Pinja - In Memoriam

pake

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Just three weeks before our Bernese Mountain Dog Pinja would have had her 6th birthday we had to finally give up. We have had to fight against arthritis, spondylosis and - since last September - lymphoma and as one might have suspected the last one became the last battle. The treatments were going fine until she had a endometritis (ie. womb inflammation) that provoked the cancer cells again. A bit too much for one dog, eh?

Fast forward 2-3 weeks and she started having pain on her leg (the one with the re-swollen lymph node). We had to make the painful decision and asked a (familiar) vet to come and give the final needle after the weekend. Luckily the weekend was without any (physical) pain and we (me, wife & dog) had the opportunity to enjoy final last days together doing things Pinja loved.

So it all came to the end on February 3rd and we're still missing her every day. What has helped us both is that we've (fortunately!) recorded lots of videos of her. I used to laugh how we had way too many ("useless") videos of her but now I feel quite the opposite. 350 videos (4 hours) isn't enough after all. I wish we had more...

I initially thought it would be too painful to watch those videos but luckily I was wrong. Every time we watch those videos the good memories pop up and we start smiling. Therefore I decided to buy a 10" tablet and placed it on the wall with videos playing in random order. Once you press the power button, the videos start to play. I was planning to make it motion detecting so that motion would be enough to turn off the screen lock and the videos would start to play but I don't think if that's needed after all. You only need to press the power button once and touch the screen and that's it. Not that hard, eh? o_O

So, on with it... I spent a few nights editing a "best of" video from the 4h footage. Most of the footage was filmed with E-M5. The rest were with smart phones, Lumix GM1 and GX800 and a couple even with the E-M5III. The document turned out to be 45 minutes long and since no one (else) would be interested in watching that I made a shorter version too. After a lot of work I managed to squeeze it just under 15 minutes and I had to leave out lots of great videos. But I feel I managed to portray her happy, joyful and intelligent character well. Also her out-of-this-world, wicked sense of humor comes out well. 🥰 (FYI, I think my favourite part of the video starts at 2:45. So if you only want to watch one scene, I suggest that one. It sums up her personality pretty nicely.)




As this a photography forum after all I decided to edit this topic to include photos as well.


13086338894_0e391cd103_h.jpg EM511916 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
The day we first met. She was only 2 weeks old. It was love at first sight.


13983938004_b83d6b4e6f_h.jpg EM513390 (2014/04) by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
The day Pinja come to our home. She already showed her "hate" for the environment (she loved destroying trees/plants etc.)


14166126257_97dd402c36_h.jpg EM513865 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
This was before we found out about her faulty elbows. Carefree times that didn't last too long.


14926841094_9e5797f7a9_h.jpg EM517742 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Unlike almost all of our other Berners, Pinja didn't care much for hugging/cuddling. But she did enjoy sleeping on the sofa using our feet as a pillow.


15649337394_8fe37b07ba_h.jpg EM521295-2 (2014/12) by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
A winter portait before she turned one.


16544584194_f997992c6f_h.jpg EM524684 (2015/04) by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Because of the faulty elbows, we had to work hard to keep her muscles in good shape. That meant exercising 5-7 days a week (we would have preferred more day offs but she "demanded" her workout every day). We were lucky that she had good appetite and was easy to motivate to do things with treats. She also turned random things into patterns. After the second time we went swimming in the dog swimming hall we bought her a cow's ear. The next time we were leaving the hall she was sooooo disappointed because she didn't get her "traditional" cow's ear so every time after that she got her ear after each swim. She was good at inventing new traditions. And she never forgot about those! One or two times qualified as a tradition and those were to be respected. :)
We went swimming in the hall once or twice a month and during the summertime we took advantage of the many lakes in our area and went swimming 3-6 times per week.


18150288821_9edf30c386_h.jpg EM524930 (2015/04) by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
My parents have had a kennel for ~30 years and have many Berners there. In this picture Pinja is with Ami who is ~6 months younger and has been here easing our pain for the last 1,5 weeks now. Hate to say it but this happened too soon and we're taking her back to my parents next weekend. We're still not ready to move on yet. But she'll probably come back here during the summer to fill the void (until we get our own puppy at some point).


19145460553_82932465d1_b.jpg P1000363 (2015/06) by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Here's Pinja swimming with one of her best friends: Paavo the Pyrenean Mastiff.


19937760784_b82f204ca8_h.jpg P1010690 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
And here they are after swimming lessons in the summer.


26187829686_548e31c954_h.jpg EM545849 (2016/01) by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
One of many winter portraits. January 2016. Before turning two.


27037230304_b57a485a47_h.jpg EM546679 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
And one from the following summer. May 2016.


31624250203_7d4b87ecdb_h.jpg EM552928 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Don't you just love her winter portraits? I know I do. The colors of a Berner are perfect for the snowy scenes. December 2016.


32356087181_e5b9b46b07_h.jpg EM552987 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
She loooooved jumping into the pool. I don't think (well... I'm sure of it actually) it was good for her elbows but it was hard to prevent her from jumping. January 2017.


