, photos, videos & care to the puppies. I know it must be very sad for you to see the puppies leave but rest assured Kael will find a happy home here and you’ll get to see his adventures every step of the way!
Orso dell albera — 08/12/01 to 02/05/12
Your Spirit for Life Will Shine Forever, go play be happy, Donna
Nate Everett: Orso made everyone’s life better. He sought out people to give and receive love. He was both simple and extraordinary. He performed on stage in Camelot before thousands. He was the subject of hundreds of cell phone pictures. He stopped traffic at least once a week. loved the world. He was my best friend and be with me always.
Jessy Mead: He was a wonderful, intelligent, loving creature. I was so lucky to have him and share so many beautiful moments with him. We are healing and going through pictures and remembering his awesomeness.
I’m just a lurker here so far (fairly new – I have 2 from Juan & Erik’s Y litter). I admire the heck out of you, and if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have 2 of the best dogs ever. In my eyes, you are responsible for bringing the best Bergamascos to the US and sharing them. I have never owned pups like these – they are the ultimate fit into my household. Nerea is their Great Grandma and Lindoro is Grandpa. I’ve looked at them both on your website and can see bits of them in the girls.
OK- why I’m writing – although I’m sure there’s a sad story or even a few (like the latest rehome… while it’s terribly sad (and 2 weeks isn’t exactly much time) I’m sure they’ll all find awesome homes). What I hope you’ll think about is all the happy endings you’ve had and how happy you’ve made those of us that found the perfect companion canines. Again, if it wasn’t for you, those of us with big love for these guys wouldn’t be having this experience. I’m a “for better, for worse” type. No matter how crazy my animals have driven me (cats and dogs), I stick with them and work with them through thick and thin – even in old age.
Don’t give up on humanity, and think of all the happiness you’ve provided over the years to the sorry saps like me. 🙂 You reach farther than you know.
Think on it at the very least – please.
Thina, Lauren and I are having a ton of fun playing around the house! She is so smart it is unbelievable…except she isn’t perfect at dropping the ball when we play fetch because she wants to keep it and turn it into a game of chase.
She is eating really well, usually wiping her bowl clean. There isn’t a single person or thing she doesn’t greet with a wagging tail…she loves everybody and everything. If anything she gets too excited.
It’s amazing how she knows that if she wants me to pet her she needs to sit or lay down, I just have to get her to act like to other people as she gets way too excited. It’s a work in progress, but I do power downs with her daily and she is getting a lot better about letting me brush or pick things out without having to have to hold her down.
I can say “go to your room” and she runs to her room and sits down on her bed waiting for me to bring the treat in there for her(I also found a place in Fort Worth that sells the Mother Nature treats you gave us at first). She has gotten REALLY good about pottying outside, I don’t even remember the last accident we had. When we are home we just let her roam free and play where she wants, we usually put her in her room when we leave because there is just too many things she could get into.
We have a 2 story house, and we had always put a barrier up keeping her from going to the 2nd floor…about a month ago we took the barrier down and guess what? She doesn’t even look up there, hasn’t ventured up there without us a SINGLE time…it’s amazing…she knows she’s not supposed to go up there so she doesn’t. I can’t believe it.
I just ordered her another slip lead…same kind as the Mendota one you gave us (she has just about chewed hers apart…how do I get her to stop chewing on her lead?). We haven’t put a collar on her yet, but I kind of get worried that if she ever got out people would have no way to find us without ID. You had mentioned you could recommend a collar and I was wondering if you recommended something from Mendota as well?
Also, on another note, last Friday when I got home I let her out of her room and she ran out real fast(to go to the back door to potty). She was going way too fast and wiped out on our floor and ran into the wall. Well she started limping real bad and couldn’t really squat to pee (she would stand on 3 legs and basically pee on herself). So I took her to the vet and he thinks she has a hairline fracture on her 4th metatarsal in her right hind leg. He gave me a few medications that we give her twice a day, and now it’s like nothing has even happened. I can’t tell you how worried I was on Friday it was like my stomach was turning inside, I can’t believe how attached I have become in such a short time. I’m going to keep giving her the meds and we are going to go back in first of next week just to make sure everything is OK.
Sorry that I don’t have any pictures for you I need to get better about that because she is growing so fast(42lbs last Friday when I took her in)!! She dressed up in a Texas Rangers jersey for Halloween and was just the cutest thing. She is a rock star at the vet’s office, everyone knows her there and they are a wonderful place to take her that I feel very comfortable with. Every time someone new sees her they are goooing and gahhhing about how pretty she is.
I love her so much thank you for giving me the best dog in the world!!
Hope you and your family have a happy thanksgiving!
Parker, Lauren and Thina
Hey Donna…Thinking of you as I hear from Michelle today about joning the Bergamaso Sheepdog of America….Of course I will join.
Just wanted you to know how wonderful my Santo is…I love that boy to death…He is the best companion ever for me and can I ever thank you enough. He is completed his flocks.I did find a groomer that helped me do troubled areas that I could not get him to keep still enough. He guards me, protects me and is my best friend. Makes me laugh and smile even though I may be sad…thank you for such a gift..more than money ever could buy…..I have a very hard time leaving him to go anyway and look forward to seeing that shining face underneath all that hair!
hope you and all family doing well
Here’s a little info. about Mrs. Pickles’ obedience career to date:
Ronzoni Dell Albera SP, CD (Companion Dog)
Novice A accomplishments:
- Putnam Kennel Club July 23rd, 2011 Stormville, NY– 189.5 points, 1st Place Novice A and also Highest Scoring Dog in Regular Classes
- Ramapo Kennel Club October 16th, 2011 Augusta, NJ– 193 points, 1st Place Novice A
- Ramapo Kennel Club October 17th, 2011 Augusta, NJ– 188 points, 2nd Place Novice A and obtained New Titleholder Status (CD)
Thanks again for matching us with our wonderful pet! I hope to move on to the next level in obedience (Open) with her as well as explore agility, herding, and therapy dog work so we can share her with the world…
I love this dog!!! 1st Place today with a 193 out of 200 points…2 legs down and 1 to go for our AKC Companion Dog Title.
We did it! Mrs. Pickles got her CD (companion dog) obedience title—so much fun!
I want to give you a big thanks, too, for giving us our wonderful dog!!
Tyche is a dream girl!
She is the best.
Thought I’d send you her picture.
30 pounds and rising!
Jodey and I wanted to thank you for being so nice to us at the gathering. We enjoyed getting to meet everyone and their bergemascos. These kinds of things are a lot to put together. You did a great job and still you found time for everyone. All things considered, Osi handled the day well. He is a puppy that is growing fast and adapting to his new life. This weekend he met my extended family. Everyone loves him. Even my nephew that is allergic to dogs was fine. Osi has made a very positive impact on our lives and we thank you. Please say high to Stephen. You can tell him that Osi and I are understanding, communicating, and trusting each other more and more every day. We also just saw the photos your son took. They came out great. He is a nice young man and you should be proud of him. You probably don’t have a picture of him at the gathering so I attached one.
Thank you again
David and Jodey Ertman
Sisko is doing fantastic. He has fast become the love of my life. He is always with me! After a few trips in the car he has learned how to get in and out and just needs a little help because he is not big enough. He sleeps through the night and snores and grunts. Maybe that is a Bergamasco thing, just like his whole body wiggle when he sees anyone. It is so endearing. His best friend is now my 13 month old German Shepherd who is willing to put up with some puppy antics like tail and butt biting. My older Maltese find Sisko a total nuisance and would rather not be bothered. Still, they all sleep in the bedroom at night without any drama.
Sisko has a great appetite. He is loving his raw foods in combination with his Abady granular. He Eats raw liver and heart chunks, chicken, ground beef, diced steak chunks and fresh frozen sardine. He has even enjoyed a little chicken drumstick ( the piece on the wing), I beat it up making sure the bone was broken into small pieces and he took the whole thing out of bowl and lay down and started eating , I think it made him feel like a big boy handling the whole piece and hearing the occasional crunch of bone. I think he has doubled in height since I brought him home.
Of course he is beautiful and I am so grateful to Donna for being allowed to have my first Bergamasco. Having had various breeds the Bergamasco is certainly a different beast. I was looking into his eyes last night and I swear they look human! There is just something about this breed that steals your heart completely.
I am glad everyone else is doing well. Please stay in touch.
Keniki & Sisko
These pups are so healthy and cute. I can’t believe it has been six weeks and I have so much to do and learn! I am very excited in how you raise your pups, your beliefs letting them be a part of the home, and all your visions. I am learning so much and it all makes so much sense. I have always believed like you, but never had anyone to guide me. I have always treated my animals like a family member more that just a pet, but so much to learn about natural foods and letting them be a part of their own family in just visiting relatives and letting them help in raising other litters. Think you should write more books about how puppies can be a “part of the family”, how family members help in raising other litters, and how food effects allergies. Too many people just are not educated and it all could be in one book by YOU, not reading several books.
