In Loving Memory of Bernese Mountain Dogs

Oaky Bear and Vogue

Australian Champion, Zeigen Oak Woodland
Oaky {Oaky Bear}

January 7th 1996 to July 31st 2006

Australian Champion Zeigen Venus In Vogue

March 6th 1997 to September 12th 2005

So sadly missed by Ann-Maree Rogers

Oaky Bear and Vogue
Oaky and Vogue, the Dynamic Duo

1Oth Birthday
Oaky's 10th Birthday Card

The cover for his 10th Birthday Album

Today I lost the love of my life.

Some of you will know that Oaky was diagnosed with histiocytosis a bit over a month ago. A large growth in his thoracic region pushing his windpipe ... With we suspect secondaries in the back leg/bone marrow. I know the month he gave me was more than any suspected he had left in him, but then Oaky has, and & always will be, - my 'wonder dog' defying the experts and such like for the last 10.5 years.

Oaky died this morning around 8am. I sat with him watching the dawn break from 5.30am this morning realising our final farewell must come; his heart seemed to be racing and the light had dulled in his beautiful eyes... Albeit he was hungry thanks to his 'meds' .. So with the call made to the Vet & his head in my lap, he happily scoffed choc-chip biscuits, with Goodo's followed by 2 warmed lamb steaks - he ate so well. Duly annoyed by Honey!

I left his side for just 2 brief minutes .. And in that short time I think he must have tried to get up to go 'winky' and I suspect his tired heart failed.

I am devastated that I have been with him for most of his life 24/7 and in the final moments I 'missed' it. Some will counsel me to say it was 'his choice' to go that way, to spare me, and knowing he was quite willful in his own sweet way, hey maybe .. However .. that's something I shall have to try & live with.

Oaky Bear as he was affectionately nicknamed, landed in my heart in Adelaide at just 7.5 weeks of age in 1996 .. He was of course the most gorgeous BMD pup of all time. He was my first BMD after all!

Oaky Bear

7.5 weeks of age and ready to zoom down from Brisbane to Adelaide on Ansett .. BIG adventure - cute as a button

He was my & Vogue's constant companion ... The other side of the 'dynamic duo'.

Oaky, Vogue and Ann Maree

Many times he has been my reason for getting up and at 'em every morning whether I felt like it or not .. I knew the day wld dawn that I wld dearly MISS those insistent 'must walk' dictates he would give me .. & here I am ..

On a brighter note Oaky did not suffer the same horrid pain symptoms with histio as Vogue; seemingly pretty much pain free with the help of the very powerful steroidal anti-inflammatories which gave him back his 'movement' and a bit of zest for life and peeing on trees! He continued to have light in his eyes & a Berner grin on his dial & enjoyed his ambles right up until the 'end'.

I truly want to believe in the 'Rainbow Bridge' for that would mean right now he's streaking across the bridge to be harassed by my beloved Vogue & a growl or 2 from Aari .. What a reunion they shall have .. And my Dad always enjoyed Oaky as a 'man's dog' so a kindly pat and a familiar human face might be *nice* too.

Teaching 'Frankie' the rescue BMD how to 'chill'

Ever patient, and gentle in his 'twilight years' here 'Baby- sitting' Honey
... She's kinda cute Mum!

Oaky and Honey

Amidst the pain today & particularly of the last 10 months my losses have been great - Vogue, my Dad .. & now my 'Okay Bear' .... however, I am truly fortunate to have shared part of my life with such an incredible dog. How amazing to have had the love and trust of this beautiful animal? And for a BMD for such a long time too .. I know I have been truly blessed.

As my good bud says ... So ends an era ...

Goodbye my sweet beautiful boy, you were 'my sun and my moon' ...

May your gentle spirit be free ..

Australian Champion - Zeigen Oak Woodland -
Oaky ('Oaky Bear')
January 7, 1996 - July 31, 2006

Australian Champion Zeigen Venus In Vogue
March 6th 1997 to September 12th 2005

Today I said goodbye to the most beautiful Bernese girl I have ever met. But then I am totally biased ... Vogue thankfully made her way into my life & heart just a little over 8.5 years ago ... how blessed I was - she arrived in Adelaide as the very darkest & longest puppy I'd ever seen! How I adored her

My beloved Vogue Puppy @ 8 weeks

This morning saw a return of Vogue's insidious symptoms of pain associated with the histiocytosis that has claimed her very essence. She was back to the panting, pacing and standing ... the sign that 'it' was back and now moving further into the liver and lymph nodes to the back of her body.... the day I dreaded had arrived .. some signs a little unclear at the start ... but they became clearer as the day wore on. How could I ask her to endure any more.

Those very powerful drugs had done their job well though, gotta hand it to them - they bought us nearly 3 weeks more than I thought we wld have .... when I brought her home the Vet had been talking 'days' - so in her inimitable style .. she kicked major 'c' butt! Those drugs gave us valuable time for our good-byes - a gift I know .. she even had me fooled over this weekend you know into thinking she was 'beating' it at its own game!

A cheeky adolescent ... that Berner smile ....

She almost looked 'normal' ..... almost ... beating it back into remission with her very 'power' - for any of you who had the pleasure of meeting my girl knew she was all 'power' & had a 'no prisoner' approach to life and her love for me. How I shall miss that among so many other things about her.

She left this World today a poorer place at 1pm .. her suffering now at an end... .

The Lord bless her and keep her
the Lord make His face to shine upon her
... & give her peace ......

Vogue @ Christmas 2004

Her look changed little until her death - glossy black coat, Berner grin, amazing white

a classic stunner even with such pain.

For your support, words of wisdom, encouragement and understanding.
You all made a difference during such a personally harrowing time.

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