Doggy in the Window

I was window shopping today and played the real-life version of ‘how much is that doggy in the window?’ My eyes first noticed the ‘statuesque’ French bulldogs, especially the one with the jaunty sweater. I’ve always been a sucker for French bulldogs. And then, their companion appeared and my heart melted.

It’s been almost a year since our dog, Katie passed away. Katie, who was John’s dog long before I came around was a Bernese Mountain Dog, a breed I had never heard of before meeting John. Now of course, I see them everywhere and immediately heave a sigh of equal parts joy and sadness.

For those who are, as I once was, unfamiliar with the breed, Berners are large, hairy, gentle beasts who, as far as I could discern from my years with Katie, have a singular purpose in life. Cuddling. That’s it. According to the American Kennel Club they were bred in Switzerland to drive cattle, guard farmyards and for companionship. Not having either cattle or a farmyard, I’m not inaccurate in my assessment of Katie’s daily mission.

Now that we are settled in our new home out west, talk has occasionally meandered into the territory of dog ownership. Do we want to get another dog? And if so, would we get another Berner?

I think for both of us (speaking on John’s behalf here since this is my blog and he’s not around right now to contribute) I can confidently say that both of us want another dog. We loved Katie almost as much as she loved us but I’m not sure it’s possible for anyone to give as much love as that wonderful creature did to us. But (and it’s a big but) we travel a fair bit, even now. As I type, I’m in Vancouver for a few days; a frequent jaunt John takes for work that I occasionally join him on.

Although we are both home almost all the time, when we do travel, we would have to board him/her and I could not bring myself to do that. It just doesn’t seem fair. That’s just me. And John too, actually; on this we agree.

So, for now we are landing on ‘no dog’ status. As time goes on, that may change but as time goes on, we may also be limited in our abilities to care for a dog. Hopefully not, of course but one never knows. Which would mean Katie would have been our last dog.

Talk about ending on a high note!

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