1) Thoreau writes in Walden: "A man is
not a good man to me because he will feed me if I
should be starving, or warm me if I should be
freezing, or pull me out of a ditch if I should ever
fall into one. I can find you a Newfoundland dog that
will do as much."
2) Some folks who owned Newfies:
Sir Walter Scott, James Boswell, Herman Melville,
Humphrey Bogart, Bing Crosby, Robert Kennedy, and
Robert Frost all owned Newfs. A Newf had accompanied
Anna to the court of Siam. Richard Wagner owned two.
And while King George III owned a Newf on his side of
the Atlantic, Samuel Adam's Newf, QueQue, picked
quarrels with the redcoats on the other side. The
first dog to cross the American continent, a Newf
named Seaman, belonged to Meriwether Lewis of the
Lewis and Clark Expedition.
3) Every Newf owner knows of the monument and tribute
Lord Byron gave Boatswain, who "possessed all
the virtues of man without his vices. . . ."
The poet concludes his Inscription on the
Monument of a Newfoundland Dog with the
Ye! who perchance behold
this simple urn,
Pass on - it honors none you
wish to mourn:
To mark a friend's remains
these stones arise;
I never knew but one, - and
here he lies.
4) In Carlisle, England, on the seventh April 1832, a
certain Joseph Thomson sold his wife by auction to
Henry Mears for twenty shillings and a Newfoundland
5) The Newf, great swimmers, have saved an untold
number of lives from drowning. Sir Edwin Landseer
depicted them in this role in multiple paintings.
6) In 1805, a Newf participated in the Battle of
Trafalgar, serving on the English frigate H.M.S.
Nymph as ship dog. The dog was the first member of
the boarding party to reach the deck of France's
Cleopatra when she struck her colours.
7) On the other side of the Napoleonic Wars, during
his 1814 escape from Elba, Napoleon, who could not
swim, slipped and fell undetected into the dark
waters beside the ship. A Newf leaped in and rescued
8) The story goes that in 1919 the coastal steamer
~Ethie~ began to break apart on the rocky coast of
Nova Scotia during a blinding snowstorm, the ship
listing, her lifeboats washed away, there seemed no
hope of rescue. On the shore they could not launch
their boats because of the pounding surf and one man
from the ship had already drowned attempting to swim
ashore with a rope. The captain gave the next rope to
ship dog Tang, a Newf. Tang succeeded in gaining the
shore. A hawser was drawn and every passenger and
crew member was saved, ninety-two in all. Tang
received the medal for Meritorious Service from
Lloyd's of London.
9) And in Barrie's ~Peter Pan~, the family's
nursemaid is a Newfie named Nana.