Berton, The Sweetest Vizsla

Bertie-Bert, you were such a good boy!

You were the sweetest friend.  You always took the high road and made us all so happy.

Remember when Vizzy and I came out to Utah to meet you and rescue you?  We both knew instantly that you were going to be an important part of the family.   We camped together as we drove back to Santa Fe. Remember camping by those tall Fisher Towers in Utah?  That was a fun place, and you were so good on your first night with us.  It was cold that night and Vizzy snuggled with you to keep you warm.

You and Vizzy were like two peas in a pod. Always together, whether playing, chasing butterflies, or snuggling by the woodstove.

(November 27, 2007, backcountry skiing in the Taos Mountains)

Your announcement at the Utah/Idaho Vizsla rescue described you as a “classic long-legged Vizsla.” You were a tall and lean pup.  As we explored the mountains driving to forever home in Santa Fe, Vizzy and I were blown away by how fast you could run.  You ran like the wind!

I would laugh when you would play “catch me if you can”, zooming like a rocket while Vizzy tried to catch you.  I could tell you were teasing and could actually run even faster if you wanted to.  Zoom-Zoom!

The day after you were rescued/adopted we visited the Piedra River in Southern Colorado.  Look at you, handsome pup!

Your first night at home in Santa Fe, with Vizzy.

Exploring your 5-acre yard, where you and Vizzy had a blast together.

Here you are running through fields of wildflowers in the San Juan Mountains of Southern Colorado

(July 3, 2007)

We had so much fun together, Berton. Skiing from the tops of mountains, exploring the forests, canyons, and rivers.  Mountain biking so many miles of trails.  You and Vizzy were amazing outdoor athletes.  You always had energy, even after 25-mile mountain bike rides!

Here you are with Vizzy breaking trail in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness. You guys like to keep moving on those cold winter days.
(January 30, 2008)

Here are you with Melinda and Vizzy in the back orchard.  Look at how pretty you are!
(November 23, 2007)

We adopted Squirt to complete the “Three Amigos”, the original three vizslas.  You and Squirt got along great.  He was an older guy when he was rescued.  Even though you and Vizzy were much younger than Squirt as a group you were very fast and fit.  Squirt was the short muscle-bound guy, Vizzy the elegant athlete, and you were the beautiful long-legged speedster.  One reason we got Squirt was to ensure that no vizsla would be alone after the other one passed on.

Sadly, Vizzy died way too young from cancer of the spleen.  That was a heartbreaking surprise.

I know it was very hard on you Berton when Vizzy passed away.  Remember that sad movie we watched, “Where the Red Fern Grows“?  I worried about this happening when Vizzy was no longer with you.  Squirt kept you good company though.  You were such an easy pup to get along with.  You liked to sit on the pile of sand in the sun and contemplate things.  I am sure you were thinking about Vizzy.

Vizzy liked resting his head on you.  You guys, the “Original Three Amigos” were super fun.  With you, we really explored the mountains and rivers of the West.

(May 23, 2009)

Vizsla on Santa Fe Baldy

Berton, here you are checking out the view from one of your favorite places, on top of Lake Peak.

(September 27, 2008)

Here you are with Squirt and Vizzy on top of the world after skiing up Kachina Peak at Taos.

(May 3, 2009)

Here you are Berton in your “backyard”.  What fun we had out here exploring the badlands.  How many times, how many miles, do you think you experienced out here?   You explored every nook and cranny, climbed every hill, and ran along every ridge.

(May 23, 2009)

Remember when we used to climb to the top of the Santa Fe Ski Area at night and ski down in the dark?  You were super fast and loved to race me.  I knew you had lots of speed left and you were holding back a bit, so as not to make the rest of feel too slow.

You actually won the famous “Vizsla Olympic Downhill” ski race.  Since you are such a sweet guy, you waited for Vizzy and I just before the finish line. The movie we made of that race is fun to watch.  Vizsla fans from around the world have enjoyed seeing you put on the afterburners and break the speed of sound coming down the mountain!

You were a super tall Vizsla, Berton!  Remember how you used to hog the entire couch, like this??

(November 6, 2009)

You are a beautiful boy, Berton.  Look at your soft floppy ears!

(June 5, 2009)

How far could you see, Berton?  The way you liked to look far away from the tops of summits and cliffs makes me think you could see forever.

