Conversations with Christie

A Tribute to a Life Well Lived & a Dog Well Loved


June 2003 - Brisbane Airport

Anne: Oh! You are not quite what I was expecting.
Christie: Ditto I must say. And what are you saying? I work hard to keep this supermodel figure. Besides, good things come in small packages don't you know.
Anne: Shall we go to your new home beautiful girl?
Christie: Why not? I hope my previous owners sent ahead my requests so you are prepared for me, otherwise I'll get Harry to take me back.
Anne: Fear not pretty one - we are very much a berner loving household.

Christie: I think I'll be the judge of that. You do cater for Princesses don't you?

****************

Anne: She's very obedient isn't she? And walks on the lead so well. And she looks so sweet. Look at her beautiful face. I'd forgotten how well mannered the berner girls are. And look at her and our berner boy, Dale - playing there on the sofa together.
Harry: She's a good dog, she pretty much doesn't do anything wrong; besides the fear of fireworks and the thunderstorm thing. Keryn told you all about that didn't she?
Anne: Yes she did. You were lucky to get her back after she ran away. Then her two vaccine reactions, that was scary stuff. She must be part cat having used up three lives already. But do we pass muster? Can she stay?
Harry: Yes. I think so. Can I call Keryn and tell her?
Anne: Absolutely.
Harry (on phone): Keryn? I think Christie's landed in doggy heaven….

****************

Dale: But it's my sofa, you get that one over there.
Christie: I don't want that one. I want this one.
Dale: But it's my sofa….
Christie: Get used to it bozo. Nothing is yours anymore unless I don't want it.
Dale: But…..
Christie: What did I just say?
Dale: Okaay…..

****************

Christie: WAKE UP!
Anne: Huh? What? Christie it's 3 in the morning.
Christie: I don't care. Wake up and turn the light on

Anne (turning on the light): Oh My Lord! Bruce quick - wake up! Oh beautiful girl what happened? We need to get you to a vet.
Christie: I think I need a vet.

****************

Anne: Well that was an expensive outing. There's nothing like a visit to the emergency vet in the middle of a Sunday night.
Christie: Who cares? I'm the one who got the thermometer put up her you-know-where. How humiliating. AND they gave me an injection and yet still I've got a sore face. You are hopeless at helping me. This better not scar my face or you'll need to take me to a cosmetic surgeon.
Anne: It will take a while before the drugs kick in. You'll be fine they said. I should really get you insured. I must say you scared the life out of me. I didn't think we'd have Life Number Four used up so soon. Some dog mother I am. One month with me and you're already broken.
Christie: My face hurts.
Anne: Yes I know sweetheart, but if you hadn't been so persistent and tried to get the bone back from those meat ants they wouldn't have swarmed all over your nose and bitten you.
Christie: But it was my bone. They should've been the ones to let go.
Anne: They're ants Christie. Ants.
Christie: So?
Anne: Sigh. You're right. Perhaps they didn't know it was yours or I'm sure they would've surrendered it back to you without question.
Christie: Absolutely. I think you need to lay here with me and pat me to sleep.
Anne: It's the middle of winter. You may think its fine but the floor is freezing.
Christie: And your problem is? You are the one who doesn't use pesticides and lets face eating ants live here. And I'm the one with the aching puffy face who's probably going to be scarred for life.
Anne. Sigh. You're right. It's obviously all my fault. Here rest your head in my lap. Pat. Pat. Sleep is over rated anyhow, especially when you have to start work in four hours.
Christie: Sleep Schmeep. Keep patting….

****************
Anne: Again? What is it with you and finding the meat ants?
Christie: It was my bone not theirs.
Anne: You realize it's a Sunday night again?
Christie: And your issue is?
Anne: Okay, where are the car keys? Life number Five Christie….

****************

Christie: Bark! Bark! Bark! Alien approaching up the driveway!
Dale: Bark! Bark! Bark! Bewdy someone to pat me!
Anne: Okay you two, calm down, now I'll open the gate and you'll approach the visitor calmly.
Christie: Boof head, I'll go left past the post, you go right.
Dale: Which way's left? CRASH
Dale: Oops. I guess that wasn't left?
Christie: HOWL…… I'm dying! He deliberately smashed me into the post and tried to kill me…
Anne: Oh My God! Bruce! Quick grab the car keys. I think Christie's broken her back or her hip or something.
Christie: HOWL! HOWL! HOWL!
Anne: Don't worry baby. Mummy's here. (on the phone) Hello vet? Please don't close your doors. We're on our way. We think our dog's broken her hip or something…..

