The World's Cutest Dog Turns 1 Year Old!

Nellie, the World's Cutest Dog, Turns 1 Year Old!

December 12, 2017

...Okay, so we're a bit biased. But we know that you love our girl just as much as we do, so we wanted to share a bit of this celebration with you!



As many of you know, the sweet and sassy Vanellope “Nellie” VonQ joined our Run of the River family this past year. She was born on December 3, 2016 and came home to us in late January 2017. She is a beautiful dog with a big personality. She is loving, funny,  playful, playfully stubborn, curious, social, and loves to be a part of the family. Our Nellie girl has officially celebrated her 1st birthday so we want to give you a little year-in-review, answer some of your frequently asked questions, tell you more about our favorite pup, and of course, show off lots of photos!


Nellie looked like a fluffy stuffed toy at twelve weeks old! 



1. What type of dog is Nellie?


Nellie is a Swiss Bernese Mountain Dog ("Bernese Mountain Dog" or "Berner," for short), a breed that hails from the Bern region of Switzerland.


2. How much does Nellie weigh?


Nellie is about to tip the scale at 105 pounds! We expect that she may gain another 5-10 pounds in the coming months. She is large for a female Berner, which is exactly what Steve and Jan wanted!


3. How did you pick her name?


The Bollinger family has a long-standing tradition of giving their pets Disney-themed names. Our beloved Fanny’s name was short for “Fantasia,” the classic Disney film. Nellie’s name is short for Vanellope, inspired by the character Vanellope von Schweetz from the Disney animation movie, “Wreck It Ralph.” Everything fell into place with this name and we just knew it was the right fit! Our previous Berner, Fanny, was given the full name Fantasia von Carlsbad, as a nod to her Swiss roots and her first home, Carlsbad, California. The “von” also transferred perfectly to our Bavarian home in Leavenworth! The pieces of the puzzle aligned perfectly and the family was in unanimous agreement that our next pup’s name would be inspired by Vanellope von Schweetz! Officially, Nellie’s full name is Vanellope vonQ, in honor of her litter number.


4. Where did you get Nellie?


Nellie was bred and born in Edgewood, Washington, by the lovely folks at RavenRidge Bernese Mountain Dogs. Her mama is Maija, a champion bloodline Berner. She has three brothers and five sisters from her litter!



Some of Nellie’s Likes:

  • Tom, Ed, and Fred…her smiley face chew toys!

  • Mr. Chicken toy (it's a love/hate relationship if we're being honest)

  • Sprawling out on the cool floor during the summer

  • Cuddling by the fireplace with Jan in the winter

  • Hikes with Steve

  • Meeting other dogs

  • Walking in town

  • Squishing awkwardly up against doors/walls/people

  • Visits with her brothers and sisters

  • Lorena, who helps at the Bollinger house

  • Seeing her (human) family after they’ve been away

  • Smiling when we come home (yes, she smiles and shows off her top teeth!)

  • Sitting in Katie’s lap

  • All her friends at the inn!


Some of Nellie’s Dislikes:

  • The vacuum

  • Being told to come inside

  • When people are sad/injured

  • Suitcases by the door (she knows when we are leaving!)

  • Thunder

  • Sharing attention

We sure are fond of this special pup and we are so grateful for the love you have shown her from the moment she entered our lives. We are looking forward to many great years with the official mascot of Run of the River! Nellie can't wait to greet you on your next visit!


Here is a look at our first year with Nellie in photos. We've included some of our favorite pictures, beloved memories, behind-the-scenes shots, and hilarious outtakes. Enjoy!




 The first time you lock eyes...

 ...and she comes running right to you! *heart melting*


 Nine Bernese Mountain Dog puppies right here at Run of the River?! BEST. DAY. EVER.

(Don't worry if you can't find all nine. One or two were always hiding or unwilling to cooperate!)

Can you spot Nellie? 


That's our girl with the green bow, posing up top and looking around! She truly seemed to know from the very start that this was home and we were her family.


Nellie's first official photoshoot to announce her arrival at Run of the River! It definitely took a bit of coaxing! We quickly got the shot and scooped her right back up! 

Nellie LOVED to be carried/snuggled. She would just melt into your arms. 





 Learning all about her role as ROTR's Official Mascot and Goodwill Ambassador.


Everyone's favorite Valentine! 



 Nellie's favorite part of photoshoots has always been running to Katie (behind the camera).