BELLE HARBOUR NEWFOUNDLAND STORIES
Any newfie owner will have stories about the awesome things their dog has done. Breeders are never surprised to hear the stories because we have plenty of our own. Here are a few of ours:
Our first newf was Bo. Bo is very special to us as he was first, kinda like your first born child. Our newspaper carrier drove a very noisy truck which Bo would hear from a mile away. Bo would ask to go outside and wait on the street for the truck to drive up and take the newspaper from the driver then proudly trot into the house with the newspaper to give it to Dad. The paper never touched the ground outside and the driver never spoke to him. He just knew what he wanted todo.
One day in winter when there was ice on the ground Larry slipped and fell. We would not have known the whole story except that one of the neighbors was outside and witnessed the event. He said Larry fell and hit his head and was still for a little bit as he was knocked out from the fall. The neighbor was a distance away so he couldn't get to Larry quickly enough before he came to and started to get up but he said Bo stood over Larry and guarded him until he was able to get up. Larry said he was disoriented and wasn't sure which way home was so he told Bo to take him home. He did. Safe and sound.
A word about screen doors. They don't work with newfies. One fine spring day I was running around the house sweeping floors and dusting furniture when I heard a crash. I ran to see what had happened and the screen door was bashed out and Bo was gone. I called and called and searched the local area to no avail. Just as I was getting into my car to start driving around the neighborhood a family in a black SUV drove up and rolled down the window. "Are you looking for a big black dog?" YES! "Follow us he's in our yard" We drove about two miles to their house only to find Bo was gone. They had closed him in their 4' fence which Bo easily jumped (4' really isn't tall enough). I started driving back toward home slowly looking down all of the streets hoping to see him. As I drove through the neighborhood, if I was anyone outside I would ask have you seen a big black dog? Two men working on landscaping replied "Oh you mean Bo? Ya he was here and said hi, he went that way" Everybody knew Bo. Two blocks from home there he was, standing on a rise with the lake in the background looking like a beautiful statue. I wish I had had my camera with me. I drove up to him and he immediately jumped in the car so I could take him home. He told me the people had two poodles who were in season and he just had to go see the girls. We had a long talk about the dangers of him being out running around like that.
Most newfies like to swim, however; if something happens at some point to scare a puppy in the water they may be fearful. This is what happened to Bo. We bought him a life vest and taught him that he could swim and had control over the water but it didn't start that way. I would throw a bumper into the lake and he would run up and down the dock barking and looking at me like "go get it now, you threw it". Once he learned to swim he loved it. One day in the summer there were some kids playing in the water with noodles, you know those colorful long things kids play with in pools. Bo swam out to where the kids were to say hi and swim with them. The kids kept bopping him on the head with their noodles so Bo took each noodle away from each kid and swam them up to the beach. The water wasn't deep fortunately but he just didn't want them hitting him in the head.
Gardening has never been one of my favorite things to do. One of the nice things about living on the lake was that there wasn't a lot of open ground to have to garden. One year the wind brought weed spores to the beach and these huge sticker bushes started to grow. I was on the beach pulling these things up and there were roots (big heavy strong roots) all through the sand on the beach. Bo saw me pulling those roots up and started to help. Bo was able to pull many of them up that I could not get a good hold on with his strong Newfoundland jaws we quickly had all of the roots up and the sticker bushes gone. I'm sure those jaws and the same ones God gave him to pull in fishing nets and boats full of grown men.
In 2012 we moved from our lake home in Iowa to our current acreage in Minnesota. There is a river that runs through it and while Newfoundland dogs love to swim, this river is not recommended for swimming. We have had a few events with that river. In May several years ago one of our girls came up missing. Lacey was pregnant and due to deliver in just a couple weeks. I could hear her whining but I couldn't figure out where it was coming from as sounds echo here. Lacey's sister Wags, Meg and Jelly were all in the paddock at the time. They could hear her whining too and were very excited to help Lacey. The three girls worked as a team and knocked the boards out of the 6' fence in one blow then ran toward the river. Meg jumped off of the steep drop to the water while jelly and wags ran up river down the bank. Jelly jumped in right where Lacey was, sitting on the river bank in the mud. She couldn't get herself up the 5' bank with her added weight and the slippery mud. I got the two girls up out of the water and mud and Larry took them back to the house. While this was going on, Meg was swimming toward us upriver. The current was strong in May as the ice melt was still making its way to the Mississippi river. She was exhausted and made her way to the edge of the river but it was a steep bank and there is a lot of debris in that river as well as tree roots that protrude from the steep bank. I was above her encouraging her to hang on. I asked Larry to bring the ladder but she did not know how to climb the rungs. After some time and her being so exhausted she looked up at me as tho to say its ok Mom, its my time. I called out "Oh no you don't" and jumped in the river. It was cold and the water was moving fast but I got a hold of her. I believe because I was in the water her rescue instincts took over and she pulled us both up river further where the bank wasn't quite as steep. We were safe but now neither one of us could get up the muddy steep bank. Larry called the emergency and the fire department and sheriff came to pull us out. I hate that river now.