Archive for the ‘Animal rescue’ Category

It has taken a while for the new point-and-shoot camera to arrive and I’m happy to say that it is here and ready to go.  

Once Sammy joined us here at Sontheim it became necessary to buy new small camera.  Mr. Sam grew so intrigued with the big camera and it’s  tripod that it was impossible to take any pictures of him or the Girls.  So here I am with the new camera in hand, sharing a few test shots. 

Sophia in her favorite spot under mom's desk.


Sophia joins Sam and he promptly offers her his favorite toy.


Sophia does not want to play, so Sammy bring his toy to mom.


Sam is posing for the new camera.


Sam at his mom's feet, all tuckered out after the first photo shoot.


Well, I’m happy to report that the new camera is a success.  Sam is not interested in helping me take pictures.  Once again, technology makes my day. 

Read Full Post »

Hi there, it’s me, SAM.  It’s been two weeks since I arrived in Wisconsin and I have to say that I love my new family and I’ve already forgotten about everyone else. 

My dad George is mostly gone to work in Chicago, but mom tells me that he is making extra trips back to see me twice a week.  Mom also tells me that this is quite a change from before, when only Sophia and Lilly were here.  The girls are not very cuddly with him, but I am making up for it with my big berner smile and my joyful kisses. 

I put my whole weight into showing my affection and Mom has learned to sit down for the loving, so I don’t push her over.  My Dad is a lot stronger and I can really lean into him.  I like to push my face right between his legs to make sure that he can reach my belly when he pets me.   When Dad and I watch TV together, I lie in front of him and turn on my back with all four paws up in the air so that he can’t help but give me belly rubs, the more, the better.  He already discovered my trickle spot.

At first, when Dad was distracted by a soccer match on TV, I tried to sneak up on the couch beside him and sit in his lap.  Much to my chagrin he discovered me before I had a chance to put my butt down and he made me get off.  I don’t understand why he thinks I’m too big to be on the couch, I think he and I are pretty evenly matched. 

I LOVE my Mom and she adores me!   She has helped me get along with my new sisters.  In the beginning I played a little bit too rough with Lilly who loves to be chased.  When I step on her she yelps really loud, so I try my best to avoid any collisions with her.  It’s really hard though, because the momentum always carries me a lot further than I intend to go.  I’ve even crashed into the fence, but luckily Lilly was not underfoot when it happened and Mom was relieved that I was not hurt.

Sophia has warmed up to me quite a bit.  I think that’s because I’m such a gentle guy and I am VERY patient with her.  Mom used to call Sophia her “stinky girl”, but now she calles her “sneaky girl,” because Sophia always sneaks up on me to sniff me in my most private places.  I don’t mind and Mom thinks that this is a good sign. 

We only had one scary experience when I brough Mom my favorite toy and we started to play.   Sophia grabbed the toy away from us in a jealous fit, she barred her teeth and growled at BOTH of us.  I could tell that Mom was really shocked by Sophia’s show of aggression, but she handled it well.  Mom talked to Sophia in a calm and loving way until she gave up the toy.  Since then, Mom is carefull to show us equal affection and I am happy to report that now all is well.

Here are a few pictures taken during my first day here:

It's early morning, birds are singing and the grass is wet.

Checking out the fenced-in yard.

Getting ready for a chase.

Settling in under the porch.

Hmm, I wonder if Mom will let me go out there?

Read Full Post »

 Well, BARC has done it again and I am so very pleased to report that the transport from Buffalo NY to Wisconsin came off exactly as planned.  Our new BARC Berner is home and we have spent a succesful first night together.   

After five years with his original adoptive family in Rochester, NY, Riddick (now Sam) was returned to BARC and placed into foster care with a BARC family member until it was decided that he would make a good match here at Sontheim.  As chance would have it, we were in need of an easygoing Berner for our Sophia who was starting to regress after Emma moved away with Greg.  

