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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Newfoundland (dog)

The Newfoundland breed of working dog developed in in the Dominion of Newfoundland (which is now part of Canada), possibly from crosses between native dogs and the Great Pyrenees dogs taken to North America by Basque fishermen in the 17th century.

A 16-month-old Newfoundland named Smoky, By Flickr user DanDee Shots -Wikipedia

The ancestors of the Newfoundland were probably the Great Pyrenees or the Greater St. John's Dog brought to the coast of Newfoundland hundreds of years ago by Basque fishermen.

The dog ended up as companions to the Beothuk Indians on the island, and it was on Newfoundland that the breed type was set.

Newfoundlands are great swimmers because of their waterproof fur, their webbed feet and their strong muscles. They were originally used by fishermen to haul nets and sailors to carry goods and would jump overboard to save people from drowning.

By Bobby Mikul -Wikipedia

Newfoundland was first imported into France and Britain in the eighteenth century and became popular as ships' dogs.

During his famous 1815 escape from exile on the island of Elba, rough seas knocked Napoleon Bonaparte overboard. A random fisherman's Newfoundland dog jumped into the water from the fisherman's boat and kept Napoleon afloat until he could reach safety.

Lord Byron owned a beloved Newfoundland dog called Boatswain. Sometimes when the poet's female admirers requested a lock of his hair he sent one from his dog.

Lewis & Clark's trek covered about 8,000 miles between 1804 and 1806 in which they explored the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Seaman, a smart Newfoundland dog, purchased by Meriwether Lewis for $20 before the trip started, is mentioned frequently in the diaries of their journey, but his ultimate fate is unknown.

Statue of Seaman at Columbia View Park in St. Helens, Oregon. By Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives, Wikipedia

In 1849 Emily Dickinson's father gifted her first and only dog, a Newfoundland called Carlo. It was, presumably to accompany her on the long walks she enjoyed in the woods and fields of Amherst.

The largest dog to live in the White House was during the tenure of President James Buchanan between 1857 and 1861. The dog in question was a Newfoundland named Lara.

In his famous story Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie tells how Nana, the Darling children's Newfoundland pet dog which served them as nursemaid as well, had been shabbily treated by their father. Realizing how unkind he had been to the animal and feeling ashamed of it, in self-inflicted punishment he went to live in the doghouse. When the tale of Peter Pan captured people's imagination, it perpetuated the phrase "in the doghouse."

Source Europress Family Encyclopedia 1999

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