In Loving Memory of Bernese Mountain Dog


Rigley


Reflection’s Double Your Fun CGC HIT

February 16, 1997 to March 21, 2004



Loved and missed by Steve and Lesley Koonce




Rigley



"Our beautiful Rigley was euthenized due to malignant histiocytosis, almost 8 weeks after having part of a lung removed. The Koonce household will never be the same without our happy, smiling boy.

Rigley was always such a happy dog. His zest for life was a joy to see! Maybe this was why he got distracted so easily! Steve and I often joked that he had doggie ADD, or was a bit of a fluff-brain. In actuality, I think he was very smart and taught us to play into his game!

He did so much that would make us smile:

The “full-body wiggle” that would start at his nose and travel all the way to the tip of his tail. You could see it, like a big ripple. Afterwards, he’d just stand there with a big Berner grin and wait for us to laugh.

The “dinner dance” where he would prance around with a toy. If we were slow to get the hint, he’d whack us with the side of his muzzle. All the while, a big smile on his face.

“Whisper woofs” if he needed to go out during the night. How did he know that his usual full, loud bark would startle us?

The way he would pounce on at toy like an over-grown puppy.

Bringing in the newspaper.

How happy he was to see his “first family”, his breeders, Karolyn and Mike Reed.

Working the room at the Sierra West Christmas parties and making sure everyone got a chance to pet him.

Watching him stand face first into a breeze, the unseen currents rippling his long flowing fur.

Laying up-side down in the middle of our bed.

Rigley was our “taking vacation dog” (as opposed to a “working dog”!) and was affectionately known as “Fluff”, “FluffBoy”, “Wiggley”, and “Wiggles”.

He left us with lots and lots of wonderful memories and a huge hole in our hearts."



Rigley’s Legacy


Our beautiful Rigley was euthenized on March 21st due to malignant histiocytosis. Our little corner of the world will never be the same without our happy, smiling boy.

Rigley didn’t have lots of titles before or after his name. He never sired a litter. His legacy is just as important, though. His blood and tissue was contributed to the two cancer studies that will hopefully find a marker, treatment and/or cure for this awful disease. The GDC Tumor Registry was also notified.

One of the studies was at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, WA and the other at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. Both studies were contacted the day after Rigley’s diagnosis, not knowing how long he would remain with us. The Fred Hutchinson study wanted blood and the Dana-Farber study wanted tissue samples from Rigley’s tumor. The lab that did his biopsy still had the tissue samples and they were sent off to Boston.


It’s hard to think about studies and samples when your heart is breaking. We urge everyone to submit whatever is needed to the current studies and the GDC Tumor registry. It will someday mean better health for the future of the breed and is the ultimate legacy for your beloved Berner.








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