Donna & Nemes
2013 Bergamasco Calendars are Here
All proceeds go toward BSCA Rescue, email email@example.com
An email sent to us from Cato's owner, Scott Amtsberg:
It is with a heavy heart that I write this because yesterday we had to say goodbye to our dear, sweet Cato. It was almost 14 years to the day that we picked him up at a dog show in Pennsylvania to begin our lives together. I remember it like it was yesterday. He sat in the flowers off to the side doing his own thing as if he knew that he wasn't like the others. He was right…
Just thinking about describing what Cato means to me and my family reminds me of something that was said by legendary big wave surfer, Laird Hamilton. He said that he always has trouble trying to describe surfing to those that have never experienced it firsthand. "It's like trying to describe a color with words to someone that has never been able to see." That's the feeling in my heart as I write this…
His full name is Clemente Catone dell' Albera which loosely translates into "the gentle nobleman from Albera" but to us he is simply Cato. Cato brought so much to my life. To think that we met his breeders Donna and Stephen by calling the phone number in the back of a magazine before the internet existed still makes me smile. Who knew that one phone call would turn into a lifelong friendship with two of the most passionate, dedicated and selfless people I've had the pleasure knowing. They were the ones that brought the Bergamasco to this country and they are the ones that brought Cato to me. How can I ever thank them enough? Because of them I was able to meet Maria Andreoli and witness thousands of people experiencing the breed for the first time through Cato.
I will miss the cold nose on the back of my leg when I go to the refrigerator. I will miss the leaning on my leg as a silent request for love. I will miss the big dog curled up under the dinner table quietly as we eat. I will miss seeing the joy in my parent's eyes when their friend put his head in their lap… especially during the tough times. I will miss those big brown eyes looking into my soul. I will miss that spot on your tongue. I will miss answering all those crazy questions in public when we're just trying to spend time alone. I will miss the seal bark… the silence is already deafening.
I find myself going on and on in my mind recalling the memories of the last 14 years with Cato in my life. There are enough stories that I could write a book about all the things he helped me see and do, and maybe someday that may happen when the pain isn't as intense. In watching my children deal with the loss of their friend I am content to follow their lead. To let the emotions wash over me and feel them as they come. When I was a veterinary technician dealing with the loss of someone's pet I was frequently asked the same thing. "Why does it hurt so much?" My answer was simple. "The pain you feel is proportional to the love you felt when they were in your life. " If you see me riding my bike past you on the street, listen closely. That whistling you hear is the wind rushing over the hole in my heart from the loss of my friend. What makes this all bearable? I know that a true shepherd's dog has gone home and will hurt no more.
Farewell my gentle nobleman. Until we meet again…
Most at a Canine Specialty would write and tell you who won at the ring, hoping that they can brag that they are the winner. I will let you know who won as well!
It was the 2nd year that the weather was questioning the day and it’s own intentions, should we stay cloudy, do we rain on the parade or should we let the sun shine on the Bergamasco Sheepdog Club Of America.
Actually the weather has no say in the matter, the sun always shines for the Bergamasco Sheepdog.
For the record during the Bergamasco Specialty the weather performed admirably working to show us our everyday life’s working A cloudy beginning, Rain to dampen the atmosphere, Sunshine to allow positive movement or growth, (To See Light At The End Of The Tunnel.)
Donna and I have been working with the Dell Albera lineage from Dr. Marie Andreoli starting with Fauno who would now be 18 yrs old and Gae 17 yrs old this summer 2012.
Luckily we have the off spring from our irreplaceable companions, but that is another story.
Actually it really isn’t... sitting here watching the Bergamasco’s come in to our small gathering with their entourage I am seeing coats of long, instantly recognizing the elders and their age, young Bergamasco’s of different coat lengths again helping me place the young in their appropriate age bracket. I realize by seeing the 30 Bergamasco’s of all ages and genders that we do know them and have seen them before, having lived with or have known the grandparents, mothers, fathers, cousins, siblings of these marvelous entities. We can’t help but feel that we know the offspring’s personalities of those that are now living among us. due to their extremely familiar appearance of yesteryear.
17 years ago in Italy, I took photos of the Bergamasco’s at Marie’s house to help remember the different styles, so our son Perry, photographed the Bergamasco’s present, to try to help preserve the type, style and structure of the many that we knew. This would help Donna and I verify that we were still working towards our goal.
After lunch the go around the ring at 1:00pm was called. 16 Bergamasco’s were there for the calling. With the 30 Bergamasco’s present at The Speciality I knew that today was a good day to see the results of working with many to hopefully preserve what we have come to know and love as The Bergamasco Sheepdog.
Would we be still be on the path that we took 18 years ago?
I watched the males and females travel around the ring, looking at their gait, their type, their style, their movement. Wanting to see if we have maintained their most fascinating adult characteristic, their fluid, gentle, strong trot that is particular to The Dell Albera Bergamasco. I was amazed and confirmed to myself, yes these are The Bergamsco Sheepdogs that we know.
We are constantly questioned: What style are you planning to present as your Bergamasco Sheepdog? How are you going to change them? What are your plans?
Our answer is:
To Maintain The Bergamasco Inherent Soundness,
Continue The Characteristics That We Have Come To Know
And Of Course Help to Resolve Problems As They Arise,
For Today And Tomorrow...
So who won the Bergamasco Club Of America Specialty Show: We all won!
Yes, Donna and I do believe in you and you have given us the gift to continue The Del Albera Sheepdog Of Italy, The Bergamasco Sheepdogs! “Rebel Coat With The Heart Of Gold”
Thank You For All Of Your Support!
We Enjoyed Your Company & Companionship!
Stephen & Donna DeFalcis