In Loving Memory of Bernese Mountain Dog


Tycho's Night Skies

Born March 25, 1990 and died, October 15, 1998

Treasured beyond measure by

John, Elizabeth and Mary Malcolmson

The first picture is of Tycho in Rockport at The Headlands.

Bernese Mountain Dog Tycho

The second picture is of Tycho, Christmas shopping with me, and visiting at Too Fortunate Pottery in Rockport. Only Tycho would have been allowed in a pottery store!!

Bernese Mountain Dog Tycho, sadly lost to malignany histiocytosis

This is sad stuff! I've been re-reading those old messages that I posted to the Berner-L all those years ago...

October 9th, I wrote: ...Naturally I've been thinking about her life and the various special moments... Funny how the mature years sort of all run together but the puppy adventures stand out -- she was such a mouthy little monster when she was new -- eight weeks old and nothing but teeth with some fur around them... We tried to do the "dominance" exercises we had read about -- like holding the puppy on its back -- she would writhe on the rug, growling and waving the teeth around and she looked like a fruit bat, which is what we still sometimes call her. I remember when we first got the Wenaha backpacks and I started having her wear them -- a previously un-catchable adolescent would actually come to me, let me put the packs on, and settle right down as though she knew she had a job to do... ... My landlady kept her cans for recycling in the back hall and it was one of Tycho's favorite tricks to steal a catfood can, sneak outside with it, and have an incredibly LOUD game of kick-the-can around the cul-de-sac at 6:00 AM on a Saturday... ... there have been many, many happy times where she went swimming in the harbor, thinking she was so naughty and getting away with something really big, and when I suggested that perhaps she had been in there long enough, she would just wag her tail, sending water droplets flying in an arc, and bark at me -- "you can't make me!"... Or going up to the quarries and swimming with Tycho -- she would accompany me once and back across the quarry and if I got a little tired, I could just grab onto her tail -- you never saw such a graceful swimmer... She swims like you might imagine a Clydesdale doing it -- very deliberately and smoothly... And sometimes she can come out and her back is still dry! And if I stayed in too long for her liking, then she would stand on the embankment and bark to let me know that it was time for ME to come out. THAT was priceless, coming from her!

My favorite example of Tycho's talent for eloquence

... We used to keep a large paper shopping bag on the floor in John's closet, full of rawhide chew flips... Most evenings, Tycho and Zoey would settle down with a few chew flips -- like having popcorn to watch TV. The chew flips were sort of on a self-serve system from this bag and each dog would go and help themselves to one at a time, under our watchful eye. Well, this one time, we ran out of chew flips... The bag was still in John's closet, but it was empty... We were watching TV and Tycho came in to get a chew flip, and we knew the bag was empty, so we held our breaths as we watched her check out the bag... She stuck her entire head and shoulders into the bag to see if there wasn't one down at the bottom. Nope. She looked at us pointedly... We feigned ignorance. She then picked up the bag by the bottom and shook it vigorously at us and she certainly did not need to speak the English language to say, "HELLO! Get with the program! The bag is empty and you need to DO something about this!!" We dissolved into tears of laughter.

The day after we let Tycho go, I wrote, in part

... "Thank God it was a beautiful fall day... We got home and hugged Zoey and sobbed and walked around aimlessly, started washing the blankets we'd used of late to cover Tycho or to use in the car... I couldn't breathe in the house. I would look at Tycho's picture and start sobbing again. After about a half hour I said, "let's go for a walk." We put on comfortable shoes and jackets and started out... We're still new in this neighborhood and I've been discovering paths that John and Mary haven't seen yet, so we headed up to the field where I walk the dogs in the morning... From there, a path leads up to a large water tower... The last time Tycho went for a walk she led the way on this new trail, looking back now and then to see if I had any suggestions about where we were going... I told her Zoey and I were following her -- she always loved to be in the lead on a brand new walk... So I took John, Mary and Zoey on this path, and we'd like to think that Tycho led us on the walk that followed... On the far side of the water tower there was another path and so we followed it... It wandered around in the woods, disappeared, reappeared, offered up forks and intersections and we made random choices and thought that the worst that could happen was we would come out about a mile or two south of our house... The woods were beautiful -- brilliant foliage and pretty streams -- after the umpteenth puddle that Zoey tore through at a full run, we stopped trying to keep her dry and just let her have a good time which she really was... And in the end, we had crossed the entire "island" that is Cape Ann and found ourselves completely on the other side... It was a bit of a shock... We couldn't really find our way back through the woods so we discussed which way to go to get back, made a choice, and started out... We got to a friend's house and thought she might give us a ride but she wasn't home so we walked some more... We got to a little convenience store and spent our one dollar that we had between us to buy some Hostess apple pies -- on special! Two for a buck... It was a cheap 880 calories that we split between the four of us, me not having had any breakfast... And we walked some more... In the end we reached Folly Cove and I banged on the kitchen door of the restaurant there (which was closed) and begged use of the phone... I called my work and my boss's wife came and picked us up... I have no idea how far it was, but it might easily have been ten miles that we walked... Just "a walk" turned into a four-hour adventure... And it was the best thing we could possibly have done... I still feel the grief so intensely, but sitting in the house sobbing for those hours would not have helped at all... We were tired, almost happy, and even laughing a bit... We talked about Tycho now and then and they were happy remembrances...

Tycho's Song... written by Skip Ewing and sung by Collin Raye:

If you get there before I do
Don't give up on me
I'll meet you when my chores are through
I don't know how long I'll be
But I'm not going to let you down
[Tycho] wait and see
And between now and then
'Til I see you again
I'll be loving you
Love, Me

It's just a brand new trail, Tycho...We'll be right behind you... You lead the way.

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