In talking to you about showing dogs, feeding and training, your visions as so much like mine. I am so glad that I have finally found someone that believes like I do, but you have the knowledge to train me. I am like a starved student. Thanks again for books and web-sites that you suggest. I wish I had been taught alot of what you are teaching years before and especially the food part with Barley, my Beardie Collie, but I now have a chance with Bergamsco.
hey donna~ haven’t touched base with you in too long. wanted to send you a picture….this is one of Henry’s favorite places to run….a spot just down the road from our house.
Henry is doing very well. He’s happy and content…he loves Ada (our daughter born last May) ….its been almost 2 years since we brought him home and of course he has grown and changed in many ways but he certainly has things about him that are part of who he is…he’s so funny, immensely loving and I couldn’t imagine our lives without him.
Let me just include some words to describe our “first born”
people lover (and I mean everyone)
loves, loves all other dogs, even the ones that don’t love him, he generally thinks he can win over any and all things and befriend all living creatures.
PLAYFUL. fetch, Frisbee, chase……
always up for an adventure
he eats his dinner at midnight every night
One time when Ada was crying in her crib and I was in the shower, he got me.
He checks on everyone in the house at night while we are sleeping
He’s jumpy the nights that Matt is not here.
He most always steps around murky water puddles (weird)
When Ada and I come home from being out…sometimes I’ll bring groceries in the house first, then get her from the car and bring her in…he goes nuts until he sees her and sees that she’s home and accounted for.
He rolls around often, in the house and on ground over and over on the return portion of our walks.
he knows what he wants and can be relentless until he feels that he is being understood.
He is protective and fought a black lab (his best friend) in our yard that I tried to hug.
He loves to ride in the car.
He is an amazing rock climber.
He howls at night sometimes…strangest sound…meant to ask you if any of your dogs do this.?
Sulks when it rains
Adore’s Matt the most
Dislikes being alone
Loves to be held in your lap like a baby (Matt does this) its so ridiculous:)
Leans on you, literally
Lets you do anything to him….lay on him, dance with his front feet, touch his tongue, nose, hide him under a blanket….he thinks its all a game and goes along with this goofy grin of his. He has a sense of humor… I know that sounds weird but he does, he’s the funniest dog. People think we’re nuts when we talk about him but our neighbors who spend time with him say the same thing.
anyhow, just wanted you to know that he’s well and happy and has adjusted amazingly well to having Ada as part of our family. She adores him and he thinks she’s the baby sheep of the family that he is responsible for.
Wish we weren’t so far away so we could visit. We’re in Northern Maine now. Maybe someday when Ada gets a little bigger.
hope all is well!
Hello and greetings from Finland.
reason im reaching on you is that i saw you have lots of dogs from dell’Albera. I have met my first Bergamasco 1998, i met many of them but lost my heart to a young shy lady.. it was 1,5 year old female Ippa Dell’Albera. i was working in the doghotel/ kennel and they had these dogs.. Ippa, Ippa, i never forget her. Ippa was really shy when i first met her, but with lots of work, she slowly started to trust me, and that trust sayed till the end of her life.
I have her “puppy” living with me, Fallenhaus Immagine, Ippas daughter , now 10 years old grand lady. And shes been living with me under a week and still shes like she has always lived here. so friendly and loving dog.
I liked the way that Ippa was,or became with the trust, and her “daughter” is lot like her..dell’albera dogs are close to my heart.
Ippa was something so special..
im thinking..planning and hoping that i will have a puppy someday..not 10 year old puppy..but a real one:) and im also wishing to have a dog that its from lines of maria andreoli.
Its all because i met a best dog ever, Ippa.
Ippa was puppy of Giuba dell’albera & Didone dell’albera.
immu is puppy of italian beauty Ippa dell’albera & handsome german male Alliot vom lopautal. i know both of the parents and i can say that i only liked Ippa.
anyway..you have beautiful dogs!
Monna Tanninen from finland
Oh, everything is just wonderful. Mojo is my best buddy. He and I go everywhere together. He waits for me at the door when I get home from work and actually begins to whine if I don’t come home at the normal hour. Heaven forbid I come home 5 minutes late. However, he always has the best bergamasco greeting for me with his entire backside shaking with his tail. He is a wonderful dog, best dog I have ever had hands down. Smart as a whip, he learns things with perhaps 4 or 5 repetitions and retains what he has learned from that point forward. He is always top in his training classes, always out performs the other dogs.
He absolutely loves the snow and the outdoors all together. I am hard pressed to get him to come back inside after a nice thorough romp in the snow. I take him to the park regularly at dusk (the park closes then but I go in anyway, there are no people and it affords me the opportunity to get him off leash to run free) He is most def. a herder. I can’t get around him no matter how hard I try.
He definitely lets me know when he is ready to play by bringing me a toy and refuses to let me sit idly at that time. (I do it on purpose to see what he will do to get me to play) He still (every single night without fail) will approach me and lower his head and shake it while giving a low growl. That’s the clue that it is time for me to chase him around the house. If I ignore him, he will bark. If I continue to ignore him, he will come and grab my pant leg and tug on me until I get up. the chase lasts about 15 minutes. He runs one way, then the other trying to stay away from my efforts to catch him. Quite an amazing dog indeed. I have never had a dog that behaves this way and I already know that I will never own a breed other than a bergamasco.
He is always the center of attention everywhere we go. Children, adults, it doesn’t matter. Everyone falls in love with him the moment they see him. He is very playful with everyone who approaches.
He is also a wonderful house guarding dog. He most definitely lets me know if someone approaches while we are indoors. He has a very distinctive DEEP bark when he hears something that is not normal. He lets everyone know he is on duty and watching.
Speaking of watching, he watches EVERYTHING. I can never leave a room and not have him follow within 20 seconds of my exit. I know without a doubt that he will be right behind me. I only need to turn around and there he is.
As for the matting, it only seemed logical to me to work the mats out that way. It is how I work out knots on human hair, so I just went with it.
I will have some new pictures of him shortly and I will send you a few. He has grown so much since that very first day. He used to fit on my lap and barely clear my knees. Now, there is no way he can even remotely sit on my lap. But he does try his hardest to fit there quite often. Funny dog he is.
I will do everything possible to be there in June. It would be great to see him interacting with other bergamascos.
P.S., no rush on this answer, when you have the time. When should I allow the matting to actually begin to happen? I know there will be a point when I simply let his coat do it’s thing. Any insight would be appreciated!
Happy New Year
Michael/Melanie/Mojo (we call ourselves M 3) 🙂
He threw up on the car ride home, but it was probably more nerves then anything else. I have taken him in the car since then for a short trip and he is getting more comfortable with it.
Remus is incredible! He is so balanced, friendly with everyone – getting socialized has been a breeze. I brought him to the office yesterday and he said hi to whomever came up then would just chill. He is completely potty trained, basically was from the get go – on 3 accidents and they were all in the first 2 days. Sleeps in the bedroom with us, and when we lay down he simply goes onto the tile floor in the bathroom and goes to sleep. Sleeps through the night and when I get up at 6:30 treks downstairs with me and out to relieve himself – it’s phenomenal.
He learned sit in…um… 2 tries! He is so smart and picks up on any nuance that is happening in the house. Loves to just be with the family, hangs where ever we are and always comes up to you for love and affection; just a sweet, sweet temperament.
Eats all his food, likes the mixing up of what he is getting, although I’m not sure I will be getting more tripe, that stuff smells soo nasty.
Sits quietly when I brush him and is so soft.
Basically a pure joy, already changing our lives; thank you for being such a good breeder and raising them the way you do.
I will get onto the bergamasco talk, and introduce myself/Remus, time just slips by so fast.
Hope all is well with you, and we will keep you posted.
I just wanted to write a quick post about this wonderful breed and the sweet funny bergamasco I share my life with, Pansy. I decided to set out on a 4 mile walk today with pansy and JoJo (a skiperke mix), they were calling for rain but I thought we could get back before it started. We were half way through, when it not only rained but downpoured to the piont it was no use in running you were going to get soaked no matter what!!!As we continued our walk and by this time were dripping wet I looked down at JoJo who reminded me of a disgruntled postal worker not very happy to say the least . Pansy looked up at me with her sweet eyes and her exprestion was like mom look what you have got us into again, which I just smiled back at her . She wagged her tail even harder as if to say I still love you lets finish this walk and off we went. She is definately atrue companion no matter what I get her into. I feel so lucky to have her!!!
From Andrea and Jim (owners of Tea and Ula):
You are amazing. I am so proud to be a part of the Bergamasco owners family. Thank you so very much for all the organizing, coordination, gathering of food and goodies, that all made the day so wonderful. But especially the trophy. When we got home we looked closely at the trophy our lovely Tea was proud to accept and WOW it is a master piece! How fortunate we are to have it. That is really terrific. So not only was the day so great but to come away with new friends, meeting new relatives, see you all again, to have super T’s and the most wonderful trophy. Thank you both for the dedication to the breed, for helping us get used to being Bergamasco owners, and for being really delightful human beings.
Donna and Stephen –
It was a truly amazing day and great to see such a turnout. Took me back a little to our very first gathering at the Cherry Blossom show on the Mall in 2001 with our puppy Sheba – back then we were the proud and the few – now we are part of the proud and the multitude! How far we’ve come!!! Can’t tell you how much you folks and our Bergamascos have enriched our lives over the years. Was sorry that Marty couldn’t be there and that I wasn’t able to bring our other two Bergamascos Sheba and Cara, but I had my hands full with Donnegal. Maybe next year. Again, our love and thanks,
Jim & Marty, Donnegal and the Gang
Trooper is doing amazing! He is house trained and he is doing great on the leash! As you can see from the pictures he puts up with a lot from our 2 year old, they are like best buddies. I really have no issues with him except that he jumps on everybody when they walk in the door, but besides that he is the perfect dog for our family! He loves to play outside and he made friends wit our neighbors dogs, they talk through the fence. He eats great and goes from 10:30 pm to 7 am with no issues, we feel very lucky to have him! Hope all of your dogs are doing well!!
Rob and Donna!!!!
Guess what! Bella is getting flocks and I SEPARATED my first wad!
So, here I was, sitting next to Bella when I felt this GROWTH on her skin. What in the world?! So on closer inspection, I found that this was a fair-sized clump of hair! A clump, A FLOCK!!! So I got out Donnas CD for the 3rd time, watched again and actually separated some of Bellas flocks. Went well… as Bella is such a lover. She just layed on her back with her legs in the air as I groomed her stomache. She positively groaned with glee as I groomed her back. Then, much to her chagrin, she let me take the 12 burrs out of her beard which also is flocking!
All I have to say is I hope that I am doing it right. didn’t have the best light as it was 900pm and I was in my rather dark bedroom. I will attempt more grooming in the light today.
Thanks Donna for the wonderful CD. It really helped! And Bella is such a little Angel! I am truely blessed to have her. Thank you for that Rob.
Thanks so much for sending this. It’s really helpful, particularly the part around the snout and eyes. We’ve been doing some of that with Paetra, where you loosen up a mat of sorts and you end up with a dangling clump of hair that is just going to fall off anyway. We end up just pulling them out, and I’ve been meaning to ask about that!
I presume where Paetra’s coat is at right now is pre-goathair for the most part. She’s getting pretty wooly at the shoulders and on her rump, but not a whole lot of goathair yet to hold it together. She clumps up loosely further out in her coat (towards the ends of her hair) almost every day now, but when you pull it apart, the structure isn’t there to hold anything. They pull out very easily.
Is there a point where brushing is detrimental? We try find the right balance between not brushing enough and brushing too much. I feel like we’re on track, but if there is a time period in the development of the mature coat where it makes sense to just go entirely to working with your hands, let me know.
In other news, Paetra is doing really, really well. She’s very happy, especially when she’s working on one of the Bully Sticks she got for Christmas. She’s settled down, now that we’ve treated her urinary infection, and seems to really be hitting her stride.
When we were out to see you in PA, you had mentioned that eventually you move to one feeding a day (at night, I believe). When do you recommend that, out of curiosity?
Always with the questions, but it’s good to see you two, if even just via video. We couldn’t be happier with Paetra. She’s a very special member of our family. In fact, we think back on our cross country trek with her more often than probably any other trip we’ve taken. Meeting you, Stephen and all the dogs was an amazing and surreal moment.
Wishing you the best for 2009. Cheers!
Thanks for sending the video it s very helpful. I will send you a check in the mail. Pansy is doing great and is wonderful with my children. I have just recently found out why i have had so many problems with Josh. They say he has a mild form of asbergers and also fits the criteria for oppositional defiant disorder. I now understand so many of the reasons he does the things that he does and why he does not respond to many situations and discipline the way the others do. I always knew he was different but did not know why. It has been rough but his councilor uses her standard poodle as part of the process which Josh loves. He has a real connection to dogs and Pansy could not have come into our live at a better time. She loves him for him and does not care what his day was like at school and does not expect any thing from him. He can just be himself. This is a gift I can’t give him but she does every day. Talk to you soon.
SHE IS THE BEST!
CALLIOPE FULFILLS EVERY ASPECT OF DOG-FRIENDSHIP THAT I WAS LOOKING FOR!
I ABSOLUTELY ADORE HER!
She thinks she is a 3rd grade girl… has to dance every time my daughter turns on music to show me what she is studying in ballet, etc. Calliope jumps up on the trampoline whenever the children are up there (she does a great job navigating the net for entry), and Calliope can jump up onto the porch of our treehouse (probably 4.5 feet from the ground). She really loves being a part of whatever is going on.
I thought I’d send you our baby pictures of our puppies. They were born June 2nd. Tassa had 9 puppies, but the very small runt died the next day.
We are having so much fun with these puppies. It is such a great joy to have them crawl into our laps and fall asleep. My son, Kyle, was by Tassa’s side during all of the puppy births except the first one. He is so very very happy to be a part of these puppies’ lives.
Thank you so much for encouraging us in many ways. You’re right, Tassa is an excellent mother. We are so thankful to have her.
Thank you, also, for giving us Lydia’s number. They are also excited that Rim fathered these beautiful puppies with just one collection. Somehow, we all just got lucky.
We’ll keep you up to date on how they are doing.
Thank you so much for helping us pass along the great joy of a Bergamasco Sheep Dog to others.
First let me say how sorry we are for the misunderstanding about keeping in touch with you. We had a address of firstname.lastname@example.org, Silverpastori@aol.com . We visited the Bergamasco Sheepdog Club of America, thats how we found a few other breeders including your name but I was sending it to the wrong e-mail hopefully the last email I got back I sent to your address so that you could see it was sent back undeliverable. Thats when I discovered I was putting the wrong address.So I hope you forgive us.
Also let me say REA is everything and more then what we read about the breed and what you & Steve told us. We are so HAPPY w/her she is Tyler’s little sister (apart of our family) She goes every where w/us, every vacation if they don’t allow dogs we don’t stay, goes w/dad or mom to drop off and pickup Tyler from school. She is such a big part of us we had our family picture done last year and Tyler & REA are front & center for all to see, o yeah mom & dad are in there somewhere.
I will quit rambling on about our little girl and how well she fits w/our family. The vet loves it when REA comes because “She is such a beautiful and well mannered dog” she has asked us when we first got REA if we were going to show her and also become breeder, we explained weren’t going to have her a show dog and that we really weren’t interested in being breeder that one day we would like another but it would be hard to find a mate and explain that we didn’t want a full litter, that we would only like one. So leaving some else to take the burden of trying to find homes for the pups and having REA to stay on site or leaving her so she could mate just didn’t seem logistically or logical. We explained that we signed a contract saying the if REA was to be spayed we would have to get permission from the breeder. She said think about it but make sure not to wait much longer after her 5th birthday. So from what you mentioned in your email our bets bet is to get a puppy from another breeder. When Tyler saw your video of the pups he decided he wanted Petra or Pansy. I explained tonight that the pups were all placed.
I will email Susan and David and see what they can do. I hope you know that we have kept up w/ the Bergamasco rules and give REA so much love that you wouldn’t be disappointed. I hope if you don’t mind we have tons of pictures of the little lady I would share some of them with you. And yes I will join the chat club I have been on it and read it only, but last time I went to the site it wasn’t there anymore??
Please keep in touch and thanks for all your help. Hopefully we will be proud parents of a new Bergamasco….Keep your fingers crossed. Also REA turned 5 in March should we have her spayed? and if so can we??
Just wanted to drop a quick note to tell you that today is Orione’s 7th birthday. It’s hard to believe that our little boy is 7 already! I’ll never forget coming to your house, seeing all of your beautiful Bergamascos and feeling a little ball of fur rubbing up against my ankle as I spoke to you. I looked down only to see the most beautiful puppy I had ever seen looking up at me. I asked you if the puppy was ours. The moment you said yes, I knelt down and held Orione for the first time. I knew then and there he was a gift.
All of our animals are special. The love both Marijke and I felt for Fiore and feel for our new boy, Otello, are unquestionable. There’s just something about Orione that makes me humble, happy and proud all at the same time. Just like Fauno holds a special place in your hearts, Orione is truly one of a kind. Words can’t describe the happiness he has brought to us.
Thanks again for all you help, advice, and guidance. Here’s to Orione on his special day!
Jim, Marijke, Orione, & Otello
Donna, believe it or not, it was one year ago today that we were at your house seeing for our very eyes, what we now consider our son, Orione. Time flies doesn’t it?
I can tell you, it’s been a hectic year, but all in all, a great one for us.
A little over a year ago, we were very sad and confused with the loss of our first son, Rip. We really didn’t know what to do. We were searching web sites, reading books and magazines, even talking to vets on the phone, trying to decide what dog was right for us. Then…call it divine intervention, luck, whatever, we somehow found the Bergamasco website. I remember calling you for the first time with my list of questions. You were very helpful and seemed sincere in your explanation of the breed. The only thing upsetting you stated at that time was there were no Bergamasco’s immediately available!
Again, call it divine intervention, luck or just being at the right place at the right time, several weeks later, you brought Orione home from Italy, and the rest is history. Never in a million years would we have considered getting two of them, but within several short weeks, we were convinced we HAD to have another Bergamasco. Fiore entered our lives and hearts in January.
I must tell you..everything written about the Bergamasco is 100% accurate. They are the most gentle and kind breed of dog we have ever encountered. They have a human like quality that I can’t quite put my finger on, but I know that when we speak to them and they look at you, they know exactly what you are saying. I also know that they tell us how they feel by nuzzling us around the neck, and following us everywhere.
