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Brighteye Sizzlin Dragonfire


Sophie came to me from Debbie Hotze, Brighteye, her breeder. As a baby she exhibited a most wonderful temperament which she carried through her entire life, she was sweet, lovable, happy and a true pleasure to live with. When she arrived she just fell into our dog family as if she had always been there. She was fun to play with, she loved life and everything else.


I was working her in obedience, she did well getting her CD in just a few shows. I working with her in Open obedience, but I then I discovered agility. We jumped into that with all six feet. I was training Travis the Papillon and now, Sophie. Sophie was doing a great job training we were showing in USDAA Novice, then she took some time off to have a litter of puppies. Six lovely, beautiful girls! Well, she had them, weaned them, came home from Illinois to resume her agility training and career. At the time USDAA was the only game in town. My 21 1/2 inch tall Sophie was jumping 30″ in USDAA. A pretty impressive accomplishment your not so typical type of agility dog. However, Sophie was small, light and quick on her feet.


She did a good job getting over those high jumps. We had been chasing the AD title, getting close, took off time to have the pups. Then one lovely weekend in the big USDAA Tournament in Fairhill MD, she got that last Novice leg and now she was Sophie AD. As I stood in the ring and they announced those who Q’d, I was thrilled because this also meant that Sophie was the very first USDAA titled Bernese in the USA! I decided that I was not going to pursue the AAD, times were tighter and she no longer needed to jump 30″. NADAC and AKC now had agility programs in place and the jump heights for her would only be 24″ and lower, so I moved on to those venues with Sophie.


At some other point in her life, I decided that she needed to try for a carting title. So we trained on the streets of Queens, New York City, in the beginning pulling our red Radio Flyer wagon all over the neighborhood. She got her NDD, Novice Draft Dog title with that wagon. I thought we could aim for the DD title, which meant she had to pull her weight along with the cart in a more complicated and off leash set of exercises. I contacted Dog Works and purchased the competition cart, which was much lighter and then she was pulling less. Well, the DD, Draft Dog title, was not for her, she attempted to try for it a few times, we had problems in only one of the ring exercises. Then she had gotten spooked once in training when the cart overturned, so I stopped training and doing competitions. She had done so much for me, she did not need to do anything else to prove herself, she already was the champion of my heart. Sophie also did advertising work to add to her portfolio of accomplishments. She posed for an Iams coupon, she along with Travis the Papillon was in a Saturday Night Live skit, titled Name That Dog. If you ever see that episode on TV, she is the dog called Trooper, she was the perfect star.


Sophie was the most wonderful of companions, she gave everything when I asked and was more than happy just to lie at my feet and be close to me. She raised the new young Paps that joined the household, the baby Border Collie and always had the same sunny disposition.


In December 2002 she started coughing so I took her to the vet and the x-ray showed that she had lung cancer. At 12 years of age which is truly venerable for a Bernese, this was not a surprise for this breed. She truly was quite healthy throughout her life and I have to credit her breeder with bringing into this world a great line of healthy long lived Berners. With supportive care, love and plenty of cookies, she lived for another three months. I gave her the peace she deserved when her life became only a struggle to try to breathe comfortably. She is still here with us, I still step over her as I walk through the living room, she will always be here, always and forever.

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