While Riddick’s transport from Upstate NY to Wisconsin was in the works I decided that he would need a new name upon joining our family.  I am a Syfy connoisseur and have watched “The Chronicles of Riddick” several times.  Needless to say, it is an interesting  movie and it’s protagonist Riddick is a formidable character.   Our berner boy, however, reminds me of Dr. Zeuse’s “Sam I am”.  He is the sweetest goofball you ever want to meet and much to my surprise, he has accepted his new name right a way.   

We met Sam’s foster-mom Jacque, and the two other ladies who brought him from Buffalo, at the Cadiz Springs Recreational area near Browntown, Wisconsin.  BARC member Patti and her husband Greg joined us there for the joyful occasion with camera in hand and here are some pictures:  

Sam meets his new dad George.

Foster-mom Jacque is sharing details about Sam.


It's love at first sight between George and Sam.

The transport team, Ellie, George and Sam.

He is ready for a walk with his new dad.

And off they go!

A good workout for Sam and his new dad.

Sam is ready for a drink from the water pump.

Sam saying goodby to Greg and Patti while his dad gets the car cooled down for the ride home.

Now that our family at Sontheim is complete I want to give a hearty thank you to all the people who helped make it happen: 

With gratitude to BARC’s board members for placing Sam into our care!  Our heartfelt appreciation to all the people who were ready and willing to help with the transport.  Applause for the transport team Jacque, her mom and friend. 

And last, but not least, a big thank you to my friend Patti and her husband Greg who drove quite a way to meet us and our new Berner boy.

Read Full Post »

Hi Linda:   

My mom just reminded me that we have not writen to you for quite some time – so here I am – helping her with an update for you. 

Mom tells me that she is very proud of me because I am no longer the scaredy-cat I was when I first came here more than a year ago.  I have grown quite a bit and mom thinks I am gorgeous:  my coat is shiny and even a little curly, my eyes are bright and I have lost the fearful look when we have visitors.      

Here I am, watching our Hummingbirds in front of the house.

Most recently I have learned to give my mom a big WOOF when I have to go potty.  I know she really likes it when I woof into her face, because she always praises me and she takes us out right away.  That is great fun and even Lilly gets excited when I woof at mom.  Of course, Lilly is ALWAY ready to run outside and play.      

Lilly in the driveway, waiting for us to go for a walk.

Recently Lilly and I got into a lot of trouble outside.  Lilly showed me that awesome pile of wild critter poop in the woods and we both dove right into it.  Mom was on the path yelling her head off trying to stop us, but it was too late…  So, when Lilly and I were finally finished rolling, we hurried back to mom.  She could smell us comming and she certainly did not like the pungent perfume we had found in the woods.  She grumbled all the way home, put us in the fenced yard, and went into the house ALL BY HERSELF!!!  I could not believe she would go into the house without us, this has NEVER happened before.     

 I was not sure what was going on, but Lilly knew right away what to do, she started rolling in the grass to get some of the smell off.  Mom did not come back for quite a while and when she reappeared, she brought a bottle of shampoo and the water-hose.   You can well imagine we got a bath right on the spot, and a COLD BATH it was.  When mom had us toweled off she was exhausted and we went inside to take a big nap.  


Now that Emma is moving to Oregon with Greg, mom is trying to think of ways to get us a new playmate.  Mom thinks it would be best if we could find a Berner boy to  play with because she knows that I really enjoyed romping with Jake at your house.  Mom has been looking at Ollie on the BARC website, but she is not sure that adding a new family member would be a good idea right now.  Maybe there are some Berner families near us in Grant County, Wisconsin who would be interested in getting to know us?  Or maybe you and Jake can come for a visit real soon?! 

Take care and give Jake a belly rub.  Sophia with Lilly and Mom in Wisconsin.

Read Full Post »

Last Friday was a day of  surprise and joy for our beloved Emma. 

In a previous post we described how Emma was rescued by BARC – Adopted and loved by Tery Wong – Upon Tery’s loss of job and home, Emma was given to another family in Illinois – When things did not work out, her new family surrendered Emma back to BARC – BARC contacted Sophia’s mom who matched Emma with Greg, her forever-dad – End of story!