We are having a great time raising them as brothers, and we would honestly have more if we had the room. They are truly “gifts from the angels” which is what we tell them when we are all together either relaxing in the yard, or all on the floor playing together.
I just wanted to tell you how much we appreciate all of your help in the past year, and also to let you know that you really are dealing with a breed that is unique not only in look, but in spirit as well. Let’s hope more and more people come to realize the qualities the Bergamasco has to offer.
As always, we will keep you posted with pictures and notes..
Jim, Marrier, Orione, & Fiore
Looking at the photo of so many fine Bergamasco all together in a so big show my heart missed a beat. When I sow my little Faun leave for so far away, I never could imagine that he would be the founder of a new so promising chapter of Bergamasco’s history. What can I say? I am happy, proud and thankful. No wonder if people felt amazed seeing how quick grows up the number of Bergamasco. Happy for your big success!!
I looked at the photos and I am really satisfied seeing that the new generations go on the right way. Now you can rest.
Thanks to Stephen for the letter that I send. Now we have only to wait and hope!!! Ciao for now
Dear Donna and Steve,
I apologize for my lapse in correspondence. As usual, life here is in fast gear. Adam just graduated from high school and we have just finished our new home. Interesting as that might be, I’m sure you would rather hear about Dante. He is continuing to be a delight. I was a little concerned about the move to a new house, so we have attempted to make the move gradually (we built a new home within four country miles of our old home), so that both we and our pets could adapt at a comfortable rate. Of course, since we have owned the property for four years and have spent many hours there while the house was being built, the transition has been a little easier. Initially, we were concerned about how Dante might adjust to stairs because our old home was a one story structure. We should not have spent an ounce of energy on such a trivial matter. He truly looks as agile and comfortable on them as a mountain goat and negotiates them effortlessly. I swear he has investigated every inch of our new property (about fifteen acres). Our neighbors (old friends of the family) have a black lab which likes to visit. Dante has made sure that his territory has been marked. Although he allows short, casual visits from the neighbors dog there is no question about who is in charge.
Dante is becoming a truly magnificent adult (of course, I’m not very objective). He loves to lay at our feet and he gives kisses only when the recipient is truly deserving. I also find his manners to be impeccable in a delightful sort of way. His gait is very proud and smooth which, as a physical therapist, I love to watch. Interestingly enough, he has continued to allow our two oldest sons to pick him up and cradle him as you would an infant (belly-side up). This was something Adam, our oldest son, started when Dante was just a puppy. He is a wonderful watch dog, aware of everything that goes on – inside and outside. Thank you so much for introducing the Bergamasco breed to us. Our lives have been wonderfully and forever changed.
Vicki and Robert Harring
(and Adam, Laura, Benjamin, and John)
Dear Donna and Stephen,
We first became aware of Bergamascos in 1960 when we saw a picture and description in a Dog Breed book. At the time we could not find any breeders so we forgot about it and went on over the years to own a large variety of dogs including several German Shepherds, a Hybrid Wolf, a Borzoi, a Scottie, a Collie and two Komondors. Two years ago we decided to expand our herd of dogs from 3 (German Shepherd, Collie and Komondor) to 4. We loved our Komondor for her intelligence, independence and shaggy coat, however we really wanted a smaller dog and our thoughts went back to 1960 and the picture of the Bergamasco. Thats when we discovered you folks and reserved a puppy. Elisheba (Sheba) came into our life in November 2000 when we first saw her at 3-weeks and it was love at first sight. Since then we have been absolutely delighted with her. In many ways she is like our Komondor (reserved, highly-intelligent and independent) but she is much more sociable and playful, and her coat is much easier to maintain. She quickly fit in with our other dogs and has become our favorite. Although we have had many great dogs in our lives, we believe that Sheba embodies all the best qualities of temperament, intelligence, looks, and great appeal (along with a little swagger). At this point we could not imagine life without a Bergamasco, and know that our next dog will be another Bergamasco.
Marty and Jim Harbaugh
ps. Donna – Great job on the video. Since we last saw you, we’ve pretty much left Sheba’s coat alone and she is looking great. It looks like she won’t require much work. I’ve attached a few words (MS Word) you may want to add to your website. Unfortunately, the words really don’t express how much Sheba really means to us. She has become super cute in everything she does, and gives us endless enjoyment. SO glad we found you and Stephen and your wonderful Bergamascos. We’ll keep in touch.
A Boy and His Dog
Hi Donna – This Saturday we took Ares to a fundraising event for a new Bark Park in our area. It’s a 3 acre fenced area with an open field and woods for dogs to run, play and socialize. He was the hit of the party! Everyone was very interested in him and asked all kinds of questions. I told them how to contact you through the rarebreed website. You may be getting some inquiries. Ares was a perfect gentleman the entire day. He did have a small spat with a male intact Swiss Mountain Dog, but I think he was just protecting his boys. I can’t get over what a good dog he has turned out to be. The boys just love him, and he has even won Alan over who was not so gung-ho in the beginning. We laugh about something funny he does every day. We took him to the boy’s T ball games this summer. He watches the entire game and every time someone hits the ball, he barks like he’s cheering them on. I have some pictures that I will send you if I can ever remember to take them to the office to scan them. I would be very happy to share our experience with Ares with anyone interested in adopting a Bergamasco. Just give them my email or phone number. Thank you for all of your support.
Talk to you later.
Dear Mom and Dad,
Did you remember today is my birthday? I want to thank you for making me possible. My life is so wonderful. I love my human Mom soooooooooo much and my human Dad too – just not as much. My sister Portia is really cool. She pretends that I annoy her. Then, the moment something seems to be different, she is quick to protect me. I love her. Sometimes we take naps together with our paws touching. She is a loving older sister even if she is a bouvier.
I still play as much as possible. I love to tease other dogs. Your human, Mom and Dad, say that my behavior is a lot like my Dad, Clothos. I also love to dance and twirl around which I understand is like my Mom, Latria.
Anyhow my days are happy. I have all the food I want, treats, playtime and playmates when my human Mom makes playdates for me.
For the past few weeks, we have a bouvier mix puppy with us. His name is Sam. I tease and torture Sam with my play moves. He does not care. No matter what I do, he comes back for more. My human Mom corrects me. She says I am too rough at times and need time outs. I go to the garden door and wait for her to let me out by myself. I cool down and then come in with a great big smile on my face. She forgives me immediately. Then, I start my games all over again. I just can’t help myself. My human Mom tells me I am a play-aholic. I think she is right.
I wanted to share my birthday with you. Sending hugs and bergie kisses.
Grazzie is wonderful, settling in well, and has become a true member of the family. She is showing signs of understanding potty training, and has developed a true bond with Lady, our other dog. They play for hours together, and it has made Lady, our thirteen year old dog almost like a puppy again. They sleep together, eat together, go on walks together, (with us) and car rides together. Lady watches out for Grazzie and Grazzie observes about EVERYTHING! She is so smart! We are constantly reminded of what a wonderful and intelligent breed this is. Keith and I have made the realization that we will never own another breed. We are hooked on Bergamascos! Couldn’t be happier actually. Thank You so much for helping her to come into our lives. She is the best little blessing, and the perfect Christmas present ever. Thank you for the names of the othr Bergamasco owners, I have written a couple of them, and have heard from Mark and Irene. Its great to keep in touch! it has to be hard to adopt-out the other two puppies on Friday, I feel sorry for Gala too. That has to be hard on her. I read that Bergamasco book that you sent a long with us, and it stated that the bonds Bergamascos develop with each other will never be broken, so that if taken away as a puppy, and returned years later, they will respond with glee and love with the lifelong bond they developed years before. that is amazing. Yes, it has been really busy for the Holidays, I hope that yours are wonderful and filled with many blessings. have a truely wonderful Christmas, I will keep in touch! thank you once again.
In One Week…
I would never have thought that within one week, I could love Gianna as much as I do now. Yesterday as we played around and were hanging out, Christopher and I were saying how we could not believe that it has only been a week. So here is just a quick list of some things we love about Gianna….
We love how each day, she expands her world to another room in the house.
We love how she goes to the patio door when she needs to go outside and taps the door when she is ready to come in.
We love how she looks for us even when she is just relaxing.
We love how her natural position is sitting tall with her legs in front of her.
We love that even though her hair is growing we can still tell by her eyes what she is thinking.
We love how she likes new people.
We love how she says hello to other dogs but does not starting jumping all over.
We love how she loves Greenies and cheese.
We love how her tail wags and she runs to us when we say…”Who’s a good girl? Gianna is a good girl”!
We can go on and on…but most of all…we love her little spirit that so fills our hearts with so much love and gratitude!
Thanks for giving us the best Christmas gift! Hope you enjoy your holidays!
Christopher, Julie and Gianna
Just to update you on things….decided not to breed Cara this time around. She is about 5 pounds underweight and I was thinking it would be best to let her grow a bit anyway and ……it doesn’t really matter what I think right now as I have recently found out that I am actually pregnant! (due in Sept.)… So I believe we can wait to try for puppies for now. I am thinking August ’04 would probably be best.
