A short description of the Wolfman’s and the Female’s country of birth is in order at this point, especially since most of their canine companions, including my big brother Ziggy, descended from this tiny nation, no larger than East Tennessee.
Modern Switzerland is a federation of 26 states, called cantons. The nation recognizes four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh (a modern language descended from Latin and spoken in the southeastern mountain valleys of the Swiss Alps).
The Canton of Berne has one of the most progressive cantonal constitutions. It was the first canton in Switzerland to declare the freedom of information a fundamental right and governmental obligation. The City of Berne is the capital of the canton as well as of the Swiss Confederation, or Confoederatio Helvetica in Latin. The initials CH, appears on nationality plaques alongside license plates of Swiss motor vehicles, in the international currency code CHF for the Swiss Franc, and in URLs ending with .ch to designate Switzerland’s top-level Internet domain.
Those are the people living in the canton and city of Berne.
And, there are the four-legged ones!
They where crucial to the Female’s and the Wolfman’s wellbeing, which eventually led to their becoming US citizens.
The Berners (the people)
They speak the slowest, most charming and distinct dialect of Swiss German. Some presume it affects the peoples’ thinking or moving.
Quite the contrary.
Berne has produced some of the quirkiest minds and talents, attracting among them foreign geniuses like Albert Einstein, who lived in the old city before moving to America.
During the year the Female lived in the City of Berne, she met some of them. They might have been genial in their own ways, mostly male, many of them long gone. For her own neediness, they were and remain dispensable; didn’t really matter in the long run.
Some Bernese humans, though, fundamentally influenced the Female’s life. First and foremost, her gentle and caring Bernese grandparents, Alexander and Martha Kocher. Also many artists, among them greats like Paul Klee, Ferdinand Hodler, Franz Gertsch, singer-song writer Mani Matter, and the incredibly prolific Adolf Wölfli, who drew zillions of masterpieces while confined in the clinic Waldau, near Berne.
Then there are The Four, the four-legged ones.