Candid Canine Corner

Bernard, 4, is part Pyrenees and part St. Bernard. ‘We bought him as a puppy to watch the animals on our farm,’ Sarah Cavadini says. ‘When he was working we seldom lost an animal to a predator. Our house sits on a hill overlooking the barnyard. Evenings whenever we would look down at the farm we’d see Bernard sitting at attention, watching and listening to whatever may be out there. Occasionally we’d hear his deep gruff bark in the middle of the night and be relieved knowing he was handling whatever may be transpiring. Anytime I’m around him he puts his head under my arm to get a hug; he’ll follow me all around the barnyard. He puts up with the geese biting at his side when he’s lying in their way but he did stop tolerating the turkey. He now puts him in his place when he gets cocky.’ She almost lost Bernard a year ago; emergency veterinarians said there wasn’t much they could do. She took him home to take care of him – and he slowly began improving. ‘Now it’s a year later and he’s become a spoiled house pet,’ she says. ‘He sleeps in the garage on his heated mattress and sneaks in the house when he gets the chance. Mornings he’ll run down to the barn to get his daily table scraps, which is his favorite part of the day. Besides the usual foods dogs love like ham bones and meat scraps, he loves pizza and McDonalds French fries. We now lose chickens to raccoons and other predators on a regular basis but we’re okay with that because we still have our Bernard.’

Bernard lives with Sarah Cavadini near Mindoro, Wisconsin.