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Adventure at 5am

Let Annie and Rowdy out at 4:30 this morning, I was wandering the dark house waiting for them to come back when frantic barking of the two of them right outside the living room window, shocked me into full consciousness. Opened the window leaned out and came face to face with an adult skunk who was facing off (face to face) with our 2 with only a fence in between them ..

Raced outside and around the house to try and drag them away but before I could get there the barking abruptly stopped and the two of them came skulking back to the deck. Needless to say they both got the full force of the retaliatory attack full in the face ..

We were in panic mode from 5 am until a few minutes ago (7 am) Rowdy got the worse of it – threw up a couple of times, both had it in their eyes, all over their face and neck .. Washed them with a solution of Hydrogen Peroxide, Backing Soda and dishwashing detergent, flushed their eyes with a solution we have for Rowdy’s blind eye. Finally they both are resting and are a lot calmer but for a couple of hours they were charging around the house rubbing faces on the furniture and carpeting etc ..

The smell is much reduced from the dogs but the house will smell for a long time I think .. Can’t use that solution on the furniture or carpet because of the bleaching effect of the Hydrogen Peroxide. ..

Hell of a way to wake up and good thing it was dark when I rushed out because I did not have time to put my pants on .
With the temperature today forecasted to be 35 degrees C ( 95 F) windows will be closed and we will not be going far from the air conditioning and that means suffering through a day of this not-Avon-like aroma.

Rowdy & Ingrid


The dreaded Sucking Machine

All but two of our Newfs over the years have come to us as adults .. We have enjoyed the mischievous puppy years only twice (with Molly and Murphy) We have instead, been appreciating the mature more calm personality of Newfs 4 years of age and older . This has advantages: no house training, and very little obedience training etc ..

But every now and then, mostly when talking with someone who is experiencing the joy of picking up a Newf pup from the breeder we wish we could once again feel the soft breath of a Newf puppy, walk in the fields and have a Newf run ahead of us or get excited and run circles around us displaying all that energy that they have in the first 4 years of life ..

Our present gaggle of Newfs, Molly and Annie at 8 years old, Rowdy at 10 ½, and Seven of Nine at 11 ½ are truly a sedate lot .. When we walk in the fields it certainly is not a walk for human exercise. It is more of a dawdle, a slow stroll, or sometimes even a stand around waiting for the dogs to finish the 20 minute sniff of a particular clump of grass ..

All of this is to paint a picture of our extremely calm lot of Newfs.

However this all changes when we vacuum the house, which of course is a daily or sometimes a twice daily activity. Molly, Annie and Rowdy show no difference in their regular laid back demeanour. They will either plop down in front of the machine and have to be physically pushed out of the way or they will stroll outside to the deck and lay down there just to maintain the peace and quiet in their lives .. Surprisingly, Seven of Nine who just happens to be the oldest of the bunch and the second oldest Newf we have ever had is the exception. When the vacuum comes out Seven comes alive. The moment we plug the hose into the wall receptacle she comes from where ever she is, charging around looking for a toy or something to carry around in her mouth .. (of course the word charging for Seven means something completely different than it does for others – her charge is like a fast walk) However, no matter the speed, the determination and excitement are very much in evidence. Her eyes are suddenly aglow, the tongue hangs out the side of her mouth and her head is held high.

If a toy to settle her down is not found fairly quickly then the attack is on .. Seven is one of our troop who is at the bottom of the ladder in dominance. I have mentioned before that she is the boss of no one and loves it like that. However, at vacuuming times she seems to think she is the only one around who is able to protect her pack from this marauding, sucking monster. She will attack the power head quite determined to rid the area of the threat .. Of course sometimes this makes it quite difficult to accomplish our task but we persevere, dodging the attacking Seven and vacuuming around the other 3 who always seem to be in the way.

When the job is done and hose unplugged Seven immediately reverts to her slow moving, meandering self, fitting in quite nicely, once again to the senior Newf mold. But we know that the next time the carpets develop that black and white fuzzy look, and we bring out that vacuum, Seven of Nine will once again transform from her impression of a bear rug to vicious ‘pack protector’.

