In Loving Memory of


Bernbrae's Rigadoon

January 9th 1991 to October 19th 2006

So much loved by Donna and William Hodous and Family


"Yesterday, October 19, 2006 our soulmate and dear, dear friend Riggs was set free. He lived 15 yrs, 10months and 10 days. His mind and spirit were game for more.....but his body would not allow it.

My heart is heavy because I will miss him so, but my soul is at peace because I know he is whole again. His spirit will always fill this house and will always, always be in my heart.

If it had to happen, yesterday was the perfect day. Bill and I were with him, the morning was quiet, the air was crisp - just the way he likes it, the birds were chirping contently, and we sat together knowing that we were sharing our last tender moment of unconditional love and heartfelt compassion. It was our 21st wedding anniversary and Bill and I looked at each other and said - this is the perfect day for Riggs to leave if he had to. Riggs was with us for almost 16 of our 21 years of marriage -- amazing!! He is truly part of us in a way no other animal will ever be.

I know the tears will roll for awhile - as I pass by memorable spots that were "Riggs", I'll always see him in those places. I will miss holding him and feeling his coat in my fingers, I will miss making eye contact with him from just about anywhere and feeling the connection in my heart, and I will always miss his "just being there" - he was always "just there" keeping an eye on us. These feelings will never leave me yet, I quicky find comfort in knowing how blessed he was to have led such a wonderful life..... how blessed we were to be the ones to share it with him. The good Lord is kind and merciful. Thank you God for gracing our lives with truly one of your most beautiful and wonderful creations in Rigadoon.

Riggs....Thank you for the dance - it was everything you said it would be.

Donna and Bill Hodous"


Riggs - A Celebration of Life

written shortly before his death but so many good memories of this wonderful Berner

"We have declared Riggs as the best dog we have ever owned!  He is going to be 16 on January 9th and although he has slowed down quite a bit, he still wags his tail almost wherever he goes, has a bright look in his eye, loves to eat, and still gets himself outside to do his job  (once in awhile he has an accident, but for the most part he is doing great)  He is truly an amazing animal.  This is his favorite time of year with the cool weather upon us.  It is not unusual to catch him rolling in the grass and even when he feels the energy, tries to run and take on the other 2 dogs.  He makes a short loping effort out of it and then decides he's had his fill.  :)  He is a classic example of a bright and with-it mind, trapped in a declining body.  He does have worse days once in awhile and has lost a lot of muscle and sleeps a lot but, I know he will tell me when he's had enough - we are soulmates.

You know, I still remember the day we went and chose Riggs out of the litter.....he had this perky look in his eye, and this happy little hop in his step - he kind of chose us as well.  We had to choose a name for him that started with R because it was the breeders "R" litter......every R name you could think of flew through the house including Riggs.....but we needed a good Registry name and what could ever go with "Riggs" ?!   Well, i found the fattest, most complete dictionary I could find and I turned to the R page and started reading.  After many flipping of pages, it was there i found the word "Rigadoon"  definition... "a spirited dance popular in the 17th and 18th cc"   Hands down -that was it!!  He was our Rigadoon....  And what a dance it has been!!!!  

His days were not all easy tho, At 6 months he was diagnosed with Erlychia - a tick born disease similar to Lyme.  Two rounds of treatments finally cured him.  At 2 years he had a malignant melanoma removed from his eyelid obviously before it had made its way anywhere else.  In those days we feared for what may lie ahead and how long our boy would be with us.  Well, worry never helped anyone so we chose to just live our lives..... and so did he. Fresh country air, room to run, and lots of love served him well. Of course, the kids taking him to the annual animal blessing at their school each year didn't hurt either!

The connection Riggs and I have is beyond words - it's like when we look in each others eyes.... we feel our souls, when we touch each other....we feel our hearts.  He has always been there for us, and he has always gone everywhere with us.  If we went Xcountry sking for hours - he ran the trails with us (when the kids were young he would pull them on a sled as we skied).  If we went island camping he was right in the canoe with us - ( the one time we tried to go canoeing without him we found him swimming behind!)  If the kids were out playing - he was nearby watching over them.  If Bill was out planting a field with his draft horses, Riggs was on the edge of the field keeping watch.  If we went on a horseback ride - Riggs ran along behind.  If I went to pick up the kids from school he was in the van to greet them.  If we went to watch the kids play soccer - Riggs was there keeping the other kids on the sideline company....Riggs came into our lives when Michael was Michael is 18, Rebecca is 15 and Mark is 13.  Riggs is truly one of the family.......   It is almost impossible to comprehend how fortunate we are to have been blessed with Riggs,  he has grown up with all of our kids and is so much a part of us that it seems even more impossible to fathom him not with us.  I know that day will come, I trust he will let me know when.  He has given us "love" in its truest form.  

Thank you God! Riggs has been a wonderful representative of the Bernese Mountain Dog breed!

Riggs and Family

Riggs with his Family

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RIP Riggs a Very Special Berner, indeed!

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