****************

Anne: I don't believe you. I wasted another worry. I truly thought you had used up Life number six.
Christie: I did use it up. It really hurt.
Anne: Oh, yes. It hurt right up until we were a hundred metres from the vet when you made a startling recovery and they couldn't find a thing wrong with you.
Christie: Well it stopped hurting suddenly.
Anne: You made me look like a paranoid dog mother frantically saying my dog's broken her hip because you were yelping like there's no tomorrow and Bruce could barely pick you up and put you in the car without you going into conniptions. But then when we get there you jump out the car and trot around symptom free.
Christie: Yes, well. It did hurt and then it didn't. What can I say? I'm a quick healer. But it was an impressive performance don't you think?
Anne: Yes, the Oscar for Best Impression of a Mortally Wounded Dog goes to you.
Christie: Yea! What's my prize? And don't say more grey hairs on your head, or self-funding your vet's kid's college fund. That doesn't count.
Anne: How about we chalk it up to another emergency Sunday visit, Life Number Six and get you a pig's ear?
Christie: Done!

****************

Christie: This is more like it
Anne: You've spent the whole first episode fidgeting and fussing and digging your claws into my legs and back but now you're finally comfy hey precious girl?
Christie: Yep. Just you and me and the sofa makes three.
Anne: Good thing Pride & Prejudice goes for six hours eh? Oh yuck is that drool running down my arm?
Christie: That's just to show you how deliriously content I am. It's a sign that I love you. And don't you dare move. I am finally in the perfect comfort zone.
Anne: Oh that is so gross, can I just move my arm and wipe…
Christie: No. If you move you'll ruin everything.
Anne: Sigh. You're right. Why should my comfort matter? It is all about you after all.
Christie: Now you're getting the idea.

****************

Anne: I can't believe she got out again.
Bruce: I can't believe we spent six hundred dollars and a whole day installing electric fencing and it only kept her in three days.
Anne: I know, but I really thought it would work.
Bruce: You know we only have one choice now.
Anne: She gets locked in the house each day whilst we're out?
Christie: Aaah. Bliss. The whole house to myself. Finally. Hmmm. I wonder if they'll notice the creamy caramel popcorn missing from the kitchen counter? And which bed shall I choose today?

****************

Anne: You know the rules about beds. You can sleep on any but ours and one in the guest bedroom.
Christie: Well yours was the best for my afternoon nap session. Besides, you left your door open.
Anne: Well it's being shut from now on. You can't be trusted. You have three single beds, three sofas and two chairs to choose from, plus a mattress on the floor. You don't need our bed.
Christie: You are so mean to me.
Anne: Shall I pass you the phone so you can call someone who cares?
Christie: You'd like that wouldn't you? You wish you could be rid of me….

****************

Christie: My toe hurts. I think I need a vet.
Anne: Oh My God! Beautiful girl, what have you done? Where are the car keys?....
Vet: She'll need surgery, we'll have to amputate the toe and send it to Sydney for diagnosis.
Anne: Do you think it is bone cancer?
Vet: Possibly. It is very likely but we won't know for sure just yet.
Christie: My toe hurts.
Anne: Oh my darling, and I thought your savouring that leg the past week or so was your arthritis playing up in the cold weather. I am so sorry. I am the worst dog mother in the world.
Christie: Correct. You are the worst dog mother in the world. I keep telling people but they refuse to listen.
Anne: I'll see you in a few hours. You'll be good won't you?
Christie: I'm always good. You're the only one who doesn't think so.

****************

Vet: The good news is it isn't cancer just a benign cyst in her toe bone.
Anne: So she'll be fine?
Vet: Once she's recovered from the actual surgery and her foot has got used to weight bearing without that toe, yes.
Christie: My foot hurts and my head is fuzzy..
Anne: I know it does love. Come on we'll go home and we'll barbeque some steak for your dinner.
Christie: Rib Fillet, cooked Medium rare, sliced in strips with freshly grated parmesan on top. And French vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Anne: What ever you wish sweetheart. I thought I was going to lose you to bone cancer.
Christie: Nope. It was just Life Number Seven.