Seven of Nine – protector of the pack (but only from the monster “Beam”)

Photos courtesy of Marij Erup

The Wonders of Dog Therapy

Years ago, when we had Murphy and Bailey, I was making semi-annual trips to New Brunswick to visit my mom who was in a long care facility. On a lot of these trips I would take Bailey along with me because mom always loved these big dogs, so a visit from both her son and Bailey was indeed a high point. Bailey would accompany me to her room and we would all spend great afternoons together. During one of these visits, the attendants brought in a lady in a wheelchair to see the ‘big dog’. This lady was in her 90’s and had been at the facility for a couple of months and had yet to communicate to anyone. She was angry that she had to be there, so had refused to talk to anyone and kept to herself. The staff wheeled her into mom’s room and sat her on the chesterfield. Bailey, who had been lying on the other side of the room next to mom, immediately got up and went to see this lady. He laid his huge head on her lap, and waited for a scratch. The lady started petting his head and smiled. Within minutes she was talking to us all, telling us about dogs she had known in her life. The staff was shocked, and we were introduced to Dog Therapy.

This was our first experience with dog therapy even though it was not intended. Now years later we had 4 Newfs, I was retired and thoughts of dog therapy came back. We decided to attempt to have Molly and Rimshot officially certified in this field. We chose an organization by the name of T.P.O.C. (Therapeutic Paws of Canada) to perform the necessary testing. The day came and we all gathered in a gymnasium at a local church for the event. Along with Molly & Rimshot there were 6 other dogs also trying for this distinction. Dogs and handlers were lined up along one wall of the gym and one by one a dog and handler were called to the center for a specific test. They then would return to their spot along the wall to await the next one. Molly of course, would greet and lick every dog as she or they returned to the wall, as if to say ‘you did great’ or ‘I did great eh’?

There are 12 tests to determine if the dog is calm and friendly enough to fit in a hospital or nursing home environment, and to make sure they would get along with other dogs (no problem for Molly). Rimshot and Molly both passed and they started on their new career as Therapy Dogs.

Rimshot just before his retirement from therapy

For the past 3 years we have been working both with children with reading problems and with Alzheimer’s patients at a long care facility. The reading program is in conjunction with the local chapter of the Literacy Council and Rimshot is the founding dog in the ‘Read to Rimshot’ program. In this program children with reading problems are brought into a room with the dog and they sit on a pillow on the floor with the dog and read to him. Studies in the U.S. and Canada have shown that the fact the dog is non judgmental encourages the child to read. These studies also show that a stressed child shows a marked decrease in blood pressure simply by touching the dog while reading. We have had several parents come to us after the sessions and tell us that they have never seen their child read so well. Sessions are held weekly at the Literacy Council building during the after school hours.

Our work with Alzheimer’s patients and other seniors has been equally rewarding. For the past two years we have been visiting a local long term care facility by the name of Glen Stor Dun Lodge. Here we have met many enthusiastic residents and staff who have grown to know our dogs and eagerly anticipate their weekly visits. Both Molly and Rimshot seem to fit right into this environment. They both become noticeably excited as soon as they realize where they are going and eagerly pull us through the door into the facility. They have forged strong bonds with many of the residents who look forward to the ‘Dog Visits’. We have had several instances where caregivers have been rather surprised at the reactions of some. Residents who seldom communicate suddenly become quite talkative when the dogs are around. One lady with advanced Alzheimer’s spends most her day either in her room or in a sitting area with other residents with minimum amount of communication. However, when we bring one of the dogs to her floor, she becomes very active, lots of smiling and follows us everywhere we go, from room to room. When we leave the floor, we must have one of the staff with us so she doesn’t follow us onto the elevator.

Tyler is also starting to join us on our dog therapy excursions. He will tour the facility with me, meeting residents and staff and will explain all about the Newfoundland dog to those who are interested. This has shown him another side of the dogs. He now sees how they sense the “need” in some people and thus how they are able to benefit others.

Molly bringing smiles to those around her

Rimshot is now 11 years old, and is starting to feel his age, so we have had to cut back on his therapy work. He now is better suited to the reading program because he does not have to do any walking, but rather sits with the kids while they read. This is fine with him, and the children, most of whom have been reading to him for two or more years, love it when Rimshot shows up. They particularly like it when he falls asleep during the reading and snores. He snores quite loudly and the first time that happened we had people coming in from adjoining classrooms to see what the noise was. Ever since then, some of the kids read to him trying to get him to fall asleep, just to hear him snore. This is fine with us because we are always looking for ways to encourage reading, so it all works out.

