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last updated 25february2008


October 10, 1996 ~ February 19, 2008

I thought I woke up to hear
your big paw steps walking near.
Padding across the kitchen tiles,
as you smiled one of your Berner smiles.
I thought that we might share a treat;
You loved Fig Newtons.. not too sweet.
Or we'd get a spoon and then would savor
Ice cream in your favorite flavor.
You'd lay your big head on my knee;
We'd share secrets, you and me.
'Cause when I was feeling sad,
If I rubbed your belly I felt glad.
There was no stress in my human day,
Patting you could not take away.
I listen for your paw steps on the floor,
I long to see your face once more.
But dogs pure souls are just on loan.
Soon, too soon, God takes them home.
I think He sends them so we'll see
a taste of how Heaven will surely be.
My funny, charming, faithful friend,
Our days together now must end.
But though it seems that we're apart,
the joy of you stays in my heart.
My tears will dry in a little while,
and then your memory will make me smile.
Until that day we meet again,
I'll see you in my dreams dear friend


This is Ernie; my soul mate; he is credited as one of the foundation dogs of Fivestar. Ernie let’s everyone know who meets him that it can be all about them but Ernie is King!!

Ernie was born October 10, 1996 and came to live with us eight weeks later. Ernie turned out to be our first show dog...bad bite and all, Ernie finished in 14 shows. We were so proud. Ernie never minded being behind second to his brother Billy in the show ring.

Carol chauffeured Ernie in the backseat and Princess Annie in the front seat of her .5 liter Mustang convertible until we eventually graduated to a van…….now he is my co-pilot. By August 1998 Ernie was an AKC Champion; he went on to win a few BOB's before his retirement from the Breed ring.

Ernie came out of retirement to show as a Junior Handler’s dog; and blossomed again at nine years "young", he achieved his Therapy Dog title, earned two Best in Sweeps at Regional Specialties, Highest Scoring Veteran in Obedience in Gettysburg AND his CD! Temperament, beauty AND brains! Doing obedience with my independent veteran stud dog wasn't always easy. On more than one occasion while doing the "off leash heeling" exercise, Ernie decided he needed to leave the ring for a drink of water. He also developed "selective hearing loss" and generally made it clear that I needed to work for this title! It was a challenge, but we did it together and had fun along the way! It has been said that if Ernie were human he would wear Armani suits and read the Wall Street Journal!

Ernie showed at the 2007 National Specialty "Run For The Roses" at 10 1/2 (in spite of having bloat, stomach tacking and spleen removal exactly two weeks before).

My soul mate! Ernie worked on his "bucket list" by going to New York two weeks ago, fell in love again. Unfortunately he was not able to make a full recovery from aspiration pneumonia…………such a great loss………..Ernie was a true ambassador for the breed………….he will be missed in his animal therapy program where he worked at a local hospital every Thursday night and the loss at our home is overwhelming!


You were once my one companion
You were all that mattered
You were once my friend and and soulmate
When my world was shattered
Wishing you were somehow here again
Wishing you were somehow near
Sometimes it seemed if I just dreamed
Somehow you would be here
Wishing I could hear your bark again
Knowing that I never would
Dreaming of you won't help me to do
All that you dreamed I could
You were warm and gentle
Wishing you were somehow here again
Knowing we must say goodbye
Try to forgive, teach me to live
Give me the strength to try
Help me say goodbye

written by M.E.Nichols

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