This Story Telling Page is Dedicated to
Panda Bear and Dandie Lion
Two of the most remarkable Newfoundland Dogs
I have every known
Did you know:
Newfoundland Dogs were frequently used as Nannies?
One story found in “This is the Newfoundland” goes like this…
“A lady was once recounting to a friend the virtues of her Newfoundland dog, Lion, which lay on the carpet at her feet. When she told how he watched the baby, played with the children, and how high a price she set on him, Lion’s tail would go up and own in delight at the praises bestowed upon him.
But Lion has one serious fault,” said his mistress. The tail ceased to thump the floor, and Lion’s face wore an expression of great concern. The lady continued, ‘He will come in with his dirty feet and lie down on the carpet, when I have told him time and again that he mustn’t do it.’ Lion, with a dejected and humiliated air, arose and slunk out of the room, his tail hanging down, completely crestfallen.”
I can attest to the fact that this breed has a high degree of sensitivity to the ones they love. Their loyalty is certainly unquestioned. One of the reasons we chose this breed was for the very reason that they love children and have ‘care giving’ in their DNA.
The Newfoundland is gentle in nature, but if someone shows aggression, especially towards the ones they love, they will immediately attempt to sort out the problem. It’s comforting to know that once the offender stops the offending behavior, the dog will also stop his assertive response behavior.
Our Newfies took care of matters in interesting ways.
Using a loud bark or just intimidating one with size ( they do know their size and use it well to their advantage if necessary) – maybe sit on the offending person, or place front paws on ones shoulder and speak firmly into ones face, slobber and all… Lots of fun!
Here is one of my ‘Newfie Nannie’ stories, followed by more stories.
Panda Bear Does Water Rescue
We soon discovered that the instinct to water life save was very much alive in Panda Bear.
Panda was about 4 months old. It was a hot summer afternoon, and our son and his 6 year old friend were playing with Panda in the back yard. We had purchased a kiddie pool for our water dog, and he was thoroughly enjoying it. All three were running in and out of the pool, splashing and having a great time.
Then the friend decided to really cool off and immersed himself into the water, with only his face showing. Panda wasted not time. He jumped in with the boy, put his head under the water and carefully grabbed hold of the our little friend’s swim trunks. Then Panda gently pulled him out of the water. From then on Panda made sure the boys stayed on their feet in the kiddie pool. He took his job very seriously.
This was the first of many interesting water experiences with Panda Bear.
A Little Bit of History on the Remarkable Newfie
Before we took Newfies into our family, our daughter did some research. Here is some of the things she discovered.
The Newfoundland dog originates from the American black wolf. Algonquin Indians domesticated the black wolf. These wolves were different from other wolves because they could be easily tamed and were affectionate.
The Newfoundland was developed by the Indians before the white man came to Canada. Sioux and Apache Indians used a similar dog until until the horse replaced them in the 1600’s.
Illustration taken from:
A black wolf was similar in size to the today’s Newfie, with a shorter outer coat. He was large for a wolf while the females had a splash of white on their chest. The black wolves would act as a beast of burden for the Indians. They were also pets and hunters for them. Their natural instinct was to retrieve game and catch fish.
The Fishing Instinct
The wolves’ fishing method was to stand near a small waterfall and catch the jumping salmon with its mouth. Most Newfies still do this instinctively. Another fishing method is to lie quietly by a stream with one foot dangling in the water as a lure. When an inquisitive fish comes alone, the wolf or dog will grab it with its teeth.
I’ve watched our Newfie dangle his paw in the water. I never saw him catch a fish.
He did have a thing for fish. We lived near a salmon running creek. On one of our daily walks, he discovered the fish and this became his obsession. He found the most unusual ways to escape from our fenced yard to get to those fish. As it was spawning season, some of those dainty morsels were already dying. Panda started to smell very very fishy.
That’s how we learned about his r0ndevues to the creek. He would sneak back the way he left without leaving a trail…other than the stench.! It could have been some time before we discovered his comings and goings, had it not been for the that tell tale fishy smell.
Why Are These Dogs Such Good Pets?
Dog Fancy magazine says this about Newfoundland dogs.
“Calmness is one of the traits that make theses huge dogs nice pets, even for city-dwellers. They sleep a lot and adapts easily to almost any family living pattern. They love affection and attention, but are not as demanding as most hyper breeds. There was never a nicer, more comfortable ‘easy chair’ and slippers by the fireplace’ dog.”
I could not have said it better.
They behave themselves around visitors, and are extremely sensitive to praise and disciple. They are also very willing to learn and I found them to be highly intelligent. They have a natural guarding instinct (not aggressive) especially with children and small animals.
Newfies are very courageous and certainly not cowards. Their size and deep growl is enough to warn any intruder. Their growl is not a bluff; if pressed they will protect those they love.
Here’s a Story taken from This is the Newfoundland p 192.
One of my favorites…
Combat Trained Newfie Save German Spy’s Life!!
“Writes Mrs. Travinek:
‘On this dark night, Judy received a phone call from a German major. her wanted her to come over to his office and translate a Russian story that they had picked up. The 9 PM curfew was in effect and all the town activities had ceased.Knowing Judy would have to pass through the ghetto, the major told her to wait for a jeep that he was sending over. But Judy enjoyed walking and she refused the escort service.
Pluto (the police Newfoundland dog) watched Judy getting ready to leave the police station and he began dancing around as dogs do when they think that they are to be included in any human endeaveour.
Judy told him to stay in the police station where he belonged, but Pluto kept circling around her as she walked through the doorway. She couldn’t understand what had got into this otherwise obedient dog, who always responded to her commands without fuss or much ado.
She became impatient with Pluto and scolded him back to his usual place by her desk with a much sharper command to stay. Then she hurried out into the deserted street.
Judy had walked a few blocks, passing tiny shops, old and asleep in the silent night. Her thoughts were quiet, too, as she mused over the lovable Newfoundland who tried so hard to go along on this urgent errand.
She was brought to a sudden halt when two men jumped out from a doorway. They grabbed her arms and pushed her against a wall. She groze with fear, sensing that her assailants were Russian partisans intent on stopping her from reaching the German military office. She also realized that the telephone line had been tapped.
Her pistol was useless in this situation with a man’s hands gripping her throat. Judy quickly glanced down the empty street, but all she saw was the moon glowing brightly.In its illumination she thought she saw the silhouette of Pluto galloping down the street. In hopeful relief, she had enough breath to scream, ‘Pluto, kill!’ and then passed out.
Later, Judy regained consciousness in the German Major’s office; quite surprised indeed to find herself lying on a cot with a doctor standing by. Her reassurance returned when she discovered Pluto sitting by the cot. She reached out to pet her old friend among strangers in this bleak room. Her fingers told her that Pluto’s muzzle and neck were sticky-wet and, when she looked at her hand, Judy was sickened to see it was streaked with blood.
The German Major came into the room and asked the doctor about Judy’s condition. Except for neck bruises and a sore throat, Judy was well enough to talk about her shocking experience. The Major told Judy that Pluto had killed the mand who nearly succeeded in strangling her. The other assailand was captured and hospitallized. Part of his body had been ripped away. Following this encounter with the enemy, Pluto was formally assigned as Judy’s official escort at all times. “
Until next time….