Testimonials to the Breed

Dear Donna and Steven,
Maggio
Our dear Magio died peacefully, quickly, and unexpectedly the night before last. This picture is from only a few hours
earlier, in a rare Nova Scotia snow, in which he scampered and skidded and nuzzled us and was happy. He looks in the picture almost exactly like the puppy he was thirteen years ago. But of course he was also a very old and wise dog, who knew when it was time to go. He had spent many a recent night whimpering in discomfort and we had learned earlier in the week that his spine had a lot of degeneration.

Our neighbors were here for dinner, and he greeted them, and went among us for ear scratches, and lay close under the table, by our feet, during dinner. He was up again to say good-bye to them. We think his spine simply gave out after they had left. He seemed to be sleeping, lying comfortably, but he didn’t respond when we offered to take him out for an evening walk, and we realized his breathing was rapid, his body limp. Just moments later, we were holding him as he breathed his last. Our neighbor came right back with a stethoscope so there was no doubt, and so we didn’t need to trouble his body with rushing him anywhere. We wrapped him tight in the blanket that we used when he slept on the bed with us, laid him on his travel hammock in the back of the car where he was always so comfortable, awaiting his final journey yesterday morning. This morning, we brought his ashes home. He was utterly loving and loved until the very end and will remain with us for a very long time on the land where we walked together so often, these past few months.

We are riding waves of the most profound grief. The fabric of our lives, woven 24/7 over the past thirteen years, has been rent. And so we wanted to write a few words about our Magio — and about you both.

Maggio
Memories of visiting your home first and meeting the proud tribe, and then again to meet the six little ones of Nerea’s litter. You had sent us that video of the litter: as five of them were rough-housing together, one little boy with a white spot on his heart stood off to the side as if to say, why are you all making such a fuss? We asked about him, and you said, yes, he’s for you. And you asked us what his name would be. And so, our third visit to you, to meet for certain the one who would become our beloved little boy Magio.

Our little wise man. Magio dell’ Albera Silver Heart. The excitement on our part, the sadness of the separation for you, Donna, and how you explained to us that we had to allow him to come to us, to be willing to trust us and to
follow us into what would become his new home and family. Your care for him and the tribe clearly showed in your attentiveness, your observations of how he was doing that and how we were receiving him.

He came to us, trusting, in all of his young puppy vulnerabilities…. and we loved him so…. and he, well, we would later nickname him “Buttwiggle Lovehound” as he would dance, his back legs left to right and right to left, as he nuzzled between our knees for a butt scratch…. We have never met a dog with such good bite inhibition. His temperament reflected a tribe well cared for, the perfect conditions for Nerea to get pregnant without undue stress, well fed. The care you took to ensure that we were a good fit for one another: what a good Bergamasco mommy and daddy you are.

Maggio
We can barely tolerate his loss — and we can only imagine what it is like for you to hear the news, as you have undoubtely been the recipients of many such messages. It is the price to pay for love, attachment, and sharing lives with such a special breed. We remember Steven talking about how nearly human the Bergamascos are…. and we agree.
Maggio

Magio was very smart and we spoke to him in the full sentences you recommended, which he returned in full doggie sentences, as well. For instance, every night, since our move to Nova Scotia, he barked at about 8:30 — not to go outside, since to tell us that he only had to stand in front of the door. He was telling us that he was ready to go upstairs, to his bed next to ours, so that he could rest while waiting for us to come up a little later. We can still
feel his warm weight, both as the lap dog he always was, and more recently as one who trusted us to carry him, in all his dignity, when he needed the help. He never scratched a window or a door; he never chewed on a shoe; when he started
chewing on the corner of a rug as a puppy, we simply told him to stop because that was not a chew toy and he did stop… he learned to push the bathroom door ajar with his nose, peeking in, wanting to come in but always waiting for the invitation… and a little help with the door because he was a gentleman and wouldn’t push it too hard. When we came home to him, he smiled… no dog has ever smiled like him, showing us his teeth as we showed him ours… such a delightful soul…. And then, we would scratch his ears and he would start purring, like a cat, so delighted he was… oh, my boy, we loved you so… even when you were a little pain in the behind sometimes, but so rarely so…. never motivated by food, only by love, you kept your youthful figure to the end…. He established a relationship with each person he met. He knew who needed a short greeting, whose lap could be climbed into. If he was not interested in someone at all, we knew we would not be either….