But wait, the happiness fairy intervened and Emma’s original mom, Tery found Sophia’s blog on the internet and got in touch with us.  And that is how Emma’s joyful reunion with Tery was put into motion.

Back to the visit:  Knowing that Emma will be moving to Oregon with Greg in June we arranged a visit for Tery to see her girl before they left.  Tery arrived late Thursday and spent the night with Ellie, Berner girl Sophia and Eskimo dog Lilly at Sontheim.  Friday morning Greg and Emma arrived at their usual time.

As always, Emma greeted Ellie with a kiss and marched toward the living room only to stop dead in her tracks as Tery came down the stairs.  She did a double-take and, as Tery bent down in a tearful embrace, Emma burst into pure joy.

If you have every seen a happy Berner you will get the picture!  Emma was all wiggles, woofs and happiness.  She could not take her eyes off  Tery and of course her dad. 

Greg and Tery spent the day exchanging stories about their beloved Emma and we all were surprised about the similarity of their experiences.

As the visit came to an end Emma showed us that she would happily have Tery in her life with Greg.   But Tery had to return to Chicago where she was scheduled to leave for Alaska the next morning with her boyfriend Matt.  Tery and Matt are members of an expedition which will climb Denali in support of the Breast Cancer Network of Strength.

We wish Tery and Matt a successful climb and a save return!  The expedition can be followed in real-time at http://www.denali2010.org


Read Full Post »

George and I spent a week with family and all the critters in Up-state NY.  It was a joyful visit because our 93-year-old mom had flown in from Germany to see all of us one more time.  Of course ‘one more time’ has been her reason to travel such a long way several times before and judging by her excellent condition it is very likely that there may yet be another ‘one more time’.

Since our last visit Charssada has become home to more lucky animals.  The chicken flock has increased to a good size and free range egg  production is in full swing. 

Here is one of the ten bachelor roosters who had to be given away because of in-fighting and other unmentionable behaviour:

Once the bachelor roosters were sent to their new home, much-needed tranquility returned to the chicken yard.  Here are a few pictures to show the flock’s rooster calmly watching over his hens:

Here he is, the rightful leader of the flock!

The four-legged population also saw the addition of two draft horses who had been waiting for adoption at a horse rescue.  They had arrived at the end of winter and were already thriving under my sisters watchful eye and her excellent care.

Meet the new boys Teddy and Willy:

Teddy to the left and Willy on the right.

When Teddy first arrived his hind legs were so weak that he dragged his huffs on the ground, but now they are strengthening steadily and he is able to walk freely up and down the hilly pasture.  Both horses needed their huffs trimmed and Willy’s oversized molars had to be shaved down to enable him to chew his food.  The farmer who had raised Willy and worked him hard for 20 years never took care of such things and consequently Willy was severely under weight.

Meet Jessie the woman who trims huffs the natural way, showing of her muscles after the work was done.

When I saw the scars Willy has from pulling his farmer’s plow for 20 years,  and learing that the farmer tried to extract the last bit of money by offering the worn out horse for sale for the price of meat, I had to wonder about the depth of the farmer’s depravity and greed.  It is my firm belief that a society that lacks compassion, lacks humanity, in the end is doomed to fail.

Yet for Teddy and Willy, the story continues on a happier note.  Under the watchful eye of my sisters love, life at Charssada Farm is truly good.

Read Full Post »

all sign are here!  The official start of Spring has come and gone: daylight savings time is in full swing, crocuses and daffodils are peeking out of the ground and birds are flocking back to their breeding ranges in the Northern USA. 

A few additional flocks have arrived and are scouring the area for food; orange bellied Robbins and iridescent Grackles are the newest arrivals on our land.  Up from the Mississippi come the honking of Trumpeter Swans and Canadian Geese. 


Our weekly visitors Emma and Greg are getting ready for their own migration in early June.  Theirs will be a journey across the country – going West – to Oregon – where Greg will continue his college education with Emma at his side. 

Needles to say, Sophia, Lilly and I will miss them – so now is the time to take their picture. 

Snuggling on the dog bed.



The camera is busy and there are many photos to process when time permits.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »