10 things your Bernese Mountain Dog would tell you if it could
Please value the time you spend with me
I am a Bernese Mountain Dog and I will only live 6 to 8 years. 10 or 12 if I am lucky. Or if you are lucky? Please value the time you have with me. Value the time spent together. The lying on the couch in front of the TV together. The time you have to take me out in the rain and wait for me to do my business. The time you spend at dog parks watching me rough playing with my buddies.
The times you have to clean up after my vomiting accident or throw out that couch I chewed up when I was too young and didn’t know any better. Value the sleepless nights when you had to take me out 2 times a night because I was a puppy and couldn’t “hold it”. Value all of it, because it will pass sooner than you can imagine. We, dogs, really don’t live as long as you people.
You probably give me too much food and too many treats, and it’s not good, even if I love my food and treats
If you touch my sides and don’t feel my ribs – that means I am overweight. Bernese Mountain Dogs are not supposed to be overweight. I know you can’t spend as much time with me as you would probably like. I know that you know that a lot of the times I am bored when you are away at work.
I know you are trying to make it up to me by feeding me treats and giving me more food than I really need to be at my healthiest. My treats – those cute treats you buy at the pet store – are filed with sugar, grains and other chemicals that are really not good for me. I love them, but I don’t love being sick and overweight. If you give them to me, I have no way to resist them. So, maybe just don’t give them to me?
I am probably not getting enough exercise
I know you are busy at work. I know you have family obligations. But now I am your family too, and I have needs just like you kids do. I need to get outside on a regular basis. I need to run free, and play in the grass, and meet other dogs, and did I mention run around? I am a Bernese Mountain Dog – a working dog, an active dog. I need and crave physical activity – every day. I will get sick if I don’t. I’ll get fat. I’ll get bored.
It’ll make me destructive. Make me bark without a reason, or chew things. Your new couch may suffer! But most of all – I will suffer! Please help me be happier and healthier by taking me outside often and letting me have ample time and space for running, and playing, and just rolling in the grass. Best of all – join me!
I probably have worms
Sorry! I really hate the sound of that too. But that’s how we dogs are. We, Bernese Mountain Dogs, like to spend lots of time outside, and you know how we like eating weird stuff from the ground. You know what I mean, right? So then we get worms sometimes. But you don’t have to freak out. There are medications that you can get at the vet’s. They are easy to administer (if you can hide the pill in my food!) and are very effective.
You probably have worms
Just kidding! But seriously, if you regularly kiss me or let me kiss you – you might catch something unpleasant from me. So maybe, from time to time, go to your human doctor to get some tests and maybe some human pills. You know what I mean. But don’t stop kissing me! I know I won’t stop kissing you!
Give me time
When you are training me, give me time to understand what you want from me. I am not a human. I am a dog. It takes me a few minutes to understand what it is that you want. And because I am a Bernese Mountain Dog, it will take me a few more seconds to understand why I should do it. Although the main reason I do anything – including follow your commands – is because I love you and want to please you!
I don’t understand a lot of the things you say.
You talk to me a lot, and I just wanted to make a confession. I don’t understand what you are saying to me – most of the times. We, Bernese Mountain Dogs, are extremely smart. But language is still beyond us.
But I do understand your tone of voice, and through that I understand your mood. If you are nervous – I can feel that. If you are sad – I hear that in your voice. If you are happy – I can hear that too and I will be happy for you. Keep talking to me, because I love your voice!
Also, I do understand a few words. The most important ones, like “dinner is served!”. Or “want to go for a walk?” Or “where’s the ball?”
And my favorite: “Good dog!”
Also, I know my name! I am so proud. Are you proud of me?
If I am acting strange, I am probably sick
I can’t tell you when I am sick. But if you see me act differently from how I usually act, it probably means I am sick. Bernese Mountain Dogs are usually healthy, but I can catch a virus, or hurt myself while running, or have an upset tummy just like you. If I am limping, or not sleeping well, or am suddenly aggressive while I am usually the sweetest dog in the world – please pay attention.
Same goes for when I sleep more than usual, or refuse to eat, or drink too much water, or don’t drink enough. If I suddenly become very whiny, or irritable, or if I don’t want to go for a walk – all of those are signs I am not feeling well. Please take me to the vet.
Don’t rush me on our walks
I know you don’t have much time. I know you think of all those things you have to do even when we are enjoying a nice walk together. But please don’t rush me when we walk, especially when I need to pee. It’s a really important part of my day, and I need to find a spot that’s just right. Let me enjoy the process and do it right! Also, can you stop thinking about work when we go on our walkies? I mean, have you seen the sky lately? It’s so blue. And the birds. And oh! A squirrel!
I have short memory
When I do something wrong, I don’t always know it is wrong unless you tell me. But you gotta tell me right away! If I chewed your couch in the morning and you try to punish me for it in the evening, it won’t work. I’ll just get upset, and I won’t know why you are mad at me. I won’t understand what you want from me. On the other hand, if you catch me chewing furniture and strictly tell me not to – I will understand that just fine! All dogs are like that, even the smartest ones, like Bernese Mountain Dogs.