I’ve loved dogs all my life. My fascination with the beautiful tri-color Swiss breeds started in 2002, when I worked on a story for USA TODAY that featured Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs. When I discovered the Bernese Mountain Dog, I fell in love hard and knew that these beautiful hairy beasts would be in my life in a big way. And they certainly have been.
Teddy, our first Berner, competed in Obedience and Rally. He earned his Beginner Novice, Companion Dog, Rally Novice, Rally Advanced, Canine Good Citizen and trick titles. And he was a certified therapy dog with Therapy Dogs International and was always a welcomed sight at the local nursing home on our weekly visits there.
Ziva was my first show dog. She taught me so much about conformation. She became an AKC Champion and Grand Champion with every point owner-handled. Ziva also excelled in obedience and Rally, earning many titles in both venues as well as trick titles and a Canine Good Citizen title.
Our current Bernese Mountain Dogs are Gibbs and Spirit. Gibbs is five years old, has earned titles in Rally, tricks and has his Canine Good Citizen title. He has a beautiful calm temperament. Gibbs is a certified therapy dog with Angel on a Leash and has been a regular visitor at our local nursing home following in the footsteps of Teddy.
Spirit is 19 months old. I’m showing her in conformation currently and she is working hard in obedience and rally classes. Miss Spirit is every bit her name. She is quite lively, loves to learn and is always happy. Her tail never stops wagging.
There’s always a camera around.
I was a staff photographer for USA TODAY for 26 years. In all, I’ve been a professional photographer for more than 40 years, beginning with the Lansing State Journal (Michigan). I retired from newspapers in 2015.
I have now launched my own photography business, specializing in storytelling using both stills and video. You can visit my business site at EileenBlass.com.
I hope you enjoy BernerWise. You’ll find great stories and photographs, lessons learned and training tips for both dog lovers and photographers.