Molly has picked up the slack with the Alzheimer work and Annie is in the process of being trained, so there is a lot more work to be done. Until recently, Seven had not been involved with therapy work because she has a strong aversion to elevators and tight, closed in spaces. However we have just started working at a new facility which has one level and wide spacious hallways. Seven is now in training and enjoying the work. In fact I was quite surprised when I took her in to this facility for her second visit. She fit in to the routine as if she had been doing it for years. She seemed to know exactly what she had to do. When I go into a room with Molly or Rim, we enter the room together and the dog will wait until I indicate that he/she is to greet the resident. They will then approach. Seven, however, confidently marches through that door into the room or meeting area and immediately makes her way to the resident, stops in front of them and either lays her head in their lap or looks up into their eyes as if saying “Well here I am, feel free to scratch these ears and shower me with attention.” During this second visit, she quickly became the favourite of everyone with whom she came in contact. She is going to be a very good ambassador of the breed in this therapy work.

The dogs still amaze us in many ways. At home or at play they most often are goofy and playful, but at therapy they take on a much more serious attitude as if they really do understand what is expected of them.

Molly loving the attention Annie’s first time

Molly doing her ‘thing’ making people happy

Rim catching a nap during the reading with Samantha

With therapy dogs it is most important to maintain a high degree of socialization. Therefore, as often as possible, we take one or two dogs with us when we go somewhere. One of the best environments for a dog to be socialized is at a crowded mall. The size and colour of the Newfoundland usually makes a bit hit with adults and children alike. This results in closed in, noisy situations which are most beneficial for a therapy dog. During one such visit to an indoor mall, I had Molly with me and we were standing in line at a Tim Horton’s for coffee. As usual, most everyone in the line was talking about and asking questions about this large beast. One gentleman, showed a keen interest in this therapy work we were doing and introduced himself as a managing editor of the city newspaper. He took my name and told me that he would like to do a human interest story about these Newfs and the work that they do.

Last week we were contacted by a reporter from the paper who conducted a 40 minute interview by telephone, then asked to meet me with the two certified Newfs at the mall for a photo shoot. The next afternoon I entered the mall with Molly and Rimshot and discovered that because of Spring Break, the mall was unusually packed with people. Having these two huge dogs therefore resulted in large crowds of adults, school aged kids and toddlers gathering around. Progress in walking from one place to another was extremely difficult. However, this was the ideal situation for the dogs and is exactly the reason we bring them to these places.

At one point I was standing, both dogs were lying on the floor, and we were surrounded by 20 to 30 of the curious. Tiny children were sitting on the floor, dwarfed by the huge dogs and everyone with a smile on their face. Through the crowd I noticed a fellow with a camera bending and twisting in all types of contorted positions taking picture after picture, also with a smile on his face. This was the photographer, who obviously had no problem in locating me in the mall. The session lasted for about 45 minutes, many photos were taken and the children spent much of the time with wide smiles on their faces. The article appeared the next day in the paper, and we had made page two. The next weekend at our regularly scheduled visit to the retirement home, almost everyone we met had seen the article and Molly was received as a star.

Bonnie with Samantha reading to Rimshot Corey reading to an interested Rimshot

It must be apparent from reading this blog that it is a challenge to own four Newfoundland dogs. Their lifespan is not as long as that of the smaller breeds, so the sorrow of losing one seems to come quickly, and then there are the slime and shedding factors, which can be daunting. Then why do we endure all this to have these dogs? The reason is simply because they give so much while they are with us. Complete devotion and loyalty to their owners is an amazing quality for any dog or other animal. These characteristics just happen to be inherent in the Newfoundland . Although gentleness, caring and sensitivity to seniors and small children is a quality present in some other breeds, we have found that they are common in Newfoundlands. There has never been a moment when we have regretted our decision to involve them in our life and spend our time among the giants.

Newf Neck

Something new Newf owners might benefit from knowing: There is a condition that some Newf owners call Newf-Neck. This is a condition that develops when a Newf (and, I assume other large headed breeds) injure a tendon or muscle in their neck. This is usually done very innocently by the dog unexpectedly moving in a certain way .. The first time we saw it was about 15 years ago when one day I had taken Murphy and Bailey for a walk along the river near our house. This area is many acres of wooded land, with small grassy hills and valleys along the river banks. The dogs were having a great time running along the edge, up hills down hills in and out of the water. At one point Bailey charged down a hill which had a very short area at the bottom before the uphill portion at the other side. He did not show any sign that something was wrong at the time but later that evening when the condition developed we thought back and determined that this is where it had occurred.

Symptoms are, usually after lying still for a while the dog will have problems getting up from a lying down position. They usually cry with the pain because most of their normal movements are quite painful. This condition usually affects only one side of the neck so turning either left or right is next to impossible .. It is usually painful enough to cause the dog to cry out with these movements.

