When we got Bernie as a puppy, we though we were getting a lazy, docile breed of dog that would be a good friend to our boys, and have a calming effect on the family. Back then we lived on a small acreage in rural York region with chickens clucking around the yard, and coyotes eyeing them from the distance. The odd car or truck that went by usually waved, and the neighbours were as likely to pull up on a riding mower as a backhoe.
Then we moved to the city.
We live in a sleepy part of town, with large lots and nice homes, but Bernie still thinks a city lot is tiny.She thinks that people walking through the neighbourhood are invading her space, and she really doesn't think much of being lead around on a leash all the time. She seems like a country dog stuck in the city. Ever since we arrived here she has been tense, or intense, and is rarely the lazy but watchful dog that Bernese are known for being.
Our neighbours have complained that she barks incessantly when we are out. She chewed up the espalier back in the winter. She is nervous around *some* of our guests and has to be muzzled when someone new comes over. She was snapping at our au pairs, and has lunged at other dogs. Heaven help us if there is an unexpected knock at the door. Then she is like a wound spring letting loose.
So we have been toying with the idea of rehoming her to someone who can work off some of her nervous energy, or maybe someone in the country. Yesterday I got an email from just such a person.
Now its decision time. Despite all her quirks, its hard to reply to the email. She can be quite calm, and likes to sit beside me with her head on my lap when we watch TV. She likes to play and wrestle. She does protect the kids, and keeps an eye on them, and allows them to crawl, and step on, and sit on her.
This is tougher than I thought.