Celebrating our Berner Veterans

In Loving Memory of


Galligade Oregano Lord

May 3rd 1998 to February 24th 2011

Owned, loved and now so very sadly missed by Neil and Michaela Simmons-Lackner

Harvey and the sitting duck!

9 weeks ago, I lost my Berner boy, Harvey. Yesterday he would have celebrated his 13th birthday.

I've lost Berners before, but never one I couldn't talk about it. Just couldn't do it. I stared at the laptop screen for hours...days...weeks. How does one do justice to so many years of bliss? How does one adequately summarize nearly 13 years filled with laughter, fun, pride and so much love? Where does one even begin to state the million of things that one misses?

Believe me I know I was lucky - I lost my other Berner boys when they were so much younger ( 6 & 7).Harvey had a full life, a WHOLE life. And losing him, well it wasn't like that horrible bolt out of the blue with my other boys. But this also means I loved him for so much longer...which brings a total different grief and a different kind of sorrow.

I never believed in reincarnation until I met him. He was an "old soul", for sure. There were simply too many things he knew that I had never taught him. And you know that uncanny feeling of "deja vu"? Unlike my other dogs, the very first time I saw Harvey as a tiny pup, I didn't have that "oh, how lovely to meet you" feeling. It was simply "oh, there you are, I've been looking for you". On both sides. He looked at me, snuggled in my arms and that was that. He was my soul mate.

He still is.

Happy birthday, my Love, wherever your spirit may be. If I lived to be a 1000 years, I couldn't ever thank you enough for your love, your immense beauty both inside and out. If a was a poet I couldn't convey what you meant to me. Except....I know you knew. And I carry your heart in my heart.

Harvey ( Galligade Oregano Lord ) May 3rd 1998 - Feb 24th 2011 Alimentary lymphoma



Update January 8th 2011 - Owing to the delights of me catching the NORO virus, this may reach you a little late. Nonetheless, Harvey & I would like to wish you a most blissful, exciting, happy & healthy New Year. May it bring you nothing but joy and laughter. The photos below depict the source of much of MY joy & laughter. There is nothing remotely spectacular about those photos except that I took them 3 weeks ago when Harvey was..... ( insert imposing drumroll sound) 12 years, 7 months and 16 days old.

If ONLY I aged half as well as that dog of mine.......

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Happy 12th Birthday, Harvey

I've just celebrated my 12th birthday last Monday. Pretty nifty for a Berner, my mum says. Since most of you couldn't join the celebrations - and actually just WHERE were you, huh? I like BIG parties, hmph - I thought you might enjoy these "paparazzi shots".

Ready to celebrate with me?

Here we go: Any good birthday starts with a joyful roll in the daisies. I soooooooooo love birthdays....

As my humans are are bit strange, they always insist on singing me a birthday song. This leaves me no option but to sing along with them in order to drown out their woeful off-key musical offerings. I, of course, have perfect pitch. Happy birthday to meeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Finally, finally they did shut up and gave me my traditional " Birthday breakfast": cheese sandwiches. Nice touch....but hold the candles next time and just add more cheese. What's the point of candles?????

Presents next. HOW my owners disappointed me on this front. Look, THIS is what I got. Pathetic. A purple thing which squeaks? It wasn't even wrapped. For my 12th birthday?! Do I look retarded or something. As I am a charming and polite Berner, I pretended it amused me. For about 30 seconds, anyway.

Luckily, my delightful AND thoughtful friends Ali & Gary made up for this profound disappointment and brought me a PROPER present. One I could unwrap myself. How I ADORE unwrapping presents! So exciting.

Still, at least my mum made me a cake . Look at all those candles. Cool, ey?

Even better she let me ...erm...."pre-clean" the spatula AND the wisk AND the bowl. Usually, I have to share this highly enjoyable task with Neil who selfishly claims first -lick privileges of bowl and whisk, but not today! Aaaaaaaaaall mine. Alone. Yum... Not sure why mum still insisted on washing them afterwards. Trust me, those utensils were utterly spotless.

Annoying as my humans tend to be I had to pose virtually aaaaaaaaaaall day long. Gawd, being a supermodel is booooooooooring. Still, here are my "official" 12th birthday shots. From morning to night all I heard was "look at the camera, Harv'". Yawn. Mum says, I'm still the most beautiful dog in the Universe. I concur...but what's "still" supposed to mean, huh?

Not too shabby looking for a senior boy, me thinks. Agreed?

I am now confidently striding towards my 13th birthday. But first....first....I must go & hide mum's shoe somewhere. Punishment for that pointless purple squeaky toy must be. Sorreeee...Where shall I hide it? Under the rhododendron bushes? Under the garden swing? I'd welcome some input here, peopl

Happy 11th Birthday, Harvey

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I took this photo last evening on the same walk I took him 10 years earlier when he was 1.
He moved & looked no differently ( and no, I'm NOT wearing rose tinted glasses!) than an entire decade ago.
Those are the jubilant, good news.

Happy 10th Birthday, Harvey!

Sadly Michaela and Neil's other Berner, Rupert, was lost too very soon to cancer a few weeks after these photos were taken

Rupert's Tribute Page is here:


Harvey in Austria, January 2009

Posing, posing

Harvey in the snow

Me and my boy!

Michaela and Harvey

For more pics of Harvey and Rupert on the Friends Gallery in earlier and happy days

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