When we were married seven years ago on our land, he walked down the aisle as we were about to say our vows and joined us there, and he cocked his ears and looked to the oldest oak, as if inviting the spirits of the land to bear witness to the sacredness of the moment. So we wanted to let you know — although we can barely speak at the moment so stricken with grief we are.

We send you so much love and appreciation for all that you did to make our journey with Magio possible. He has changed our lives; he has a permanent imprint on our souls and hearts.

He will always be our dear sweet boy.

Dear Donna,

It’s been ten years since I started searching for the smartest dog in the world to become my teacher. Don’t ask me why. I just knew if Inuit talked to whales and Abenaki talked to fish and Maasai have symbiotic relationships with the animals around them that a dog could teach me to tap into the universal communication system of all living things. And along came Mia, on my birthday. Mia and I traveled the country in a 21 foot Chinook and Mia patiently allowed thousands upon thousands of people to ask the same questions: “What kind of dog is that? How can she see? Is she hard to keep clean? How old is she? What’s her name? Why doesn’t she smell? Where are her eyes? Where did you find her? Is that a dog?” and so on and so on. Teaching people about Mia became my life, my identity, my calling. Teaching me that life is one big collection of moments became hers. Mia told me when my mother had less than an hour to live so that I could call my siblings to say goodbye. Mia alerted me to discover my husband in septic shock on the bathroom floor. Mia saved me from being run over by a car running a red light. Mia took a vicious Rottweiler off a Golden Retriever and drove it back through its pet fence. Mia had my back.

Now Mia’s dreadlocks, love and energy are in a pile on my living room floor but her body is no more. A gut wrenching loss. People don’t recognize me without her. Strangers no longer stop to talk to me. It will take months for me to stop checking the back seat of my car to see if she needs water, to stop opening my front door slowly so as to not hit her paws as she waits for me to return; to stop looking for her in the morning before I step out of bed; to stop making all my appointments around her pee, poop or walk schedule. But she is still with me. She lets me know when there is a hawk circling the sky above my head. She bumps my knee with her nose when there is a blue heron standing on the rocks under my foot bridge. She patiently waits for me to smell the hydrangeas, the lupine and the wild roses along the shore. She comes to me in hugs from the local dreadlocked coffee shop dude and the gift shop owner, the auto repairman, the postal carrier and the florist, all who miss seeing her every day. Mia saw me through the loss of my mother, my husband, my granddaughter, my sister, my sister-in-law and a nephew. Now we are both free of our collective roles. The world is a better place because you helped me find Mia and Mia helped me see a bigger world. Mia made people smile.

I will spend the rest of my earth days honoring the moments that come from having had Mia as my teacher.

I Thank you for helping Mia find me.

Best,
Willow
AKA
Wendy Wakefield Ferrin
Founding Director
The Society of Playful Education (SOPE)
(704) 675-0290
www.wendywakefieldferrin.com
www.sope.net
www.worldeducationgroup.com

“The Laika don’t live by rules or ideas. If they want to change their world they don’t pass new laws, they choose to change the way they perceive a problem.”
─Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D.

Briard
I absolutely love your Silver Pastori Bergamascos and your website. The breeding philosophy is truly appreciated by me. I do not find many breeders of dogs who live up to your standards and it is so refreshing to see it in print.

I do not own your breed but I appreciate everything about them and love your Kennels values.

I have a young male who is often mistaken for a Bergamasco at Herding events by those not familiar with my breed.

