Sophie - Lintock Opium at Pasturegreen
27th August 2003 - 6th June 2009
Sire: Atlanticbell Diamond Via Cegshe - Dam: Lintock Kirsch

Sophie at 5 3/4 years pulling our Swiss CartWe dedicate this page to the memory of our beloved Sophie who left us at 5 3/4 years of age extremely suddenly to Cancer of the Lymph Glands, Lymphoma. She was our first Bernese and our only condolance is that she never suffered any pain when she passed away.

The story of our Sophie started for us on Tuesday 21st October 2003 when we collected her as a timid 8 almost 9 week old puppy. Sophie at 9 weeks oldWe traveled to Manchester on the Tuesday lunch time having managed to blag some time off work and set off with our wedding money, hoping that her breeder Sue Hammond (formally Southworth) would think us suitable owners to be entrusted with her pick of the litter. I remember the day as if it was yesterday. Needless to say we passed Sue's test, which consisted of letting all her adult Bernese into the living room to jump on us and came home with Sophie. I remember we got stuck in traffic on the M42 but it didn't matter as I was very happy cuddling Sophie on my lap. She was such a good girl and made no puddles, even though the drive took a good five hours.

Sophie at 4 3/4 years oldSophie wasn't just our pet dog she was our best working dog as well. She went everywhere with us and was quite a character. She always had to have the last bark on everything. In the show ring she always wanted to put her feet where she wanted and many a time I whispered in her ear to keep still, especially when the judge was eyeing up the class for placing. Sophie at 4 3/4 years old doing well in the Swiss Carting Class at the BMDC of Great Britain Garden Party 2008Later on we were very lucky to be able to purchase a traditional Swiss Cart and it wasn't long before Sophie was excelling in the carting. I think Sophie truly enjoyed the carting more than any other working activity and I know her tail wagged so much when she was harnessed up. We had such high hopes for the future for her in the carting and she showed great promise, which makes her early death even harder to accept. What ever she turned her paw at she did well at and would do to the best of her abilities. She would have excelled in the obedience had she not refused to sit for the allotted time in competition much preferring to lye down instead yet always did her heel work beautifully. I remember the day she did her silver Kennel Club Good Citizen award, she walked perfectly to heal on a loose lead, behaved perfectly during all the tests and once she knew she'd passed and I had her certificate she dragged me out of the village hall back to the others.Sophie showing at Windsor Championship Show at  1½ years old

Sophie started her show career on the 18th April 2004 at just over 8 months of age and won Best Puppy in Breed and 1st in Junior Bernese at her first show. She went on to win three Best Puppy in Breed awards before she was 12 months old. During her showing career she also won 2 Best of Breed Awards and 3 Reserve Best of Breeds and her shining moment was winning a 3rd at Crufts in 2007 in the Kennel Club Good Citizen Bitch class having actually qualified for Crufts in 2004 & 2006.

Sophie at 4½ years old with Harvey in the background at a little over 2 years oldDuring her showing & working career she won:

23 x 1st Places
23 x 2nd Places
24 x 3rd Places
22 x 4th Places
15 x 5th Places
3 x 6th Places
3 x Best Puppy in Breed AwardsSophie at just over a year old with Mervyn up on the North Yorkshire Moors
3 x Reserve Best of Breed Awards
2 x Best of Breed Awards

That wasn't all, she also achieved her Bronze, Silver & Gold Kennel Club Good Citizen Awards and was graded Excellent in her Character Assessment at the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain Working Day in 2007. During her short but successful carting career she passed her beginners carting three times and her intermediate carting twice. She won the Beginners Carting in 2008 at the Central Bernese Mountain Dog Club Open/Working Day and a fortnight later won Top Working Bernese at the Southern Bernese Mountain Dog Club Working Weekend an a achievement we are so very proud of.

