23 February 2013 - Very Sad News

We were all very sorry to hear that Bertie went to Rainbow Bridge today. He was much loved and will be greatly missed by all his family and everyone who knew him.


Albert is a small Retriever Cross who has now been neutered. Basically he is a Golden Retriever in minature, about the size of a Springer Spaniel. We think he is about 7 or 8 years old and has the sweetest nature. He seems to be very quiet and he loves the car. He was a stray who, sadly, nobody claimed.

Simon met him from the transport at silly o'clock, together with Susie, and he is now in foster with Andy and Val and the lovely Smudge in the West Midlands.                            


Albert is doing very well with Andy and Val but to get a more rounded picture of him, we decided to let him spend a night and a day with Simon so we could ascertain his reactions to living in a family situation.

Simon says "Albert is a very sweet unassuming dog, so much so that, the majority of time, you don't even know he's there, except when you happen to trip over him. He's one step up from a stuffed animal! He has the occasional potter about the house and investigation of the garden but generally he's happy to find a comfy spot and watch life go by.  

 He's very easy going and we've had no problems introducing him to our three other dogs who have readily accepted him into the pack. He shows no interest in playing with them and is happy just to say a doggy "hello" and then settle down.

He's also met our three children (ages 13, 11 and 3.5) and has been thoroughly road tested by them. He allowed Thomas our youngest to hug him and stroke him and there was no sign of any stress or agitation on his part. The other two have given him plenty of fuss and Emily gave him a big hug and he didn't even bat an eyelid.

He seems to have a healthy appetite, although he has not got many teeth and he will gently take food from your hand, with no snatching from this elderly gentleman. He's also fully house trained and shows that he needs to go out by pacing, there's no barking or scratching from this old man. 

Out on the lead he walks well but he does have a habit of stopping every 20 yards or so then, with a bit of encouragement, off he goes again. Andy and Val who are fostering him think he has spent his life with an elderly or infirm person, which I'm inclined to agree with, as that would explain this habit.

All in all Albert is a lovely old boy and I think the name suits his character. If someone is after an unassuming, easy to care for and gentle dog then Bertie is the boy for the job."   


We had a very uneventful journey home - both he and Shadow settled down in the back and didn't utter a peep! He was quite curious when we got home and was following us around a bit - took a liking to Danielle's bedroom which is downstairs (liked the bed even more!!). He ate some of his tea, but didn't wolf it down.

We left both Bertie and Shadow with their beds in the dining room (although they normally have the run of the lounge/dining-room and play area). I had to get up to Bertie a couple of times initially as he kept sticking his head out of the cat flap and whining/barking. The first time he did go to the loo outside but the second time he just stood there (our neighbours on one side often have friends round at the weekend and they are outside making noise until quite late and I think that what was unsettling him). I then pushed the door that leads to the back door to (leaving enough room for the cats to get out) and we never heard another sound from Bertie.

He seemed pleased to see us this morning - when I left him the last time he was laying on the floor, so I put a blanket down for him and that was where he was this morning, with Shadow in his bed!! He went for a walk with Shadow, Danielle and Phil this morning and Phil was very surprised. Apart from stopping to sniff occasionally he didn't stop at all and seemed to thoroughly enjoy his walk. We went to church this morning and he seems to be fine being left with Shadow (Shadow seems calmer if anything with Bertie here) and he has been pottering around with us since we have been back! He is tending to come when called and likes plenty of fuss. He is not particularly interested in treats at the moment but we shall see over time.

With the way he just sat down when we tried to take him from Val yesterday, we thought he might take some time to settle at all, so we are pleasantly surprised at how he is behaving so far. The children all adore him already, so the early indications are very positive.


Wendy says. "Our biggest concern when we took Bertie home from the Reunion in September was the fact that he didn't seem to like to walk for very long without breaks!! This has proven to be an unfounded concern - he loves his walks with Shadow and is an absolute sweetie both on and off lead. His temperament is so relaxed and laid back that even Lauren, our 4 year old, can walk him on lead without any problems. Bertie gets on very well with Shadow - the way he is so laid back seems to be a calming influence on her and they potter quite happily together. He is very good in the house - no accidents and doesn't pester for food, although eats his meals happily. He does have a lovely little character - if we suddenly stop making a fuss of him, he will look at us and bark - as if to say "don't stop, I was enjoying that!"

He is settled in the house, especially when lying on the sofa, or in an armchair, but always has a waggy tail to welcome us. However, he doesn't craze us for attention, but settles quite happily wherever he chooses.

We took him to be groomed and trimmed a couple of weeks ago and he enjoyed the fuss and attention and came home smelling lovely!! They felt he was probably nearer 9 to 10 years old rather than about 7 or 8, but who knows?

To summarise, we feel really lucky to have been able to take Bertie home with us. He loves visitors and greets them all with a waggy tail and likes everyone, young and old. He can have a tendency to bark and chase our cats - however, will only sniff them if they don't run from him!!"


Wendy says "Shadow absolutely loves the snow and enjoys catching snowballs and rolling in the snow and generally playing with the children. Bertie is not quite so keen on the snow - happy enough to go out for a walk for a little while but finds it a little too cold on the paws for his liking!! However, he does enjoy barking at the cars as they try to get through the snow.

Bertie is very settled into the household - his favourite place is either in an armchair or on someone's lap! He enjoys going for walks and sniffing about but is quite content to be at home sleeping."



Wendy says "Thought you would be pleased to know that Bertie has settled in like an absolute dream. He and Shadow get on very well and he is so content and laid-back, it makes us realise that, much as we loved him, George just wasn't the right dog for us (even though I still miss him).

Bertie loves his walk and loves his fuss, but is quite content when at home just to sit in one of his favourite chairs (unlike Shadow, she doesn't feel a dog bed is for her!!) or else sit on somebody's lap and have a cuddle. He is very affectionate and loving, but never a pest, although if you are eating, he will sit by you and watch, ever hopeful. He is a friend to anybody that comes into our house and barks when he feels he is not getting the attention he deserves!

When out and about he does like water, although we try to avoid it at this time of year! He is friendly with other dogs but, whereas Shadow will dive in and greet/play, Bertie stands to one side and barks!

He is just the right dog for our family and thank you so much for letting us have him, and making us wait for just the right dog."


2014 Irish Retriever Rescue