****************

Anne: You know it says here that her type of cyst is usually caused by some bone trauma that's happened in the past.
Bruce: What about the time she jumped through the four foot high back fence between the top railing post and the fencing wire underneath and got stuck between them and was hanging by her foot?
Anne: That was probably it. Ha. Well maybe there is a karmic destiny after all. See Christie? You have a sore foot and lost your toe because you refused to stay in the yard and came unstuck trying to escape.
Christie: I only wanted out the front yard to sleep. If you'd let me out the front this would never have happened. My foot hurts and I blame you.

****************

Christie: Are we there yet?
Anne: No.
Christie: Are we there yet?
Anne: No.
Christie: Are we there yet?
Anne: Yes we are. Out you get. Christie: Oh. But this isn't where I wanted to go.
Anne: I told you before we left where we were going.
Christie: Yes. But I didn't think you were serious. Can we go home now?
Anne: No.
Christie: Can we go home now?
Anne: No……

****************

Anne: For the hundredth time Christie, you are not going out the front garden. It's not fenced and who knows where you'll wander to.
Christie: I won't wander and that's where I want to be. None of the sleeping hollows that I've dug in the back yard are the right shape today. And the breeze is better out the front anyway.
Anne: What? None of the twenty or more sleepy hollows are right? None? Not even the new one you dug yesterday that I sprained my ankle in? And the breeze is the same front yard or back.
Christie: No it isn't. You know sometimes you can be such a Bitch.
Anne: Ha! Look who's talking! El Supremo Diva who can't make up her mind what she'll eat or where.
Christie: I know perfectly well what I want to eat - you just haven't offered it to me yet. I'll eat when you guess what it is and bring me what I want. You are so mean to me.
Anne: I know. I am a cruel mean dog mother. Pity it's a touch phone and the buttons are too close together for dog paws or you'd have the RSPCA in speed dial wouldn't you?
Christie: Now you get it. Can I go out the front?
Anne: No.
Christie: I hate you.
Anne: Ditto. You drive me nuts.
Christie: Can I go out the front?
Anne: No….

****************

Anne: Okay off you go. You get to go out the front. Anything for a quiet life….
Christie: About time!
Anne: You are such a stubborn little minx.
Christie: No. I'm patient and determined and persistent. There's a difference.
Anne: There is?
Christie: Yes, my characteristics are virtues. You however, are stubborn, and that is a terrible vice.
Anne: Sigh. You are so right Christie. What was I thinking? What would I do without you to show up my faults and keep me humble?
Christie: I don't know what you'd do without me. But could you please fetch me a bowl of water for out the front here. And a pig's ear would be nice too.
Anne: As you wish princess….

****************

Anne: (yelling) Christie! Where are you?
Bruce: Have you found her yet?
Anne: No. But she can't have gone too far
Anne: Well I gave in after three hours of nagging. So sue me. Can you pass me the torch? She'll be around here hiding somewhere.
Anne: Christie! Oh there you are. You were right here all the time. Why didn't you say something?
Christie: Why should I? I could see you perfectly well from under this shrub.
Anne: Well you could've made a movement or something. I've been calling and calling you, you little cow.
Christie: And I've been right here a metre away all the time. Not my fault you have poor night vision and no sense of smell or you would've noticed me by now instead of calling my name for the past twenty minutes.
Anne: Don't try and pin my human frailties on your lack of desire to go out of your way at all. Don't put yourself out Christie. We wouldn't want you to do that.
Christie: Of course not. Although I must say I don't appreciate your tone of sarcasm. And when's dinner by the way?
Anne: That's what I was calling you for. Dinner is served.
Christie: Well it's about time. Why didn't you say so? I've been out here slowly starving to death and you've been holding out for at least twenty minutes now pretending not to know I was here. You are so mean to me.
Anne: Yes. That's right Christie. I am the cruellest meanest most horrible dog mother on the planet and don't you forget it.

