In the early 80's the first PC was introduced to the world and Martin had one. In 1984 the collection of health information finally got
a name - The International Bernese Mountain Dog Database. It was introduced to the fancy in 1986 at the Fort Mason National Specialty.
Some of you may remember Martin and Barbara in their Swiss garb working tirelessly at their computers for many National Specialties
thereafter. These were not the lovely little laptops we know today, but rather big cumbersome PCs, CRTS, printers and miles of wire.
It was truly a labor of love to haul this equipment across the country every year, but they believed in it and shared it with anyone
who would come by to watch information on their dogs light up the screens.
Sometime in the early 90's a Steering Committee headed up by Barbara Packard and Margrit Baertschi was formed to determine the future
of the database. The name Berner-Garde was born. The mission of ensuring a long and healthy lifespan was crafted. Others were called
to flush out the goals and structure of an organization that could truly impact the lives of Berners. Martin and Barbara Packard,
Teresa Glen Godfrey, Anne Gause, Lori Jodar, Stephanie Merchant, Susan Muick, Marsha Queer, Jerry Uhl and Nell Ward came together to
study the best course of action.
In 1994, an organization was created, by-laws were drafted. The Berner-Garde Foundation, Inc. was incorporated in 1995. The IRS
approved the 501 c 3 status in 1996.
For many years Barbara was the only data operator. She spent hours at her computer with her Berner Lucki at her side. Margrit Kitchen
became the first File Manager. But what a cumbersome job it was to enter and send out information.
In 1998 Roxanne Bortnick with the help of Randy Karl introduced a new platform for the database converting Martin's dBase5 to the cutting
edge Microsoft Access. Immense improvement but still tedious compared to today's standards.
By 2000, the Internet was exploding. The goal became to provide a web based database that anyone could access from anywhere in the world
through the Internet. Roxanne put out a call for help and Gary Galunas answered. On February 22, 2004, he took us live with the conversion
to a server based system using Microsoft SQL Server.
As the database caught on, Pat Long, File Manager, guided us through the intricacies of how to submit and verify data.
In this 6th decade we hope this expansive collection of data compels you to include your dogs as part of our rich history. Every dog has
a story to tell...leave a legacy for yours by telling it in the database.