How it all began
The first Bernese Mountain dog in my life I saw in the fall of 1994. I had no idea what breed this beautiful, big, tricolor dog with soft fur and gentle temperament was but I was enchanted. Forever. Gilda was owned by a friend of mine and since the day of our first meeting I started to visit her often. I loved spending time with her. When in 1998 Gilda gave birth, my family decided to take two of her puppies- a girl and a boy, named Atta and Dark. They are my first dogs and my dream come true, my best friends I grew up with and I was the luckiest teenager in the world. Because of them I started to buy books about breeding dogs, dog- training and I started to be interested in more detail in the contact between dog and man. Thanks to Dark and Atta I met some of my most valued friends. Gradually, my interest in the Bernese Mountain dog grew bigger and was able to buy some of the most detailed books about the breed.
On 15.11.2009 in our home came our first purebred Bernese Mountain dog- our dear Adora (Arosa from Monastery Meadows). Adora is the first purebred Bernese born in Bulgaria and I thank her breeder Elena Mateva (kennel Monastery Meadows), who trusted the little treasure in my hands. Having Adora I became more interested in breeding and I started going to dog shows. Together we attended school for dogs and worked and are working on the contact between us. I met virtually, and later on in live with people from the Bernese world-famous breeders and judges. Being in touch with them brings me a lot of fun and useful information. Meanwhile, Atta and Dark grew older but they were still with us. I am glad Adora was able to communicate with them and I see in her some of the most beautiful features Dark.
The club life
In 2010 along with other breed fanciers I participated in the establishment of the Bulgarian National Club Swiss Mountain Dogs where I am the secretary and a Board member. I am glad that after such a long time of collecting information on how the breed develops in Bulgaria, we were able to bring the idea of establishing the Kennel Club to the end. The club highly values the typical Bernese temperament and all breeding dogs must pass a temperament test, something I totally agree with. I sincerely hope to continue working with people for whom the welfare of the breed and dogs are one of the most important things.
The new additions
It was not long after we said goodbye to Atta and Dark and on 11.09.2011 in our lives came beautiful Dobrin (Kappahegyi Favorit). I thank Jitka Horsakova (kennel Moravian Hurricane, Czech Republic) Lajosne Szekeres (kennel Kappahegyi, Hungary) and Aniko Istvan-Juhansz (kennel Zalaparti-Berni, Hungary) for the beautiful boy that we infinitely love. Dobrin is definitely my heart dog and words cannot express my total fascination about him.
We live in a country house near Ruse. Our village is surrounded by beautiful sights and we have a river flowing at the end of our yard. We have a son born in Jan’14. Raising a child with animals is such a blessing! I think that children’s contact with nature and animals is a must for them to grow happy and confident.
Our dogs are family members and they live inside the house. They have regular walks around our village but also in the town. They are well-behaved and socialized berners. I am a great fan of feeding raw, thanks to my friend Maria Rainer from Austria (Maria owns Dobrin’s daughter Carla Afrodita’s Hall of Fame). Maria is my guru in feeding raw and I will always be grateful to her!
Except for the Bernese, we also have two mix-breeds rescued from the streets, Roma and Roxy who lives with my parents. They are members of our families and bring colour into our pack. We also have a rescued cat- Kalinka. Just recently we added some chickens to our “farm”.
Breeding and judging
We intend to keep our breeding on a low scale, when and if we have dogs that a truly excellent representatives of the breed. We put great emphasis on the temperament and all our Bernese pass the club’s temperament test. We also have our dogs’ hips and elbows evaluated by GRSK certified specialists. In addition we do other health checks- patella, OCD, eyes, etc. When we have puppies they are born in our living room and I sleep in the same room for the first 3 weeks of their lives. We put a great effort in puppy socialization, as we have many visitors coming to meet the puppies. We also take the puppies to car rides to the town, so they are familiar with experiences outside our home.
In Nov’14 I successfully passed the test for national judge of Bernese Mountain dogs. I plan to continue my education in this field and hope that I can be of help to breed fanciers in Bulgaria and abroad.