****************

Anne: I can't believe she chose right there to dig her sleepy hollow.
Bruce: Well you were the one who let her out the front.
Anne: I know. But why right there? Why did it have to be my rare grevillea she dug up? Why couldn't it have been in the weed patch or under something common and easy to grow?
Bruce: Because it's Christie we're talking about. You know she'd never give you the easy option.
Anne: Sigh. You are so right. God she's a little cow at times. How does she know?
Bruce: Because she's been sent here to test you.
Anne: Well whatever the test is, I'm failing…

****************

January 2010

Anne: Please eat something Christie. Anything.
Christie: I don't want to. I don't feel well.
Anne: Where are my car keys?
Vet: I can't find anything definite. I suspect it's her pancreas, but we'd need to send her to the specialists for more diagnostics. That can be expensive.
Anne: Whatever. It doesn't matter. I'm not ready to lose her yet.
Vet: She is twelve. And a bernese…..
Anne: Yes I know. But that doesn't mean I'm ready, nor is she.

****************

Specialist: We couldn't get a definitive answer. There is a large mass between her liver and pancreas. Given her age and her breed it's most likely cancer, and inoperable. It could also be the cause behind the neurological deficit she's beginning to experience in her hind legs. It's not painful but we can't be certain without further testing.
Anne: But further tests won't cure her will they?
Specialist: No. If you don't want to go further with testing, perhaps you best take her home.
Anne: And enjoy what time we have left?
Specialist: Pretty much.

****************

Anne: I'm not willing to give up without a fight.
Christie: Me neither. I just want this sick feeling to go away, because I'm hungry but everything I smell makes me feel sick.
Anne: Go your hardest. Life number eight hey beautiful girl?
Christie: I'm twelve mum not eight, did you lose track or can't you count yet?

****************

Anne: I can't help but think of that song baby girl. 'The sky is crying. See the streets are full of tears. Rain come down and wash away my fears. But all this writing on the wall. Oh I can read between the lines….'
Christie: It's just a rain storm mum. And just some crazy words in a song. It has nothing to do with me. I don't know why you're scared. Those tablets hidden in butter make my stomach feel better. Just keep patting me and you'll feel better soon too.
Anne: I wish it were so sweetheart. Oh I wish it were so.

****************

June 2010

Christie: Are we there yet?
Anne: No.
Christie: Are we there yet?
Anne: Yes we are. Do you remember this place?
Christie: I think so. Oh look! I know you - you are Keryn & Harry. This is where I lived once a long time ago!
Keryn: Oh she looks so good Anne - much better than how you explained in your email.
Anne: Well yes I guess I wanted to prepare you. I wasn't sure how she'd take a three day car journey.
Keryn: I'm so glad you called. Come in. Let's see if she remembers anything?
Christie: I know the kitchen and the dog door - but when did you renovate, and what's all that swing set stuff in my back yard and who are these small humans?
Anne: One of those small humans was a baby when you left. He was very allergic to you, which is why you came to live with me.
Christie: Whatever. Which sofa is mine and who's giving me a belly rub?
Keryn & Anne: I will!

****************

Stranger 1: Oh she's so beautiful. She made me cry when I saw her in the ring.
Stranger 2: Hard to believe she's twelve. Oh I hope mine get to live that long.
Stranger 3: Loved your article in the programme. She doesn't look like a naughty girl at all!
Anne: Ah well, looks can be deceiving hey beautiful one?
Christie: Hmm? Oh yes. Anyone looking at you would think you devoted your life to me. How wrong they are. If they only knew the hours of training I've devoted to get you to this stage. Mum, all these pats are lovely and all, but I am very tired. Can we go home yet?
Anne: Yes of course. I just wanted to show you off one more time. And what better place to show off than a national specialty?
Christie: Well I suppose. At least everyone here knows a good looking berner girl when they see one. And I am the best looking girl here aren't I? Even the judge said I was a special girl.
Anne: Yes you are. Without doubt. You are the most beautiful princess and I love you.

****************

August 2010

Anne: Christie you have to eat.
Christie: I can't. Everything I smell makes me feel sick.
Anne: Just try something.
Christie: I don't want to.

***************

Vet: It's been a few days. You've tried everything.
Bruce: Yes, But Anne thinks Christie is just being stubborn and if she keeps trying….
Vet: So who's the stubborn one? Look you can try this injection. It could make you win an Olympic sprint so if this doesn't work for her, nothing will.

