Celebrating our Berner Veterans

In Loving Memory of


Marley Rasta

June 6th 2001 to September 24th 2012

Owned, Loved and so sadly missed by Larry Miller

Marley turns 10 today, June 6th. I had planned to take him to the specialty and march in the veterans parade. That didn't happen so I decided to post this to honor him instead.

Marley has worked for his kibble since he was one year old. That is the minimum age for certification as a therapy dog. He has been doing therapy and Read-to-the-Dogs visits for 9 years. His life consists of therapy work, hiking and cross country skiing. He has also mastered skijoring and tracking. He excels at all, but his favorite is skiing. When in the snow, he forgets himself and actually plays with his nuisance sister, Uma. At all other times, he either ignores her or corrects her behavior.

Marley is a mountain dog partnered with a mountain man. He averages 2 days a week in the mountains, either skiing, hiking or climbing. He has climbed 5 mountains in the Cascades & one in Vermont.

Marley is beautiful on the inside! He has the perfect temperament for a therapy dog. He is a very sensitive boy, even empathic! When he enters a room, he can sense if somebody is in distress. Examples are; a crying child, a woman in pain and a blind man insecure because of new surroundings.

He still loves his therapy work and gets excited when we pull up to one of our regular institutions. The other day, I took him into a coffee house. Right near the door were 2 ladies who were watching us. When we passed their table, they asked some questions, so I stopped to chat. Is there any among us who doesn’t jump at the chance to brag on our Berners? Marley went right over to one of them and laid down beside her chair. The woman near me said that her friend had a broken leg and it was bothering her. I said it would be interesting to see what Marley did when I went and sat down. I left them and did not say a word to Marley. I went all the way to the back of the shop and sat down. Marley stayed with his lady until She left a half hour later, then trotted over and lay on my feet. He’s incredible!

Last Sunday's wildflower hike up Dog Mt.

Update November 23rd 2011

I'm so happy about Marley's come back, that I had to tell everybody. A few months ago, he started showing signs of arthritis. After 4 different drugs and regimes, we have found success. Last Sunday, we went for our 1st x-c ski on Mt Hood. There were 10 inches of new snow but some well packed snow shoe trails. The dogs stayed on the trails most of the time. The 3 younger dogs spent a fair amount of time making trails and just chasing in the powder. I didn't know what to expect from Marley, who is now 10 1/2 years old. Add to his age the fact that he had been mostly inactive for quite a while. In any case he spent some time "off-roading," as shown below. On the way back to the cars, Marley insisted on leading out. He trotted ahead of me and when I picked up speed on a steeper slope, I'd call out to him and he would break into a gallop, sometimes for 50 to 100 yards. He performed just like he did last season. Larry

See Marley off-roading

Update July 25th 2012

Marley turned 11 last month. He has DM, degenerative myelopathy.
However, he is still happy and sharing the love at old folks homes.

Happy Marley

Here is Marley at his 11th b-day party. He had a haircut 2 months ago.

For more pictures, see:
https://picasaweb.google.com/ldmiller38/MarleyRasta# or

For Marley on the Friends Gallery over the years

For more information about Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

A dog with a presumptive diagnosis can be tested free by the university. This is a blood test not a swab. the ofa test is a swab.

For owners of Bernese Mountain Dogs diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy or those participating in OFA DNA DM tests.

Update September 23rd '12

Ellen Rider's Langley and Larry Miller's Marley (littermates) meet again after 11 years!

(Touche Ole)
Born June 6th 2001

B-G Dog ID = 88126

Larry Miller's Marley at the beginning of a new adventure...
June 6th 2001 to September 24th 2012

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