The owner will also notice that the dog tends to keep his/her head hanging low to the floor and sometimes standing very still just staring at the floor, seemingly afraid to move.

To the Newf owner who has not experienced this with their Newf this can be a scary thing to see the dog cry out with almost any move they make . It is caused by a sudden unexpected movement, such as Bailey running downhill then quickly running into a sudden turn uphill. Their heavy heads can easily pull a tendon or ligament in the neck at that time .

Regarding treatment: there is not much to be done besides rest, and administer anti-inflammatory, such as Rimadyl, Derramax or one of the other NSAID’s. In our experience it most often takes about a week before the effects lessen and the dog can move freely again.

This has happened to us (rather to our dogs) 4 times in the 17 years we have had Newfs. Bailey was our first, it has happened twice to Seven of Nine (who is also a large Newf with a large head) and last month it happened to our Landseer boy, Rowdy .. Rowdy’s was caused by him jumping into the van and stumbling as he landed inside. This, also was an unexpected movement for him. Rowdy is smallish for a male Newf at 140 pounds but he has a large heavy head.

I must emphasize that should these symptoms or similar ones show up, one should always get a diagnosis from a qualified vet before assuming or making a diagnosis yourself. The purpose of this post is simply to pass on our experiences with this condition and give others something to be able to talk about with their vet.

These giant dogs often have their own set of potential problems and I think it is of some value for us owners to share experiences .

Bailey with his large head – he takes it everywhere

Seven of Nine

Rowdy & Tyler – big difference in head size here

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

The rites of spring

Spring is here and that means Molly blows that coat ..

Not all of our Newfs experience this spring shed. Seven very seldom sheds, which means her coat is a nightmare to keep. All that undercoat that never comes out, turns into a tightly woven, thatched-like undergrowth which is close to impossible through which to get any type of grooming instrument. Add to that – wherever she goes she seems to attract every little piece of twig, leaf, grass, and chunk of mud which all buries itself deep into that jungle-like twisted mass of fur. All this is to say that grooming Seven is a 12 month ordeal to which we have had to adapt..

Rowdy does not have one of those typical Newf heavy coats. He never has a time of year where he blows huge quantities of coat, rather he is a steady shedder throughout the year. So, like Seven Rowdy is a 12 months per year project.

Annie is much like Rowdy except she has a heavier coat which is quite easy to groom.

But back to Molly. Molly blows her coat in both spring and fall . And when she does it is a sight to behold. One touch to that girl with a rake or dematting tool and thousands of large and small wisps of undercoat are immediately released into the air. One stoke of the instrument results in a monstrous clump of coat. It seems like the winter coat has been hiding on the dog just waiting to be set free and with one touch of a grooming instrument you can almost hear the screams of freedom emanating from deep within her coat and out they fly. And they fly everywhere, floating on the slightest breeze settling anywhere within a 200 yard radius of the event.

One positive aspect to grooming Molly: Once you devote those 2 or 3 days twice a year to her grooming, the rest of the year she is relatively easy to maintain. But for those few days, we spent hours picking out these thousands of ubiquitous clumps of fur from our eyes, teeth and nose. Well today was Molly’s day. It has been raining the past few days so the outdoor grooming area is not fit to use .. So I figured I would confine the grooming to the living room and when finished would do an extra special vacuuming session to clean up. All was going well, I was pulling out these clumps of coat and carefully dropping them on to the carpeting in front of the propane fire stove. Molly was being the perfect lady, standing dutifully still while I brushed, pulled, cut, trimmed and did all the other regular grooming items. The coat was piling to the point where I had the equivalent of about 2 ½ poodles heaped on the floor (I repeat – in front of the propane fire stove – the propane fire stove which has an automatic electric fan built in)

I finished my job in about 45 mins. I left the living room to get the vacuum and a few plastic bags for the clean up. While I was in the kitchen, the house temperature dropped that final degree to match the temperature on the thermostat which turned on the electric fan. Anyone who does not have a Newf or other double coated breed of dog cannot imagine what a fan will do to 2 ½ poodles worth of Newf coat. I came back into the living room to find Molly sitting quite properly in the midst of this black blizzard of her own coat flying all over the room . It was like she was sitting there hoping all of her removed coat would miraculously re-attach itself to her.

It is now almost 1 hour after the grooming session and I have just finished the clean up. Had to re-remove about ½ a poodle from Molly but all is calm now.

This is one more consideration in living with giants.

Socializing with humans and their Newfs

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)

JPG 30

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