Longlease Bernese Mountain Dogs

In Loving Memory of

CH.N.CH Zanzebern Nicoletta
aka Suki-lala

March 24th 2006 to March 3rd 2015

B-G Dog ID = 60335

Forever loved and missed by Annie Bell, family and friends.

November 2007

I look around the house at all the pictures on the walls and Facebook and think with some incredulity that there is now only one. Only one Bernese Mountain Dog in the house where four years ago there had been four. Only one, because today I assisted Suki-lala or Pie Pie to cross the bridge to join her father Denzel, Uncle Harry Brat, and Berner brothers Spike, Gideon and Hunter.

Suki's passing occurred 6.5 weeks after Hunter's. 2015 is starting out being as shitty as 2014. Suki's passing makes 4 deaths in my home in the past 14 months.Three Bernese and my father (who's 'year and a day' clicks over this weekend).

Zanzebern Nicoletta aka Pie Pie, Mumma Chick, Mum-ma or Podge was from Denzel's first Zanzebern litter. She was originally placed with a family in Sydney with a young child. They found her to be too boisterous so she returned to Zanzebern. For a time she lived with Chris Heyes in Melbourne whilst she waited for a Zanzebern puppy.

Suki as a Tweeny living in Melbourne. Photo by Chris Heyes.

She returned to Zanzebern and Nicole asked if I would take her and title her …’after which I will find her a forever home’. At 22 months she arrived home and lay up my body the first evening in the same way as Harry Brat did. I melted.

The day she came home.

I rang Nik the following day to say ‘Forget finding a forever home for her; she’s in it.’ Suki was my first Berner girl. Until then I had no inclination to have a girl in the house. Suki was to change all that.

I didn’t realise in the beginning that she looked like Andrea Maderley’sLiia. It was only when I received her pedigree that I realised that there was good reason why she looked like Liia from behind! She was family and I have promised myself to continue Harry Brat’s line in my home.

Suki attained her Australian Championship easily because mostly she was the only Berner girl entered.

She remained part of the Zanzebern breeding program, producing three litters. Harriette the ‘Orrible Dog is the first born girl from the first litter. She was the mother to multi BISS ZaznebernCosi Fan Tutte – a typey girl built like her mother but on a bigger (Harri-ette sized) frame.

Suki with her first litter on board with 14 days to go. June 2008. Photo by John Leonard. /FONT>

After doing her best for the breed, Suki was neutered and gave Gideon a run for the money to see who would achieve their Neuter Title the quickest. This was very much the case on the Central Western circuit in 2011 where points were equally shared between them at Tullamore and Condoblin.

Her show achievements as a Neuter were winning Best Neuter in Open Show as an 8yo at the June 2014 BMDCV Specialty and with Harriette – Best Brace.

Her greatest achievements were at home. Suki had a beautiful temperament. She was sweet, funny, naughty all in a small (22 inch at the shoulder) package. I will miss her walking through my wet legs the instant I get out of the shower to be my chamois. I’ll miss her warmth of her bum parked between my shoulder blades during the winter. Her supervision of my quilting with a leg, tail or bum touching my feet, gentle reminders to be fed and walked. She was a good watch dog. She would start barking, stopping when Spike, Gideon, Harri-ette or Hunter took up the chorus, she’d then toddle off and watch the action unfold. Until the end she was loyal, trusting that I would do the right thing for her.

She was a socialite always up for a pat and cuddle and was shameless in putting forward her case for rehoming. Her happiness and total joie de vivre changed my attitude regarding girls.

Since Hunter’s passing I became sensitive to coughs of all kinds. Suki had a cough. Initially it was thought to be an upper respiratory infection but after treatment it returned. Comparison with her first vet visit with the cough showed that she had lost over 5kg in 5 weeks - she was losing weight at the rate of 150g a day... I was mentally challenged to accept that I had to get ready to say goodbye to another family member. In consultation with the vets I did an assessment of the options open to me as I feared that she had a mass in her chest.

Recent weeks has shown that conclusion to be true and that nothing I did would change the eventual outcome. Gradually she became reluctant to walk and is now exercise compromised. The frequency of the coughs and their intensity has increased. Over the last weekend she has exhibited weakness in her rear legs and as of yesterday started walking with her front legs overlapping in order to keep herself upright. She has also started to accumulate congestion in her belly. Throughout this time, she has maintained a good appetite.

I couldn’t bear to watch her to decline to complete incapacity. So the decision to let her run free and be with ‘da Boyz’ whilst emotionally difficult was made. I hitched up the trailer, put Harriette and Suki in their respective compartments (as there would be loud complaints from You Know Who if SHE was left behind). The vets have been most understanding and caring.

Next year’s Health Auction quilt will be extra special as it be in honour of both Hunter and Suki.

Suki will come home in a box and reside with Harry, Gideon, Hunter and Spike. ?Suki taught me that Berner girls have a place in my home and heart and to never under estimate their power to change perceptions and opinion. Girls are game changers. Viva Berner girl power!

I’m gutted but I have Harri-ette to cuddle, kiss, groom, walk and talk with.

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In the future, there will be a Berner girl downline from Suki in this house; and her name is Kalinda.

Thanks for reading.

Annie (Berner Tragic) in Wagga Wagga Australia
with Harri-ette the 'orrible dog and Vespar the visitor.
Remembering Harry Brat (22/6/02 - 22/3/08) - heart dog, forever young;
Special Spike (1/8/05 - 19/10/11) - supreme master of the happy dance;
Gideon von Wink (13/1/03 - 10/2/14) - my teacher;
Hunter - Man Most Handsome (20/4/07 - 12/1/15)
aand Suki-lala (24/03/06 - 03/03/15 - the game changer.

The Harry Brat Shining Knight Award

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