Also, I really wanted to have a playmate for Cara sooner then that. Do you or anyone you know happen to have a dog we can purchase – one who is about a year old, and has different coloring then Cara? I would really like to skip the young puppy stages. A young adult would be perfect. So let me know if there are any possibilities around. Thanks!
p.s. Cara is the pickiest eatier I know. And though I wasn’t going to commit to the raw diet, I tried some and she didn’t like it. Cara wants people food and that is that. One of her favorites is bread and butter. She also loves many canned dog foods but I can’t afford the better ones one a daily basis and I refuse to feed her crap ones from the grocery store. When I mix canned with kibble – she’ll eat/lick it off the kibble. We, many times, just get to a stalemate with this issue. Then I break down and scramble her some eggs. (Yes, and butter her some toast.) I do love this dog though – she’s has the most stable wonderful temperment I have ever seen in a dog. I couldn’t live without her, she’s my shadow. Now, it seems, she’s lucky as I will have to put off going to school another year so I’ll be hanging around the house a bit longer now with a new baby coming.)
p.s. Did I tell you that she scared away a coyote from stalking my husband last year? It was weird, my husband saw the coyote while walking Cara in a large field – Cara didn’t see it but Dan saw it slowly start walking towards them. It was staring at them and was kind of late at night. As Dan began to walk away, Cara stopped dead in her tracks. She didn’t see it, but her nose was to the ground. Dan said, Cara then poofed her hair up like a cat and a really menacing growl came from her throat. He thinks Cara still didn’t look up, but Dan saw the coyote start moving away after this, so it must have gotten the message. After a few minutes he was able to get Cara to walk again back towards home. I don’t know what scared Dan more – the coyote or Cara’s behavior, but ever since then he certainly has more repect for her. This happened when she was about 1 year old. Of course, since the passage of time, when Dan tells the story, the coyote has grown from a coyote to a wolf, from a wolf to a hellhound, etc. But anyway – she is one brave dog.
Hey Donna …… just wanted to update you on our Bello- Marley… He is doing really well… we started puppy training classes and he does well working at home… but gets SOOOO excited around the other dogs…… yet we actually won a stuffed animal last week because he was able to take 3 steps while watching me without moving his gaze….. the best in the class…… I was also amazed the other week when he came down into a session with me… ( I was seeing a 9 yr old ADHD Kid ) I told her that if she is really calm and quiet that Marley could stay in the session with us…… this kid got so calm…. as the dog was calm as well…… Bello was still and was lying at our feet the entire session,,,, I was amazed this kid thought that because SHE was calm that the dog was calm but it worked the other way around…….!!! Anyway I just wanted to thank you again…. we are so pleased……
When I think of our Bergamasco, I think about how lucky we are to have him as a part of our lives I am particularly thankful to you Donna, (and Stephen) for having the wisdom to choose a male for us. With clients and students coming and going all the time at our house Marley has been a gem. He rarely if ever barks at people entering or leaving our home. (He will bark at the neighbors now and then). He seems to have a certain respect for my workspace and will only enter the office/studio if he is asked. He sleeps outside the door when I see clients who are unable to tolerate a dog in the session. I am amazed at what I call his tolerant respect of other living beings in general..last week at the camp for Mentally Retarded children, a nonverbal child approached him Marley sensed that this kid needed some extra attention and licked his entire head. It was funny to watch there were at LEAST 6 other kids crowded around at the time yet Marley choose the one kid who seemed the neediest. He also allowed all of those children around him all at once without missing a beat.
One of my clients is a 45 yr old deaf/autistic/nearly blind, woman with downs syndrome. (YOW). When she comes to her session Marley will join us she makes strange vocalizations and at times can get overwhelming with her affection. When this happens and Marley is feeling like this is all he can take he retreats to a corner backing slowly away from her, he also has left the roomhe seems to know how much he can tolerate. OK One last example of tolerance then I will stop. Today we were at our dog training class..the trainer had out those tubes that dogs go through for obstacle training.(the wide ones) this was only his 3rd time ever going through the tube and meeting me on the other side.. this time, he got stuck in the tube his leg was caught on a portion of the metal spring. I had to get down into the tube to unhook him. The trainer was amazed that Marley did not panic he remained quiet and stood still till I got to him. This was all happening within a flurry of 8 other dogs 3 kids and the chaos of a training class. I was sooo proud!!!
I make it sound like we have THE KING OF ALL PERFECT DOGS!!! Not true! I still clean up poop every day! His puppy coat is shedding in gobs! And he occasionally loves to chew those toilet paper rolls and the occasional Barbie Doll.
When our terrier died, we knew we wanted a different kind of dog. Using the internet, we looked for the traits we wanted in our next dog – intelligence, good temperament and low allergy triggers. We stumbled on the Bergamasco and were immediately taken with its noble looks and the passionate way owners spoke of their dogs.
We have now had our Bergamasco for 8 months and I am happy to say he has more than exceeded our expectations. His intelligence is keen and he is a fast learner. His temperament is very balanced. I trust him implicitly with my children and their friends. As far as my allergies go, I am fine unless he plays at a friend’s house that has cats.
What we didn’t know beforehand was how affectionate our dog would be. He has brought pure joy into our house in the ways that he shows and responds to affection. We were a little scared when we read that Bergamascos were extremely strong minded, in that we thought they might not be the kind of dog that would want to please its owners, but that is not the case. He seems to take much joy in pleasing us. We all swear that we see him smile!
Jordan: (14 yrs)
The day we received our Bergamasco, Marley, I had mixed feelings. Would he be similar to our other dog (which was a bad experience), or would he a brilliant, beautiful, and kind dog? Now that I know him, I pick the latter. Marley has fulfilled all of my expectations, and much, much more. He is an amazing dog in all categories. He’s smart, loyal, reliable, and has a shimmering coat (even without the dreadlocks). As he grows, so does my connection to him. His eyes are human-like (if you can see them under all the fur), and he seems to permeate his emotions from them. He is truly an amazing dog, and he gets better every day he’s with us.
Veronica (10yrs old):
Sometimes when I think of my best friends, our dog Marley is certainly in the top 5. He makes me laugh and smile everyday. I love him and if someone asked me if I would count Marley as part of the family, I would say yes. Here are a few reasons why I love him:
- He lets me hug him and pet him when he doesn’t want to be hugged or petted.
- He always is calm when he doesn’t get attention or when we have guests.
- He loves us and he would always protect us.
We love our Marley. The only thing is he chews up my Barbies : o)
As you can see from the many photos I have shared with you Beril has a very special place in our family. The relationship she has with our oldest Trista is more like a friendship…they are buddies. She has a very different relationship with our youngest Olivia; she is more like a guardian to her. When we first got Beril, Olivia was just over a year old and I was so surprised at how gentle Beril was with her. She would run and chase Trista and bite her in the butt, but she would slow right down around Olivia. Even now when Beril starts running through the house like a maniac if Olivia gets in her path and gets knocked down Beril stops right away and looks very sad and disappointed that she made Olivia cry. Both girls love her to death, Olivia likes to lie down with her at bedtime and has to always give Beril bedtime and goodbye kisses. When Olivia was a baby Beril would be the first in her room if she woke in the night crying. I know when we were searching for just the right dog I had explained to you how important it was that she would be good with the kids and also ok for my husband’s allergies/asthma. She has been everything we were hoping for and more. We always have a houseful of kids and I never have to be concerned with her behavior, once she gives them her initial (very excited) greeting she settles right down and lets them play. As you know we hope that we can find a suitable mate for Beril so that her wonderful personality can be passed on to other families.
Hello Everyone!!! WOW! A year went by so fast! Seems like just yesterday that I was gently “stuffing” a little puppy under the seat in front of me on the airplane from Newark airport! Our stay-over due to weather conditions and the such!!! I have adored her since they day that I first saw pics of her. She has been a wonderful companion and friend, and has become a part of our family, as well as our hearts! I can’t imagine life without her! We are trying to set up a play date with Dieter, so that she gets accustomed to being around him, as she tends to avoid all dogs big and small. She just gets a little nervous around other dogs, but we are going to try and breed her with Dieter by the time that she is maybe 18 months to 2 years.
For her birthday, she ate a large dinner, followed by a large white cake with whipped topping for icing. Maddy made she and our other dog party hats, and we sang happy birthday, lit a big #1 candle, and lit sparklers in honor of her big day! She loved it, and played “Monkey-in-the-Middle” with the kids; one of her favorite games. When she catches the ball, all the kids run up to her, she “talks” to them, wags her tail and rolls over for a congratulatory tummy rub,…at that time, and only after the tummy rub, does she spit back out the ball for the game to resume again! She has the kids all figured out! She walks the kids to the bus every morning and picks them up off the bus every day. She is a real “talker” and “speaks” to me every morning to get me out of bed, always at 6:45ish to 7:00ish, I don’t need an alarm clock!
She and our other dog are inseparable. Grazzie has a real bond with Lady, I sometimes worry that she will have a hard time when Lady passes away.(Lady doesn’t show any signs of being ill, or anything, but she is 13 and is has turned quite gray around the muzzle, eyelashes and beard) It still doesn’t stop her from rolling around with Grazzie, and playing with her. She loves her like she were her own.
