Owners: Ed + Fiona
Breed: see below!
Favourite Places in Bayside:
When we decided we needed a dog all we knew was that we wanted a "Lab" and that she not be from a puppy farm. We made sure we visited her birthplace, the home of a lovely family in Warrandyte and met both the canine parents.
Bernie chose to come home with us when we first met her litter. Fiona (Bernie's human mum) picked her up because she seemed the most reserved. Bernie looked into Fiona's eyes, licked the tip of her nose and, in an instant, became part of the family.
I, Ed, her human Dad, knew I was then either going home alone or with Fiona and a new daughter.
Since then she's grown into a strong, independent, self-reliant dog who is always a joy to be around.
Although being advertised as pure Labrador we've since had her DNA tested and she's proved to be anything but. She is majority, Labrador, Golden Retriever and Weimaraner but also has elements of Bernese Mountain Dog, Whippet and others. Given her athletic and aquatic abilities she may also have racehorse and sea lion in there as well.
Behaviourally her temperament is confident, self-assured and no nonsense. She gets on very well with other dogs but is happy to leave them to wrestle and tumble as she'd prefer to engage with their owners in a game of "keepings off" with a stick or a ball.
She won't tolerate any sort or dominance game often played by other dogs (mostly males) who seek to establish a pecking order. Humping or standover tactics from other dogs are met with a stern message that she's not going to play that way and that they should try it on some other less assertive pup.
Whatever she tells them must be effective because they only try it once. As a father I'm rather pleased to see she will stand up for herself.
Bernie is relaxed and calm at home, now that she's an adult, but still really only has 2 speed settings. "Off" and "Supersonic" On the beach or at the park, her focus on a ball or stick is unwavering and she will chase either all day, as full speed, without tiring.
If there is something to do she will be involved 100% but when there is nothing on she will happily sit around and snooze.
Her Weimaraner side makes her a little aloof sometimes so, unlike a typical goofy lab, her affections must sometimes be earned and her love is not always unconditional. If you're prepared to meet her halfway however the rewards are infinite.
When dozing she will put up with cuddles to a point but will then move a few feet away and lie down again, making it quite clear you overstepped the line. That sentiment is clearly one sided however as she thinks nothing of lying all over her humans at night.
We have often mentioned that we cannot comprehend what life was like before Bernie or what it'd have been like without her. We are still as besotted today as we have ever been.