The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Nashoba Valley (BMDCNV) was founded in 1981 and is recognized as a regional club by the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America and the American Kennel Club.
There have been many changes since a handful of fanciers brought the organization to life, changes to the running of the club, the scope of the club, the membership of the club. Unchanged is the purpose of the club - “to disseminate information about our wonderful breed, and to provide activities that will be of interest to all our members.”
In March 1981, Bev Barney sent out a newsletter to 130 families throughout New England that reportedly owned Bernese Mountain Dogs. Application had been made to the AKC to approve this new regional club, under the name of “Yankee BMDC.” By the time this first newsletter was printed and mailed, the name of Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Nashoba Valley had been approved. The first major concerns of the club were, of course, money, and planning a Spring Fun Match. Later that year, a Fall Fun Match was added, setting a precedent which continues to this day.
The second newsletter was mailed in April 1981, with added artwork of a Berner head study on the front cover. The newsletter was restricted to four pages, as that was the maximum that could be sent with an eighteen cent stamp. By now, officers had been appointed – President Bev Barney, Vice President Sharon Kullman, Secretary Ellen Nott, and Treasurer Pat Dreisbach, joined by Board of Directors Barbara Hug, Donna Menger, and Jean Pilibosian. Later that year, Eileen Brouck was added as a Director.
The names have changed, but this structure remains today, with one additional director seat. The first President’s Message was printed, announcing a supported entry in June, the adoption of a constitution and bylaws (which have been overhauled at least once since then), and the necessity of closely following the AKC guidelines for establishing a specialty club.
A listing was made of all the known Champions in New England – a total of 30 dogs, the New England Companion Dogs – numbering three, the one New England Companion Dog Excellent, and the one New England Tracking Dog. Bev Barney’s dog Am Cn Ch Sunnyhills Helga V Ulrica Am CDX Cn CD Am Cn TD made all four lists. Today we continue to honor and recognize the many new titles earned by our members not only in confirmation, obedience and tracking, but also in draft, agility, herding and other events, demonstrating the true versatility of our beloved Berners.
We owe a great debt to these founding members for laying that groundwork, as we still enjoy the fruits of those labors today.
With gratitude to Club member Pauline Merrick for chronicling how the BMDCNV came to be.