Just thought I’d share Grazzie’s big day with you, since you made it all possible, thank you once again.
Grazzie, Julie, keith, & kids
It is interesting to hear how sensitive this breed of dog is with special needs children. Tassa does seem to have a close relationship with each one of us. I have seen her trying to get Matt to play with her, but mostly, Matt just rubs her gently.
Tassa is wonderful with all four of your cats. She is gentle, yet playful, but never aggressive.
Another quality that I love about her is that we can let her out of our front door and she does not wander off. Even when our gate is open, which is still 1/4 mile away from the house and out of sight, she does not try to escape as our male Newfoundland would. She sticks close to home, and many times, we will find her sitting at our front door, just waiting patiently until we are ready to let her back in. We never trained her to do this, or threatened punishment if she wandered off. She just seems to have a lot of sense.
Many days, Dave and I look at Tassa and say “what a sweetie!” I tell Dave that “she is a lady – gentle, sensitive, and loving.”
We will try to get some pictures for you. We love her!
How are you? We are all doing great here. I thought you might want an update on our dog.
Rilla is such a wonderful dog. She is just like one of the children. She folllows me around. We are always in the same room. In fact, right now she is laying by my feet eating a toy. She is scared of the dark though. We have a lot of fun with her. Rilla still has a few accidents but is house training well. Rilla is able to open all the doors in the house. We have to keeep the front door locked because she can open the wood and glass doors. She even follows me to the bathroom (just like the other children). In the morning, when I say, “Kaitlyn, it is time to get to the bus stop,” Rilla runs over and waits by the door. She likes to walk Kay to her bus stop. It is just a few houses down the street. The other day Rilla heard the diesel of a delivery truck and barked thinking Kay was home early. Rill will wait by the door close to the time Mark gets home from work. She gets so excited like the kids. They all jump up and want attention. I think she gives Mark the biggest kisses. Rilla does not like it when Mark gives Kay her medications. He makes her lay on the floor and Rilla gets very upset. When I tickle Andrew, I say, “help me get him Rilla!” She will come over and sit on top of him. She likes when we wake up the childeren. She licks Kaitlyn(5), She jumps on Andrews(12) bed and shakes her collar until he gets up, and she kisses and sits on Alex(3). Did I tell you how she plays with Alex? It is so funny she will sneek up on her and grab a toy and run away. Alex goes over and gets the toy back and they will play this way for a while. Once she took Alex’s blanket. Alex was very mad at that. She told Rilla to go on time out. We play hide and seek with Rilla. All of the neighborhood children love her too. They were having races and let Rilla be in the contest too. I still hold Rilla on my lap like a baby even though she is 37 pounds. Mark says she looks like a man in a dog suit. I guess you can tell we love her very much. (even when she eats our shoes)
Did you keep a dog from Italy? Have a good day!
Hi! I just wanted to keep you up-to-date on our sweet puppy, Tassa. She is wonderful and very happy here.
I had a psychic reading recently with a woman who has been guiding me on how to help my son Matthew, and she started talking about how Matt is going to be very close to a dog. She could see the dog and she, herself, described Tassa. She saw Matt and Tassa taking long walks out in the yard together, and she saw that Matt and Tassa would completely understand each other. In fact, she saw Tassa teaching Matt how to appreciate and love everything outdoors. She said they would be in complete harmony together and that they are actually already close.
Isn’t this a happy picture? She went on to say that Tassa is a gift from spirit and that this dog came to help Matt, and that she, herself, had chosen to be here for Matt.
In fact, a week ago last Friday, we lost Matt for awhile, and Dave finally found him down at our barn WITH TASSA BY HIS SIDE! She already knows her job.
Of course, our three-year-old, Kyle still loves playing with her and loves her too. Both Dave and I think she is wonderful also and she has brought a spark back to our 14-year-old husky/Shepard mix. Dave and I are so pleased with her.
We just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that we just celebrated Rea’s 1st birthday. I want to thank you again because Tyler and Rea are truly brother & sister. In the morning after she goes out I let her in and say Rea lets go wake up your brother, she runs into his room jumps on his bed kisses his ears and snuggles with him till he gets up, then Tyler eats breakfast and then he spends a few minutes on the floor with Rea pushing Rea’s hair out of her eyes and says I need to see you and then he gives her a kiss. They play very well together, Rea likes to trick her brother she will run after him and nip his butt. Rea is very friendly, she listens well. The vet said she has very nice temperament and listens well and a very good dog. I would have to agree (but I am little prejudice). Rea doesn’t’ run out of the yard, if Tony and I are working outside she lays right by us. She was very easy to potty train, only a few weeks. I don’t know if I ever told you, but when we got back from picking but Rea up I got very ill, well one day when I went to the doctor, I got home Tony said when he got home Rea was in the living room so I must have forgotten to put up the gate, I said no I know I did, but being sick I thought well maybe. Then one day I came home a Rea was in the living room and Tony was last to leave so I called he said he had put up the gate, but just maybe he thought he did well on morning Tony had left and i was getting ready to leave out the front door and tony had put the gate up for Rea, well she started whining so I decided to go give her another kiss goodbye, well guess what Rea was almost over the gate with half her body was over it. I hurried and grabbed the camera and took a picture, well needless to say the mystery was solved and that was her 1st week home. We have tons of pictures and needless to say since I have a digital camera I have been very lazy getting pictures or downloaded or printed, but I promise to you I will send you a little photo book of Rea and her life with us. She still is eating the raw diet, for her b-day Tony bought her a ham bone and she has had a couple very loose stools and stinky. So no more of those. We do have a couple of questions, 1st Rea has been whining a lot about going outside, we keep the house cool around 65 when we aren’t’ home and 69 @ night and sometime just a few times this week she has been rubbing her rump on the carpet she has done this before maybe 1-2 times but this week before the bone she has done it in the house a few times and then she did it on the wood deck, I know about the gland, do you think there is a problem she hasn’t’ done it today, sometimes I know the vet has to go in and take care if it. Is this a common thing for this breed? Also about the whining could she be in season, we have not noticed her cycle, however I remember when we went to Michigan
I hope you can help us with our questions and sorry that I keep rattling on about Rea but she is such a good dog, you did a wonderful job of picking out the right dog for our family…thanks
I appreciate your time. Talk to you soon!!
Maryanne, Tony and Tyler, Rea
Sorry we haven’t made contact sooner, been busy. Wanted to let you know how Henna is doing. Henna is the best dog I have ever had.
She’s a real buddy. She hangs by my side. When I’m watching TV she lays her head on my feet. When I decide to go upstairs for a snack she follows me right up. If the kids were to go upstairs, Henna doesn’t move.
She’s starting to mat up, creating a challenge for us to keep up with, but we’re getting through it.
Henna loves playing with her buddy Bernie (the Shitzu). They love to race around the house with socks.
In the evening we take a good hour walk with her. On nights that are raining and we can’t go, she barks like mad, wondering why we are not going on our usual walk.
Try to get some pictures to you soon. Finally got a digital camera, got to figure out how to work it yet.
Thanks very much for the beautiful Christmas card of Fauno. Hope you had a nice Christmas too.
I’ll keep in touch, Scott
Donna and Steve,
I know that this won’t surprise you as you know how intelligent the Bergamascos are and I apologize for invading your emails so often this week, but we have a new potty training development here as of today.
This morning while Kasa was enjoying some indoor playtime with the kids, he ran into the kitchen to grab down his leash. I just took a guess and asked him if he had to go outside. Sure enough he did and immediately went to the “potty”. Later on in the afternoon during a little rest time in the house, he again went for his leash and once again went out to “do his job”. Dan and I just laughed as it is hard to believe that he is communicating so well so early. I was at Reigning Cats and Dogs recently and a lady had a one year old dog that was still potty training–still going in the house. We are thrilled that he is completely potty trained at close to 6 months.
He is a real sweet heart who seems to really love his family. (The other day I caught him watching “Bambi” in bed with Wesley.)
Hope this finds you and yours well. Bello-Marley is in excellent health and bringing us more joy then we ever imagined. How amazingly smart he is. It is uncanny how we communicate w/o audible commands. Well, not commands, suggestions haha. Nothing is new, I just wanted to let you know that he is doing wonderfully, and we continue to be thankful to you for giving us the opportunity to be with him.
Have a great week,
Donna and Steve,
Hope all is well with you and your “family”. We are all doing well and enjoying the fresh spring air. It is time to bathe the kids every night again as it seems that “digging in the dirt” for little ones rings in the Springtime season.
Do you have lots of little Bergamasco puppies around or on their way? I am sure that you are looking forward to that. Kasa has become quite the gentleman. While he still has that quiet and resolute pride displayed by the Bergamascos–that unspoken air about him that he is definitely the one in charge here–he has become quite accustomed to life here with all of “his” family. He definitely has respect for Dan as the “Alpha Male” so to speak and is quite obedient about commands like “come” and “sit”. He has also become very good at “dropping” toys or socks that he might come into contact with when he is asked to do so……….even if sometimes he does it with a look like “OK I will, but I am not happy about it”. He loves to go in the car for errands and even has enjoyed his first soccer game of the season out in public. He cannot wait for the kids in the neighborhood to show up for a basketball game. He jumps right in there and tries to play a little “pick up”. We have a little trouble when the kids play baseball or tennis as he is a true Salzman competitor and will not give up the ball without a fight.
