Protectors and names

Newfs as protectors

Little Annie at 7 weeks – a formidable protector but not just yet !

(Going home with new owners today)

Regardless of their gentleness, friendliness and overall “Teddy Bear” qualities, these dogs can have their moments, which restore an owner’s confidence that their Newf will go the distance in protecting them when necessary. Molly is one of the gentlest dogs we have ever met. She goes out of her way to lick any dog or person who ventures within range. She will willingly roll over onto her back to expose herself for belly rubs to anyone willing to accommodate her. So it was a surprise indeed when one day, she showed another side of her personality.

It was a summer day, late in the afternoon when I was busy in the back yard of our home. The four dogs were lying around in the shade of the trees, either watching what I was doing or snoring so loudly it was as if they were trying to drown out the noise of the birds in the trees or the bull frogs croaking in the creek. I was not able to see the driveway at the front of the house, so when I heard one of the Newfs barking up on the front deck, I went to see what was happening. I found Molly standing there, barking and looking up the driveway to the road. Parked at the end of our driveway was a small dilapidated car, and I could make out four men, two in the front, two in the back. They were parked on our road but across the opening of the driveway.

We live in a very small, very rural community and traffic on our small road is limited to the few residents or their visitors and because we live quite far from our nearest neighbour, a car stopped at our house is very rare. Molly’s barking was a normal bark, ostensibly to let me know that someone was coming to visit. I stood beside her, put my hand on her back to let her know that everything is ok, and she stopped barking. We both stood there watching the car, waiting for someone to get out. As the minutes passed, and nothing happened, I started to wonder what was going on and began feeling a little apprehensive. It took almost 5 minutes for one of the back doors to open and this large ominous looking person to get out. He started walking slowly up the driveway to the gated deck where Molly and I were standing. He had his head down and looked quite strange. I called to him, asking what he wanted but he ignored me and just kept approaching, still with his head down. At this point I started to feel quite nervous about this and immediately Molly changed from our teddy bear Newf to this very ferocious sounding monster Newf. The barking was no longer an advisement that someone was here but was a very loud, violent warning for this person to leave. This time I did not stop her from barking. As he approached closer, I asked again what he wanted. Again, he did not answer nor did he raise his head, he simply dropped our new telephone directory on the driveway, turned and went back to the car. These four delivery men continued down the street delivering the rest of their telephone directories.

This was an innocent incident, which occurs thousands of times in thousands of communities everywhere. But this guy was not acting normally. He was giving off strange, scary signals, and as soon as I started feeling nervous, Molly picked it up right away and made her transformation from the licky, cuddly Newfie, to a ferocious protector of her “pack”. I do not know what would have happened if there had been no gate between us, but Newfs are known to use their size and strength to protect, rather than physically attacking someone. We unquestionably feel safe in our home with these four patrolling the premises.

Molly’s dad, Maneen would just lick an intruder into submission Sirius – the refrigerator protector. Someone else can protect the humans

Please do not trip over the watch dog What better protector for a little guy than Rimshot

Naming Conventions

Naming dogs is often a topic of conversation among dog owners. Some choose common dogs names like Rex and Rover. Others use their imagination to come up with unique, sometimes unusual names. In the past we fell into the former category but during the past few years, We have migrated to using more creative names.

Murphy was our first Newf and when he came to us at 8 weeks of age we thought long and hard about an appropriate name for this “giant to be”. Ingrid’s favourite actor is James Garner, favourite actress is Sally Field. In which movie did they star together ? Murphy’s Romance.

We rescued Bailey, our second Newf from an animal shelter. His name at the time was Billie. Even though most often I am known as Bill, I have certain family members, sister Margaret for example who have always called me Billie. (Much to my chagrin) One Billie in the house is enough so to prevent any confusion as to who is being sent outside to pee in the middle of the night, we renamed him Bailey. He was 4 years old at the time and Bailey sounds a lot like Billie so was less confusing for him.

Our third Newf was Enchantee. She came to us at four years old. She was named by the breeder and I can only guess that she was named for her enchanting personality.

Next came Molly. Her full registered name is Molly of the Blue. We chose this name for two reasons. Molly was also the name of one of Nina Cote’s older Newfs who was a lovable old girl of 13 years. So Molly was named after her. The rest of her name “of the Blue” was chosen to reflect the fact that she is a Newf and loves water.

Seven came to live with us from the breeder when she was 5 years old. She was named Seven of Nine, because she was the seventh girl in a litter of nine pups. He denies it but I still think Nina’s hubby, Marc had in mind the Star Trek character Seven of Nine.

Rimshot is the son of a very impressive male in Marcarpents Kennels of years ago. He was imported from Norway and his name was Drummer. Rimshot is a drumming term which refers to striking the edge of the drum with the drumstick. Something like saying he is like his dad – a chip off the old block.

Annie ( full name L’il Orphan Annie) was so named because when she and her littermates were 3 weeks old, they lost their mom to an unfortunate accident. Because of that they had to be put on solid food earlier than normal and enjoyed some human “mothering”.

Everyone needs protection while watching TV

Molly & Tyler


6 responses to this post.

  1. Enjoyable post : ) Molly is an excellent example of one of the many reasons Newfs are so amazing! If is fun to try and find the “right” name for such important members of the family. We stewed over Stella’s for months!


  2. Posted by Annie on April 17, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Always loved the looks when Maneen came on the scene,followed by a gasp of Oh, my god! His size alone would intimidate anyone up to no-good. If unwanted solicitors came to the door, we only had to stand back and let the Newfs step up. No one stays too long~ Very funny post!!


  3. Posted by Christine on April 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Great story today Bill. I always wondered if these big, amiable dogs would step up to protect in the event they sensed some potential danger – and they do – that’s good to know!

    That picture of Annie at 7 wks could sell a million dogs – she’s so sweet 🙂



  4. Posted by kelly on August 1, 2011 at 6:46 am

    hi Bill

    Just got a couple of pics of our puppy- had a little trouble with the breeder, and our origional pick- we now have a landseer- He looks very much like Annie. His name is Yogi



  5. Posted by Ann Fennell (aka newfiedogmom) on March 18, 2013 at 9:33 am

    our gal is Betsy,as in Heavens to Betsy,what will you do next?


  6. Posted by Deborah Pietrangelo on June 4, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Newfys are the gentlest of creatures but they are very protective of their owners. My male Newf, Chewbacca, was gentle with babies toddlers and kissed everybody. The only time I ever heard him growl in his whole life was when he thought someone was threatening me. I will miss him every day of my life.


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