When this blog began, Bailey Tuckerman Kent was an 8-week-old Bernese Mountain Dog living in the western mountains of Maine with his writer dad, Rich. These are their stories.... and don't forget, click on most photos to enlarge.
We spent a sunny spring afternoon hiking the trails up Red Hill over to Black/White trail. After hiking the back side of of Black Mountain, we went to the large tower on the summit ad then down the ski trails.
Click on photos to enlarge. This is Mount Washington from Red Hill.
Over the years I've read books and websites about Bernese Mountain Dogs. Most address the sad reality of a Berner's longevity... cancer and bad hips take them early and often. Their average life span in the USA? About seven years. Pretty sobering.
On Sunday, Bailey's 7th birthday, I treated him to a one-inch piece of bacon and a few extra dog treats. We took a long walk in the pouring rain and stopped at our local garage where the attendant handed him several treats. In truth, Bailey's life is one big smorgashborg.
During the day, I also thought a lot about this milestone year. Seven. We dog parents sure do get connected to our pets. When they die, do we mourn them or the part of our own lives that has been lost? Both, I suppose. Since Bailey is with me most of the time–and I do mean "with" me–after his death I know I'll feel the emptiness.
As I write this quick blog, Bailey is asleep on the floor in my home office. His left paw is about 3 inches away from my right foot. He's always nearby. That's the nature of Bernese Mountain Dogs–they need to be with their people. And I suppose the same holds true for us: we have to be with our Berners.