He also enjoys Sunday movie night as he jumps up for a little cuddle and movie. His flocks are looking great. Dan has done a great job with the onset of all of the flocks. He is getting pretty well covered. I would say that we put in a half hour a day just checking for new flocks and mats so they don’t get too out of hand early. We pay special attention to his joints as they seem to bother him if they are separated right away. Our neighbors talk about how beautiful he is when he runs. He is quite the handsome fellow. He is also a great “NANNY” as he lets me know whenever someone walks by………he keeps good track of my little ones. He has also finally figured out that he is pushes his nose up against the trashcan lid, he can open the trashcan. I knew that it was only a matter of time…………………
Take Care and keep in touch.
Thanks for the info. An update on Luca. What a handsome dog, AND what a good dog, Just wants to please, super friendly, loving, happy and getting BIG.
Will send some new pics soon. We have taken him to obedience school, he’s a quick learner, but has a bit of an independence streak that I want him to keep. School people a little bit too authoritarian for my liking, seem to want dogs to be robots, by and large though I like their methods, and we can always alter it to our life style. They all believe in crates, I hate them and will not use one (as I know you won’t). Everyone loves him, including the instructers, you were certainly accurate in your description of them. I’ve never seen a dog who eats like he does, actually CHEWS all his treats and eats his food slowly, sometimes in shifts, never wolfs it down, and takes treats so gently. Best dog we’ve ever had. Keep up the good work.
Mario and Eva
PS Our best to you both.
Just thought that I’d drop you an e-mail to say hi and give you an update on Luci. He’s just about 52 pounds now, but very gentle, even when he jumps up, he doesn’t push his weight against you. In recent days he’s realized that he’s big enough to sit on the couch and look out the window and to jump up on our (very high) bed! He is just so sweet… He’s amazing too — if Chris and I are both home, but in different rooms, he’ll position himself in the house so he can see us both. If I am the only one home, he sits right at my feet. I have gotten so used to him following me from room to room. I love it.
This week I took him to visit my grandmother at her Nursing Home. He approached her very slowly and just put his chin in her lap and looked up at her. (She’s in a wheelchair) he seems to sense how each person would be most comfortable to be greeted!
Also, I’ve hung up a ton of pictures of Luci and an article about Bergamascos in my office. Lots of people have stopped to ask me about the breed…and to comment on how handsome he is! I can’t tell you how many people have commented, “That’s the cutest dog I’ve ever seen!”
I just run at the mouth when people ask me about him — I can’t even begin to tell them how wonderful a breed they are! I always send them a link to your website.
In fact, one of the people who works in our playlab here may be interested in getting a Bergamasco in the future… Enjoy the picture…he’s growing up sooo fast! Do you think that he’ll continue to gray, or will stay mostly black as he is here?
Althea has the best disposition and personality of any dog I have ever encountered. We have really grown attached to each other. I guess that comes from me driving home from work for lunch every day to take her out and play, as well as from being the first one home at night. we’ve spent a lot time together. I don’t know. I fed her by hand for quite some time when she first joined the family. 2 years later she can still be like a little baby! Stubborn and mischievous at times. always playful. very talkative and expressive. docile and extremely loyal in the end. She has the most endearing habit of caching her new bones and chew toys in various locations around the house. wedged in between couch cushions, dropped in plant pots, hidden underneath chairs and the like. she will check on them on a daily basis then finally decide to chew on them after several months of storage. It’s really cute. last night she finally decided to chew up a bone I gave her probably 6 months ago. just decided it was the right time I guess. She also has this endearing habit of stopping behind me if we are walking with her leash, sitting down, then wrapping one paw over the leash to stop me, then waiting for me to come back and unwrap it. I don’t know if that is a standard Bergamasco move, but I think she does it to remind me that I am not going to dictate the terms of the walk! She obviously wants me to know that we will stop for indefinite periods to smell the air and look around, we will move at her pace and our itinerary will be determined as our travel proceeds! She also does this somersault type maneuver. she gets into a slow trot, head low to the ground, then does a full somersault. I’ve never seen another dog do this particular move… it is quite a talent. When we are in the yard. if she doesn’t want to come in just yet, she will wait for me to come near her while she is sitting, then fall over on her back, completely limp, belly exposed. waiting for me to rub her tummy. Another favorite thing about her is when she is tired, she will lie down, audibly exhale, then issue a low sustained groan. it is so cute. Sometimes I will preempt her with a groan of my own and she will respond with the same. Anyway, I seem to be blathering. but for these reasons and many more, I would never let anything come between me and Althea.
The Chinese couple came Saturday and picked out their male. They are getting my favorite male and will pick him up on Thursday. They were headed on to Florida and are getting him on the way back. As you said, they’re an absolutely sweet couple.
I’m writing to report on those two bergamascos, Refe and Rim. We NEVER have visitors. It’s one thing that hurts our koms, so it’s not as if the bergamascos see people in our home on a daily, or even weekly, basis. We brought both to meet the Chinese couple of Saturday, and let me tell you that I came within a rat’s rear of wanting to sell all my koms!!
Those two greeted the couple as if they saw people in our home on a daily basis. Refe was lying on her back for tummy rubs, while Rim was his prancing, dancing self. What’s truly amazing is thinking how shy Refe was when we got her. In all honesty, we didn’t exactly kill ourselves socializing her. I’ve never been more proud!! And I’m equally proud of the girl we’re keeping. She’s adorable and will be called Aria (Ari for short).
One of the pups is going (hopefully) to one of our kom owners. More and more kom people are becoming interested in the breed because it’s a nice mix of a larger (but not large) corded breed, that isn’t crazy like many pulis now.
In short, we’re just thrilled. When you do find a pup that would mesh well with ours from a pedigree standpoint, please, please let me know!! These guys are just wonderful!!
I almost called you last night to thank you! (But, I thought that it might be too late.) Your suggestion of giving Marzio a raw potato worked like a charm! He lost the really bad tooth (the one that was pressing on his adult tooth) the first day and lost one of the other 2 last night (the other 2 were on the top canines, and the vet felt that they weren’t really posing a problem). So we have 1 more (very loose) tooth to go!!!
I cannot thank you enough — I am so relieved that our little guy won’t have to go under and then go through days of pain meds…not to mention, he seems like a much happier pup now that those 2 teeth are out!!!
You are the greatest breeder ever!!! We are all so lucky to have you as a resource!!!
Donna and Stephen –
Want to thank you both for all the help, support and encouragement for Donnegal’s Championship. We couldn’t have done it without you!! Marty was so pleased that he finished, even though she wasn’t there to see it.
I really enjoyed the show and seeing you folks again. Also was great to see Irene and Mark again and to meet Donnegal’s sister. Thanks to Juan and Stephen, I was able to watch Donnegal perform – he seems to enjoy being in the ring with other dogs, and his motion is absolutely beautiful…flowing, fluid motion with perfect top-line and great reach and trail. We are hoping that his championship photo turns out good…in case you can’t tell, we are really proud of him!!
Going home Saturday was definitely the right thing, since Donnegal was very hot and tired…after we got home he slept and slept and slept…one tired puppy. Sunday morning though, he had fully recovered and was absolutely full of it. Hope that Zeus and Florinda had a good day on Sunday…Marty and I really, really like them both. Florinda is so much like our Sheba , and Zeus and Donnegal are almost identical…both with such beautiful temperaments.
Donnegal can rest on his laurels for now…will skip the August show in New Jersey , but may enter him in one more show this year. Since his Championship hurdle is over, I’ll try to do the handling in the future.
Again, thanks for everything and for making the weekend so enjoyable! All the best,
Jim and Marty
Many thanks for the wonderful write-up on Gasparo–that is so nice of you–but you should also be VERY PROUD–he is all yours, after all! Hey, what’s the latest with Nerea? Do you have puppies to report yet? If congratulations are in order, please let me extend them to you and Stephen! I always get so excited to hear about all of your breedings–you have such gorgeous dogs!
More good news here: Gasparo won an ARBA Best In Show last Saturday, and a Reserve BIS as well. Even better than that–3 of the 4 shows, he beat Daniel and the Shiloh Harley–WOW! He has never done that until then, and then 3 times–it was wonderful. He won that BIS on his 4th birthday–and what a nice birthday present to us, and to our fabulous Bergamasco breed. Also, his daughter (our Behnina) won a Junior Puppy BIS there. Father and Daughter! And we’ve never had any of our dogs win an ARBA puppy BIS–this is a first for us. Gasparo now has 10 BIS, 9 RBIS, and he has won a BIS in every venue we show in, ARBA, Rarities and UKC–this is just stunning to us what a good dog you have given us!
Keep me posted on your puppies, and pass along congrats to Kim and Pino on their ARBA BIS, too.
