Socializing with Friends and their Newfs
The Newfoundland dog world is a small and unique one, so Newf owners tend to develop relationships and friendships with one another. We have been very fortunate in that most of our group live within a reasonable travel time so we get together regularly with our dogs. The scenes at these gatherings are quite remarkable. It is quite the sight to see six to eight Newfs (or more) plus their owners all having lunch and socializing on a deck on a summer day. Our fellow Newf owners, at least the ones in our immediate group, are all as fanatical about their dogs as we are. It is quite an interesting sight to see 4 or 6 humans sitting down to dinner to enjoy a nicely decorated table, a succulent roast beef or similar tasty meat, with nicely baked potatoes and fresh colourful vegetables. Sprawled all over the kitchen floor and under the table you may find anywhere from 2 to 6 Newfs snoring away. It would seem as though they are all sound asleep, but you can be sure that they all have one eye on that table looking intently at those humans, just waiting for a sign that they have finished their meal. They know that when the meal is done, the plate licking begins. Now this sight of a bunch of humans letting these huge dogs clean off the plates (often 2 Newfs on the same plate) is a sight to behold, but in fact is a common occurrence in our group.
Of course, owners of most breeds of dog enjoy this friendship and camaraderie, but because of the unique personality and the massive size of the Newf, this social aspect is a little different. Not only do we share the personality and character of our dogs but, strange as it may seem, we are all very proud of the fact that our dogs are droolers and shedders. In fact, occasionally we brag about whose dog drools the most or who has the dog with the most unmanageable coat.
Newf owners are also a little different in that most of us eventually realize that one Newf is simply not enough. We may start out with the intention of having A dog but it does not take long before we are expanding our families. After all, we must make good use of that central vacuum system. So you often will see families with 3, 4, 5, and even more Newfs
When we get together either for formal events or casual get-togethers, somehow water is often involved. Newfs love water and when you get them together at a lake or river, it usually turns into a water fest with both dogs and owners frolicking like children at a swimming pool. A Newf’s water rescue instincts can sometimes present unique problems. We know Newf owners who, when at a cottage on or near water, must first put the Newf into the house before taking the children for a swim. This is because the dog will not allow the child to go near, or heaven forbid, in, the water. They make it quite evident that in their opinion this is not a safe place and will constantly herd the child away from the water’s edge.
In the past we have gathered for Newf Picnics, Newf Swims, Newf Walks and even a Newf Baseball game – this is when a group of Newf owners play a normal game of baseball but each player has a Newf on leash. The Newf must stay with the player throughout the game, from pitching, batting and running the bases. Of course the game is seldom taken seriously and often during the game you would find one of the players in the outfield laying down on the grass wrestling with his Newf oblivious to the baseballs falling all around them.
Another of the fun events we have had was an annual Newf Picnic. One of the most memorable of these was one year we had perhaps twenty adults and ten or twelve Newfs. We were gathered at a small park which was situated along the shores of the St Lawrence and had a small beach. We had arranged several picnic tables so as to create one large eating area. These were always a pot luck arrangement where everyone brought one or two of their favourite dishes. This day we had all this food laid out on three or four tables and were set to settle down to eat when a sudden storm came roaring down the river. Within minutes the winds had whipped up to a point where we all witnessed birds flying backwards. The rain came down in torrents soaking everything in sight. It all lasted a mere ten minutes then was gone but by then everything and everyone was thoroughly soaked. Amazingly this failed to dampen our spirits and we all had a great time and still talk about it today. It also goes without saying that the Newfs were in their glory during this downpour. All that water !!!
The next picnic we held in this park, the following year was just as interesting. At some point between the two events, the owners of the park had changed the rules to limit use of the park to the residents of the immediate area. (and none of us fit into that category) So at the next picnic, in our ignorance, we set up everything as we had done in the past, tables together and all the food laid out.. It was a beautiful sight, all those colourful dishes, people and Newfs all smiling and anticipating a day of fun. Then just as we were settling down to eat the manager of the facilities showed up to inform us that we were not supposed to be there and we would have to leave immediately. Our pleas to let us finish eating fell on deaf ears. This person was indeed a tough lady who was unbending in her desire to get us out of there.
I should mention that this group of people and their Newfs had travelled various distances to be here for this event. Some lived a couple of miles away but others had driven up to two hours to be there. What were we to do? Ingrid and I just happened to live closest to the park so we volunteered to have everyone over to our house to continue our celebration. I cannot imagine what our neighbours across the creek were thinking when we showed up at home followed by a convoy of vehicles loaded with approximately ten to fifteen people and eight to ten Newfs. Needless to say our deck and back yard were in chaos for the afternoon, but everyone had a great time. It is strange but I don’t remember our neighbours ever mentioning that to us.
Rim on a visit with Nina and Marc Newf baseball lineup
A very wet picnic, but look at those smiles
These guys didn’t even notice the downpour
Fran with Molly’s mom, Goldie (Rainbows End)
Here is Lars – A happy man and a contented Newf
Keith – A man with everything under control (until a cat strolls by)
Tina with Caera, Misha and our four – treats in the fields
Nina with Molly’s dad, Marcarpents Maneen
Marij geocaching with Naja
Molly & father Maneen at Canadian Specialty
Keith with Molly’s sister Georgy and mom, Goldie – A Nova Scotia holiday