(July 3, 2011)

As little Squirt got older I wanted to get you a younger Vizsla for you to play with.  That is when the “wild child” Penny, arrived. OMG, she is a riot.  She loved playing with you.  I know sometimes you would just look at her and roll your eyes…

She did take good care of you and earned the name “Nurse Penny”.  She really cared a lot for you and Squirt!

Penny can run super-fast, however, she never ran as fast you did as a pup, Berton, not even close.  You ran like the wind.

Here you are with Penny acting like crazy Vizslas at the river.  She really enjoyed playing with you, even in your older years you gave her a run for her money!

(April 19, 2017)

We had a lot of fun down at the river, didn’t we?

(May 4, 2017)

As you got older, Berton, you became all frosted and white.  You were still very fast and athletic though.  I loved watching you run through the hills and mountains.  You were even able to go mountain biking with Penny and me, leading the way and running like the wind.

Look at you zooming fast, who says old guys can’t run?

(May 13, 2017)

Squirt and you were good friends.  Squirt lived to be 21 years old and was active right up towards the end of his long life.   You and Squirt kept Penny in check, always showing her how to be more of an elegant well behaved Vizsla.

When Squirt passed away it was sad for all of us.  We knew that day was coming and you kept him company and a close friend for his entire life, Berton.

We all loved you Berton and enjoyed spending many days together with you as you fought cancer.

(December 30, 2020)

Since I never wanted you or Penny to be alone, we adopted Max.  He is such a big strong pup.  He reminds me of a big strong farm boy from Iowa. Quiet, strong, and keeps to himself for the most part.  He really liked you a lot.  I am sorry that he attacked you a couple of times.  He has this strange innate behavior of going after the “weak member” of the pack.  I disappointing instinctive behavior carried down from your ancient ancestors.   I am sorry he hurt you.  He is also sorry. He does not realize what he did or was doing at the time.

As you got older we found some black bumps on your mouth.  I wish I saw these earlier.  They turned out to be melanoma skin cancer.  Dr. Dan did an amazing job removing part of your jaw where cancer had spread.   You still looked super handsome, Berton.  That was over a year ago.

I worried that the cancer would spread.  It did.  You were such a strong boy and you faced your battle with cancer with courage.  When the melanoma showed up again, this time on your neck, I knew your time was limited.  I hoped that it was not too painful for you and we made that promise together that we would have as much fun as we could before we had to say goodbye to each other.

You loved exploring in the snow, especially with your warm coat on.

(January 1, 2019)

About 6 months ago I noticed your rear left leg, the “driver’s side” leg, was shaking a lot.  I was afraid to discover why, since I expected damn cancer had spread to your leg.  Sure enough, it had.  Bone cancer was found in the bones of your hip.  There was nothing we could do about it, and this was the most painful cancer.

You faced this painful challenge in the bravest way.  Each morning you told me you wanted to do a sunrise hike to our special lookout.  You were very strong on these morning hikes.  You loved watching the sunrise while Penny and Max explored way off in the distance.  On your good days, you would go explore with them.  They would always come back and check on you.

I remember when I took this picture of you as a pup looking at the rainbow that someday you leave us and go the “Rainbow Bridge“.  I remember hoping that day with the rainbow that this would happen after living many, many years together, Berton.  Our time together lasted 16 years or so.  It went by way too fast, although I have so many fun memories of you.  I will miss those and really miss waking up to you.   I am sorry you suffered some painful last few days.  Thank you for letting me know that your time was up.  We all thank Doctor Dan for helping you move on to the Rainbow Bridge, where you will see Vizzy and Squirt, and eventually me and Melinda, and all the other friends you made over your joyful life.

We all miss you Berton on our sunrise hikes. You taught me so much about life.  To live the best you can each day, as it was your last day.

Rest in Peace, Bertie-Bert.  You will always be in our hearts.

(August 25, 2021)

Berton, You Were the Sweetest Pup. This beautiful painting Melinda created greets me every morning.

8 replies
  1. Sharon Thoele
    Sharon Thoele says:

    Don’t know if I’ve ever seen such a beautiful tribute. I love how you knew the heart of your V’s and treated them with the dignity and respect they so deserved. Thank you so much for sharing your life with them. What a great family!!!

  2. Melinda beverly
    Melinda beverly says:

    What a lovely tribute I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your adventures. What a beautiful home and human he had.. .Run free


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