Irene and Mark
I want to tell you a story about my Luci that I think is a wonderful insight into his gentle, intuitive, sweet personality…
Last week, I woke up early to take the dogs out…Marzio ran ahead down the stairs, I was next to go and then Luci behind me (he always waits patiently for me to reach the bottom before he comes down). Well, I missed the top stair and went sailing down, luge-style, on my back. As I was falling, Luci was going wild barking — he ran to the bedroom to wake up Chris and ran back to me. Once I came to a stop, he carefully walked down the stairs to me, touched his nose to mine (another typical behavior of his when he is concerned about me) and waited for me to say, “I’m okay Luci.” Once I did, he proceeded to sniff every inch of me then again touched his nose to mine and gave me the softest lick on the nose. As if to say…”okay, you’re all right.” He stood next to me while I got up and followed me downstairs…
He is just amazing — so intuitively intelligent…a wonderful addition to our household. We just love him and Marzio so so much!
Thanks Donna! I can’t imagine living with another breed!
~Oct 3, 2006
Hi Silver Pastori Gang!
Isn’t it wonderful news about the 3 Bergamascos finding loving, caring homes?! Has, is it Mindy Shapiro?, sent you pix of the peach-colored boy? Is he albino or just very rare.. I guess missmarked for a Bergamasco, but sure looked beautiful in the photos from Dottie. I spoke to Val this morning, before heading back to Texas with Winston & Odie, the other rescued boys, plus her 2 dogs. I wish we had been able to drive down to Temecula to meet them, but it’s too far & they left this morning. Dottie said “Bergamasco people are very special.” She’s right! And you guys are to be commended for raising us right. Thank you for providing us with Bodie, from that little place in the Swiss Alps, and for introducing us to so many great new friends and their Bergamasco kids. We can’t imagine life without Bodie Dow!
We are very grateful for you, Donna and Stephen.
Lauren, Tony & Bodie
Yesterday while shopping, we ended up in a “Most Beautiful Ugly Dog Contest” – One of the judges spotted us and begged us to be a part of it. Well, Orso won and will appear in the musical Camelot in the Zeiterion Theater in New Bedford, Massachusetts. It is a nationally touring show and they apparently include a local dog in each performance. He will have a walk on part in the show with Guinevere. There were several reporters there and I’m not certain of all of the papers he will be in – but he is on the cover of our local city newspaper today. Although I’m not thrilled about the “ugly” part – I think it is great for him to be in the show and he had a great time posing for pictures and being fawned over by adoring fans.
And here is the rest of the story with one picture: www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/02-07/02-18-07/04local.htm
This is not our first time in a newspaper but it will certainly be our first time performing! We have to take him to dress rehearsal on Friday at 3 and if all goes well, he will be in the show at 8. He has to walk across the stage and sit nicely for a few minutes. I am not sure how he will respond to the crowd. We’ll have to ask Guinevere to take some turkey in her hand to ensure a quality acting performance. Our Camelot experience was so funny. We got there early for dress rehearsal and everyone loved him. All the actors were going crazy for him and he was having a wonderful time being fussed over. The actor to work with him on stage was to play King Pellinor and he was not really into dogs. Orso had a mixed reaction to him – but in rehearsal, it went beautifully – Orso walked with him across the stage while he made jokes – One of the lines was something like, “how can you see with all that hair?” The picture is from rehearsal – we were not allowed to take pics during the actual performance. The other picture is from his dressing room – Orso got his own little dressing room. At the start of the show, the theater’s director announced the show and announced Orso making his on stage debut. In rehearsal, Pellinor was just wearing clothes and in the show, he was wearing full armour and carrying a giant metal staff. The noise of it and Pellinor being tense made Orso uncomfortable. He went on stage with him, clearly happy to see the other actors that he liked. But he wouldn’t do the full walk across the stage with Pellinor with that staff. He planted his feet and wouldn’t budge! Orso just didn’t trust him. Pellinor made due and let him stay where he was and did the lines from there. The crowd loved him!!! Despite his less than enthusiastic performance from our perspective, the crowd was thrilled with him and he got a big applause.
I think Orso would do very well “acting” – he just needs to get used to the circumstances and person working with him. I’ve learned over our 5 years together to trust his judgment of people and situations – when he’s not comfortable with something he usually has very good reason for it. All in all, we had a great time with the whole experience. After being in the paper last week, Orso is more famous than ever – neighbors have been talking to us about him and his acting. Orso just brings joy wherever he goes.
Hope all is well with you and your family, and that you’re having a great summer.
Robert and I were just this morning talking about you and saying we need to send you an update! I just don’t know where to start – Otto is doing just beautifully.
He is sweet, goofy and dignified both, somehow, and so affectionate. He actually dances, and can bend his body in all different kinds of ways, when we come home or a favorite friend comes by.
Some of his favorite things are:
- licking people’s feet, to mixed responses
- honeydew melon
- sitting regally on his patio and surveying his yard
- chasing our (his) cat Marley, and licking and chewing on her head (which she allows) when he catches up to her
- going out and about where he can visit with other dogs and people, as he is certain they are all just dying to greet him
- “shaking” his paw
- going to the vet (!), where he is treated like a rock star
- playing fetch and hide and seek
Some of his least favorite things are:
- “staying” on command
- being in the sun
- can’t really think of anything else – he is a pretty agreeable guy!
Otto loves to come with us in the car, but seems equally comfortable staying at home with free reign of the house – my friends with dogs are blown away that he does not bother any item in the home except for his toys, and never has. He is typically very mellow and low-key, which also surprises people, given his age (6 months tomorrow!). He came with us to our small town 4th of July parade, where he was a huge hit, and he just went with the flow – fireworks, horns, etc, don’t bother him at all – he recently had his first thunderstorm, and while he was curious about the new sound, he wasn’t rattled at all.
I’m sorry I don’t have a photo on my computer to send – Robert will download some soon. He’s absolutely gorgeous (maybe I’m biased?), weighs 49 pounds, and is the picture of health. I’d be happy with his fluffy puppy coat forever! He really is just the coolest – I could tell story after story, but I’d never know when to stop – I’ll try to be better about communicating, and sending quick cute stories as they come. You’d be very proud of your boy, he’s a wonderful addition to our family, and we can’t imagine how we ever got along without him – thanks so much for helping us get such a great guy!
Gaio has such a great personality and is pretty well-behaved considering he is still a puppy. We thought the kids would enjoy having a puppy… Huh! He’s given so much joy to Maurizio and I.
I can’t remember the last time I wrote, so I hope I am not repeating myself, but I would love to share my Gaio stories with you. We had a great vacation in Maine and we were close to the most wonderful and dog-friendly beach. Gaio met lots of other dogs and people and had a great time playing on the beach. I guess the hardest part was that I couldn’t let him run as much as I would have liked to because he kept trying to drink the water! He also was very good at herding the kids.
One morning we met a group of Golden Retriever pups on the beach and Gaio herded them. By the time he was finished he had them in a straight line for the owners. They were impressed!
Sean was outside playing with Gaio one day and I went out to check on them and saw my neighbor’s 3-year-old wandering over. I am pretty confident at this point that Gaio wouldn’t intentionally hurt anyone, but he still has a bad habit of jumping when he is excited. Anyway, Quinn started running and Gaio thought it was great that he had come over to play. I kept saying gentle, gentle … And he was.
Then, my neighbor let his one-year-old toddle over and I was really worried. But Gaio was ok and when Devon fell down Gaio didn’t try to pounce on him. Quinn says bye to Gaio every morning when the preschool bus picks him up.
Gaio hates to be left behind. He’s never happier than when I open the back of the Jeep and tell him to get in. You would think he would be used to us going to work by now, but he’s not. First, he learned how to lift the handle and open the gate to let himself out of the kitchen area. When I locked it so he couldn’t do that, he broke the latch off the gate. We decided since he’d already had two days of freedom in the whole house and managed to stay out of trouble I would just forget about the gates. He has been really good about not chewing up or tearing up anything while we are gone. Occasionally, he will still grab a shoe and start chewing, but always when we are home. I think he does it for attention and he figures if there is no one here to discipline him it just isn’t worth it.
In the morning we have a routine and he sticks to us like glue. He comes downstairs while I workout in the basement. Then we go out for a walk and come back in and he lies just outside while I’m in the shower. After I get dressed he thinks it is his job to help wake everyone up. He goes from room to room barking … Which is actually a bit annoying …! I have to feed him while everyone is in the kitchen, otherwise he stops eating to check where we are going. We usually go back outside and play another 15 minutes while we wait for the bus. Then he comes in and sticks to me or Maurizio until the last person is gone. At which point he cries and we feel so guilty. A couple times I told him to sit and gave him a treat as I was leaving. He spit it out and saved it until I got back. That kind of made me laugh … But I hope that doesn’t mean he is sad the whole time I’m gone. (I’m still only working 6 hours.) I did find that he’ll eat cheese immediately even if I’m leaving. He also gets very upset when we start putting on shoes and jackets.
One bad habit Gaio does have is humping. If one of the kids is playing on the floor he’ll jump right on top. He also likes to steal Aurora’s stuffed animals for this purpose. How can I prevent or control this behavior? I don’t remember your males doing this. Maybe it is a “teenage” phase that will improve as he matures?
How are all of Gaio’s siblings doing? I swear he recognizes them in photos! 🙂
Take care, Donna and have a nice