27 February 1993 -- 14 February 2001

Baer was our giant -- a happy Berner-mix who stood 30 inches at the shoulder and looked like his mother's side of the family. He earned his United Kennel Club Companion Dog title in 1995; he was a Canine Good Citizen and a registered International Therapy Dog.

Baer died after an unsuccessful surgery to correct bloat. We will always miss him.

Berners are a gift from God for us to love and share our lives with while we are both here on Earth

... his sister Aara


Gentle Baer

- Baer, the epitome of huggable, lanky, mostly Berner. In the eight years he graced us with his presence, he became a litany of endearing behaviors, providing his mountain family ample opportunity to create long-lasting nicknames:

- Irresista-Baer, Clark-Baerble, Rudolf Baerintino, and The Shiek of Baer-a-bi, for when he rolled on his back to show off his stomach or when he sat on the couch (no feet on the furniture);

- Leana-Baer, for his man-staggering Berner lean;

- Jealy-Baer, for his alarming, jealous walrus-grunts and growls when Dad was reading aloud or when another member of the pack was getting 'undue' attention or when someone (usually Lu) was trying to trade for his squeeky stuffed Tiger;

- Happy-Baer when he had his squeeky Tiger or was running through the woods or when he pulled a wagon-load of kids;
- Silly-Baer when he tried to corral all the squeek toys from the others;

- Weenie-Baer, for when he always thought Lynn was going to cut off his feet with the nail clippers;

- Stiffa-Baer, like after our 18 mile hike, or later, when his lanky body started to need regular treatments of rimadyl;

- Scardie-Baer, when confronted with the threatening sight and smell of an elk hide hanging on the wall or when ran home when Tilla and Aara discovered the porcupine, or when found he hid under David's bed from thunderstorms;

- Baer-Baer, to comfort him (and us) when he was hurting or distressed.

- Bullwinkle-Baer, for his goofy, knob-headed, totally open friendliness, captivating every child, even when he towered over most and for captivating every adult when he performed his Standing Couch Flop, in which he would stand in front of his victim who, sitting on a couch, would then pet him and soon find Baer's 130-lb body flopped onto their lap - without his feet leaving the floor;


The Position

David: Baer was more of a little child at heart. When all the other dogs would get a toy, he would get all jealous and take all the toys for himself. One of the names we called him was Suffulafagus - you could love on him all day and he was very cuddly. Whenever there was a lightning storm he would come upstairs to try to crawl under my sheets cuz he was scared and wanted to be comforted. He always acted like a cat trying to sit in your lap so we would call him a lap dog. He would always love to go for walks and run. When he was really happy his huge tail would go around in circles. He could never be replaced by anyone in my life. He brought me true joy. I am proud to say that he will always be my best of friends. I will miss him very much.

Baer's Last Day
The lifespan of a dog is like the brief twinkle of a star. The influence of a canine friend on one's soul is forever.

George: I remember the first time I took Puppy Baer into the woods. About 30 feet from the house, he became completely determined to return home. I took me at least 5 minutes of fruitless persuasion and frustration to realize that he wasn't being stubborn - he was just scared. Of course, he soon came to love the woods. He was always a Happy Boy chasing Katya down the paths or bounding through deep snow. He would display the most mournful howls if he was left in the house or backyard while the others were free in the woods. Baer showed me my need to be patient with a simple heart, how to begin to open up to an unconditional love, and, with his departure, how to grieve. He was a blessing from above, where he now must be.

We all miss you -- gentle, big ol' Baer-Baer.

To anyone who has lost the most special friend in this life:

Our hearts ache and our eyes cry -- may your present sorrow be overtaken by wonderful, loving memories.

Lorien Dell Bernese