You & I know that they are quite different but I do believe that our two breeds have very similar abilities in common that I find rare as they were bred to reason and be independent thinkers.

I hope some day during my travels that I find myself fortunate enough to drop into your area to meet you & your lovely dogs.

I’m including a photo of one of my ads to show you my young male who started to trial last July who is often mistaken for your breed he is 2 ½ here.

I hope you are not offended by the comparison. I just smile and say it’s a Briard. Although I would be very pleased to see a Bergamasco at an event. Conformation, Herding etc.

Sherry Kaltenborn
Hommage Briards
BCA Herding Committee Chair

Otto

— January 19, 2007 – May 18, 2018 —
Our beloved Otto died in our arms on Friday. Otto was the most loyal, brave, regal and loving being we have ever known – he loved us without bound and his life was spent being our guide, companion and tireless friend in good times and in bad. He loved nothing more than being with his family, whether at home, at work, or on road trips to beaches, cities, mountains, or grandma’s house. Some of his favorite things were being rubbed, as frequently as possible, tangerines, broccoli, cheese (not Swiss!), bread, popsicles (strawberry were his favorite), sticks that were impossibly huge, and being chased around the couch until everyone was nauseous. He was not fond of thunder, walking through puddles, or his humans using swear words. We are heartbroken, out of breath with losing him; but we are deeply grateful that we had him in our lives, that we were able to love and care for him. It was our honor. He was our totem, the best representation of our family.

Sending love and thanks to Lindoro and Kharmae, Donna and Stephen, and Maria. Rest in peace.

Matteo

Matteo on our last walk on Friday.

Hi Donna,

With the heaviest heart I am writing to tell you the sad news of Matteo’s passing yesterday. I am not sure if you keep breed records, but I wanted to let you know in case you do. I got Matteo from Julie Nealey in Seattle. I believe one of her dogs came from you, perhaps Ante?

Matteo was suffering from dementia and the vet strongly suspected cancer as well. (We chose not to do testing to confirm). Despite being on several medications, he was uncomfortable but he passed peacefully in my arms.

He will be missed desperately by Renzo and his little friends, Lucy and Lola (Shih Tzu and Chihuahua Dachshund).

Renzo is doing well. He is always so crazy happy and silly. He makes us smile and laugh every day with his antics. He has developed quite a sense of humor! His favorite spot is perched on his bench in the mud room – looking out the window. He enjoys camping and spending time at our cabin in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Plenty of interesting animal smells there!

We are always excited to hear of Ravi. Renzo is proud to have a Champion littermate! It is so much fun to see our breed competing on the televised dog shows. We are keeping our fingers crossed for Westminster!
Hope you and your family are well. Congratulations on becoming a grandma. What an exciting time for your family! Send plenty of love to all your poochies. Also, thank you for all the work you have done to make our breed so special. The love these boys have brought into my life is beyond words. They are truly amazing. Thank you.

Most sincerely,
Mary Pugliese Scharschmidt
 

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!

– Ben
 


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.

Scott
02/11/17

Donna:

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.

Respectfully,

Sheila Dee Paske
AKC #46304

Dear Donna,
Willow
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!

Best,
Willow

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

Hi Donna,

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.

Wilbur

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,
Jessica Wailes

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
Galena
Dear Donna:

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.

David

Gaza sadly missed
Gaza
Donna-

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.

Best
Katie

Hi Donna,

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!

Elizabeth

Hi Donna,
Willa
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.

Cheers

Brian
January 22, 2014

Hi Donna,
Vicki

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.

Sincerely,

Vicki Harringa
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.

Parker Sullivan

February 24th, 2013

Hi Donna,

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…

Love,
Maryam, Michael, Lily

December 4th, 2012

Hello Donna,

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
Hamilton, Ontario

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.

Nedra

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….

Your friend,
Scott

Mojo
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 😉

Sincerely,
~ Lineia & Mojo

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