38538651041_ace89dc249_h.jpg 026-P1030411 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
We rented a cabin 200-300 km away from our home and spent a weekend there. Just miles before we arrived to the cabin our car broke down. Luckily my wife's friend (who lived in that village) was a life saver and loaned her car for the weekend while ours was in the repairs. It was a close call but they did manage to get it repaired in time and we were able to pick it up on the day we were supposed to head back home. A vacation that could have been a total disaster turned out fine. Also got this (intentionally "overprocessed") photo of Pinja there that I love. 2017/10.


32212261847_5489b02478_h.jpg EM5B7447 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
I previously said I love the colors of a Berner in snow scenes. Well... I love 'em in the autumn time too. :) 2018/10


47112445512_ee25c3b204_h.jpg Pinja in studio (EM574194-2) by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
I decided to learn how to use flashes better for portrait work and Pinja was my favorite model. 2019/01


49596297393_fc4b9a8c51_h.jpg Pinja - EM502050 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
One of the last (hundreds) photos. Treatment for the lymphoma was approaching the halfway and we knew we might have weeks or months left. We took a lot of photos during the last months. 2019/12


49621559452_d8caa75099_h.jpg Pinja - EM100005 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Just got my new E-M10II and who else to use as the test subject for the camera but our precious little beauty? 2019/12


49647953457_8dbba682d8_h.jpg Pinja - EM502658 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
Another new camera and another set of test photos. This time with the E-M5III. (2020/01)

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pake

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Teemu
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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49661599447_6c343ce1ec_h.jpg Catching Treats #03 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
A photoshoot idea I had had for months but finally managed to do. She was faaaar better at catching the flying treats as these photos would suggest. I was throwing the treats with my left hand while trying to aim with the camera on my right hand. (2020/01)


EM502949.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

A very familiar sight. When she wanted snacks (cashews were one of her favorites) she made us aware of that. It was kind of hard to NOT notice her with the green ball in her mouth. If that wasn't enough she would wave her paw in front of us. And if even that didn't do the trick she would start growling or crying. She knew which strings to pull - and when. (2020/01)



49752024998_ce2f5c9b42_h.jpg Pinja - EM504044-2 by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
One from the very last photo shoot with Pinja. Shot just a few hours before the saddest moment of my life. Still seeing this brings tears to my eyes. (2020/02)


EM504810.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

She loved stuffed animals. She adopted and collected them - as you can see. What was surprising is that she didn't break them. She did remove the tail from 2 or 3 of them though but that was it. She got so excited every time she saw (or got) one of those animals so I think she got 3 or 4 new family members during the last 2 months. For some reason we forgot to get her a new one for her last day. Here's her "puppies" watching her chew on the last bone ever. I think she gained 2-3 kgs during the last weekend because we wanted her to have the best possible weekend she could - and since she looooved to eat she got quite the treat... (2020/03)




49281195743_0de71a66a1_h.jpg Family Portrait (2019/12) by Teemu Paukamainen, on Flickr
And here's one of the most precious photos I've taken/created. A family portrait made of three separate photos. (2019/12)

ATM we're creating a photo book and once it's done, I will order a huge print of this picture (and the EM504044-2) too and place it on our wall.


(EDIT: No idea why the links to Flickr nor exif data don't work anymore. I guess they have broken something over there...)
 
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turbodieselvw

Mu-43 Veteran
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Jun 29, 2010
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486
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Ottawa
I'm so sorry for your loss. That is a wonderful tribute. We are into week 6 of lockdown and I have had a hard time without my dogs. I had three Brittanys, all rescues, and had to put my last one down a year and a half ago. Time heals but it still hurts.
 

Bushboy

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Hey! Fantastic effort.
And what’s with my dog Wilson, lining up to go pool jumping in Finland... He’s so sneaky.
 

golftango

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Nov 13, 2012
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So very sorry for your loss. They are with us such a short time, but affect us our entire lives.
 

John King

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Apr 20, 2020
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Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Very sorry to hear of the death of your obviously much loved companion.

Our companion creatures are such a huge part of our lives and family.

Our two cats are litter mates, and now over 20 years old. Both have knackered kidneys, leaky heart valves, arthritis and a bit of dementia.

We know it's coming, but are dreading the day(s). They are so very attached to each other, and to us.

Regards and sincere condolences, John.
 

pake

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Teemu
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Thank you so much for all the comments - much appreciated!

Very sorry for your loss. This was a lovely tribute, and I hope these beautiful images of Pinja bring you comfort in the days to come.
Thank you. Most of the time watching the videos (or looking at the photos) brings me into joy but at times they do make me miss her even more. But I guess it gets better day by day.

We know it's coming, but are dreading the day(s). They are so very attached to each other, and to us.

Regards and sincere condolences, John.
Thanks! Obviously we knew we didn't have too much time either so we lived "accordingly". Especially the last months we really tried to live life to the fullest with her. Too bad we tend to forget to cherish the days in normal conditions and afterwards regret it. Even though I have some regrets I can honestly say "we did the right things". I hope you still have many, many good days/weeks/months/years left. And I suggest you do as we did: live every day as it could be the last one. :thumbup:

So sorry for your loss, Teemu. Some great pictures in there. Your Pinja looked like a happy pup.
Thank you. Yeah, happy she indeed was. And it was contagious too. It was impossible to be unhappy around her. :)
 
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