****************

Anne: I've run out of options honey. If you won't eat, there's nothing more I can do for you to make you better. This is the final one. Life Number Nine.
Christie: I don't want to eat, it makes me feel sick. And I'm tired Anne, really tired.
Anne: I won't keep you here a day longer than you want to. If you want to stay you can stay, if you want to go I'll help you go. It's your choice.
Christie: What do you mean?
Anne: I'll explain…..

****************

Anne: I asked her. She said she wanted to go.
Bruce: Are you sure?
Anne: Come out here to her. You'll see.

****************

Anne: Christie, Honey? Daddy wants to see you answer the question yourself.
Christie: Okay.
Anne: Okay honey. Do you want to stay (opening one hand), or do you want to go (opening the other).
Christie: I'm nudging your 'go' hand mum.
Anne: See?
Bruce: (choking up) Ask her again. Swap hands this time, just in case.
Anne: Okay. Christie? Stay or go?
Christie: Go.
Anne: Go it is. You know we don't want that to be your answer, but it's your choice.

****************

Christie: Maybe I've changed my mind.
Anne: Christie my love. You can't. The vet is here and…
Christie: Yes but now you are preparing for me to go, and I always do the opposite of what you want, so maybe I'll stay.
Anne: This time you can't honey…
Christie: Are you sure?
Anne: Yes, sweetheart I'm sure.

****************

Vet: Oh she is such a good girl. She always was a good girl about getting needles.
Anne: She's still breathing?
Vet: Yes. It seems there's something here she's waiting for. Funny little thing, I wonder what it is keeping her here? I'll give her a second needle just in case.
Anne: Why are you waiting Pup? Is it because Bruce isn't here? Oh honey. We explained to you this morning remember? He said he had to go to work. It was an important day, he couldn't get anyone to cover for him and he said goodbye to you remember?
Christie: Oh yes, now I remember. That's right. He did.
Anne: I love you Pup Pup.
Christie: And I ….

****************

Anne: I'm on my way to work and sitting at the intersection waiting for the lights to change. I am struggling to keep it together this morning baby doll. I still have guilty feelings about playing God with your life. I know that humanely and logically I did the right thing by not making you go any longer without you eating any food and drinking little water. I know the signs of your body failing were evident in your weak veins when the vet gave you the needles. I know all that but still I doubt. I need a sign Christie. And not that weird waft of dog fart that drifted past my nose in the middle of the night when there was no dog in the room and that is was definitely one of your smells.
Christie: Hee hee. I thought that was a good one. If it had been subtle you wouldn't have smelled it through your blocked nose from crying. But what about the cloud and the star? You saw those didn't you?
Anne: Yes, well I confess I did. The world was asleep and there I was walking around the back yard at 3am - your favourite time to bark under the full moon and everything was lit up like it was daytime and there was that cloud that looked kind of like a dog laying down - like you. And then the shooting star went through the cloud and the breeze came and shifted it all…..
Christie: And so?
Anne: I still want another sign, honey. Just to be sure I did the right thing.
Christie: You did mum. Sigh. Okay. One last one for you but then I really have to go and I can't come back.
Anne: That's okay. Just one more then I'll let you go I promise. I just miss you so much baby girl. But it won't be forever will it?
Christie: No. It won't be forever. Turn on the radio.
Anne: (turns on the radio) Huh? You're playing me The Beach Boys?
Christie: Just listen to the words you idiot….

"Well its been building up inside of me
For oh I don't know how long
I don't know why
Something's bound to go wrong
But she looks in my eyes
And makes me realize
And she says
"Don't worry baby"
Don't worry baby
Don't worry baby
Everything will turn out alright
Don't worry baby…….."

Anne: Oh baby girl…. Now I'm crying too much to see to drive. But thank you sweetheart…..Sweetheart?

….Christie?............SILENCE….

Oh. Sniffle. You weren't kidding when you said you really did have to go this time. Another Grand Adventure is beckoning? Have lots of them darling girl. Bye bye. And thank you for a wonderful life together. I wouldn't have swapped a minute of it. Well, maybe except for the grevillea….

Farewell my beautiful Princess Miss Christie Belle. I love you.













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