Sophie at almost 5 years up in the Lake DistrictSophie wasn't a one trick dog, oh no she could excel in any activity she tried, be it agility, obedience, carting or showing. Over the years she learnt a whole array of tricks and could beg with both paws, commando crawl, sit beg, bow and perform sit, stay, down and up on command from a distance. When she wanted to attract our attention she would run though her tricks in the hope of a treat and nearly always succeeded. Even though she had very little practice around an agility course, year after year she always managed to do well in BMD competition and won her class a couple of times. She had a way of putting her trust in me knowing that if I was with her then all was OK as she certainly wasn't a brave dog normally.

Sophie at almost 5 years enjoying a river in the Yorkshire Dales with Harvey and AmyOver the years we holidayed all round the country with Sophie and enjoyed many walks and hikes. She loved to paddle in cool rivers on hot days and often rolled in nasty things when she thought I wasn't watching. She always knew when she was going out and would ensure she was in the car and later the dog van as soon as possible to ensure that there could be no chance of being forgotten. In the early days we had a Ford Mondeo with a boot. Sophie would sit on the back seat in a harness but on one particular day we were loading up the car to go on holiday and Sophie being Sophie was very eager to get herself settled in the car. As she couldn't get onto the back seat she jumped in the boot on top of the suitcases instead and just sat there, that was just typical of Sophie.

Sophie at just over 2 years with Mervyn over looking Lady Bower Dam in DerbyshireSophie had a thing about ice cream and many a time she dragged us towards ice cream vans whilst on holiday or out and about, we used to laugh and say she could sniff one out a mile away. Sophie was never a lady when it came to eating ice cream and instead of licking it would eat it in one mouthful not being that bothered if she didn't quite get all the cone as that part wasn't important. On one particular holiday we walked up Malham Cove a waterfall in the Yorkshire Dales. Many people don't manage to climb the waterfall let alone take a dog up with them, especially a giant sized dog like our Sophie. But on that day she put her entire trust in us, like she often did and as Mervyn and another walker lifted her up onto ledge upon ledge, she sit perfectly still waiting for the command to move. We have never since tried to climb the waterfall with any of our other dogs.Sophie at 2½ years with her son Harvey at 6 weeks.

We mated Sophie to Champion Fortonpark Frankie Goes to Meadowpark in the December of 2005 and 9 weeks later she produced her first litter, of which we kept our Harvey. 15 months later she had her second litter in May 2007 and had three lovely puppies to Fortonpark G' Day Bruce. She went on to carry a third litter to Champion Collansues Mexican Dream but sadly lost this shortly after I'd given birth to our Abbie. Sophie wasn't what one could call a natural Mother and not overly keen on having her puppies jumping all over her, she was far more willing to clean bottoms and let everyone else look after them.

Sophie at 2 3/4 years with her son Harvey at  4 months

Our Sophie meant the world to us and having lost her at such an early age, seems so very unfair. We are fortunate that she lives on in her puppies and hope very much that the next generation might be born this year. She was there to welcome both our girls into the world, having actually been at the birth of our Abbie and always felt that it was up to her to protect them from the evils of the world.

Sophie at 4½ years with Mervyn on the hard knot pass in the Lake DistrictWe miss her so very much and she'll always be in our hearts for ever more. She now proudly sits on my desk and keeps me company whilst I work like she always did whilst she was alive. The house is quieter without her and I don't always know when the postman is around, for Sophie really didn't like the postman or any delivery driver in fact along with hoovers. We have planted a memorial rose called Sophie Perpetual in a large pot on our patio and have had our van sign written with a huge photo of Sophie pulling her cart, Sophie at 2½ years oldwe like the idea that she'll still continue to travel with us all over the country.

God bless you Sophie, thank you for being our best friend and the most perfect first Bernese anyone could possibility wish for. Thank you for being so wonderful and trying your best at everything and giving us such wonderful memories. Our lives were certainly enriched for knowing and loving you and you will always have a special place in our hearts. I hope you're entertaining everyone over the rainbow bridge. Loving you forever Mummy & Daddy, Chloe & Abbie and Harvey & Amy xxxxx


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