Tag Archives: Newfoundland

A turtle’s best friend

In January, during the northern hemisphere’s winter, a Newfoundland named Veda found a loggerhead turtle in distress.

Veda the Newfoundland

Veda a two year old, 120 pound female Newfoundland, owned by Leah and Brad Bares found a stranded sea turtle on Ellisville Beach in Plymouth. (photo courtesy of NE Aquarium)

Her owners phoned the New England Aquarium, who responded quickly and rescued it.  It was nursed back to health for over 5 months before it could be released to the wild again at Assateague State Park in Maryland.

If it weren’t for Veda, the turtle is unlikely to have been saved.  There’s not a lot of people on the beach in January!

Just another case of how special dogs are and how their skills can be put to good use for the benefit of humans and other animals.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Whizz, a remarkable Newfoundland


Photo: © PDSA / SWNS.com

A black and white Newfoundland and marine rescue dog, Whizz, has been awarded the PDSA Order of Merit.  This is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross and recognises animals that display outstanding devotion to their owner or wider society, above and beyond normal companionship.

His trainer told The Telegraph that he trained Whizz as a rescuer when the dog was only one year old. “I am bursting with pride for Whizz.”

“He was a dog in a million and I am truly heartbroken that he isn’t here to receive his medal. Whizz loved working and had an extraordinary talent. Not only was he strong and gentle – he was also so emotionally intuitive. This made him the perfect rescue and therapy dog and a beloved companion to the hundreds of sick children and adults he met along the way.”

During his rescue career, Whizz saved many people including two little girls who had floated out to sea on an inflatable raft and then got into trouble.  He also was a regular at Newfoundland Water Rescue Days, a fundraising event where people would enter the water and then be ‘saved’ by the rescue Newfoundlands.

Whizz also visited the sick and injured in hospital as a therapy dog.

Hip dysplasia – it’s not just genetics

Doctoral research by Randi I. Krontveit at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science has revealed that environmental factors play a larger role in the development of hip dysplasia than previously thought.

The critical period is from birth to the age of three months.  Activities such as walking up steps on a daily basis during this critical period increased the risk of developing hip dyplasia.

The study group consisted of 500 dogs in four breeds:  the Labrador Retriever, the Newfoundland, the Leonberger and the Irish Wolfhound.

Randi I. Krontveit with two of her study subjects. Photo courtesy of the Norwegian School of Veterinary Medicine

Environmental factors were assessed by questionnaires filled out by breeders and owners alongside examinations by veterinarians.  Dogs were followed for a period of ten years, making the findings of the study particularly robust.

Puppies born in the spring or summer and at breeders’ who lived on a farm or small holding had a lower risk of developing hip dysplasia.  After about eight weeks, the puppies began to live with their new owners. The opportunity to exercise daily in parks up until the age of three months reduced the risk of hip dysplasia.

Overall, it would appear that daily exercise out in gently undulating terrain up until the age of three months has a positive impact when it comes to preventing the disease.

For more information about this research, you can email Dr Krontveit via this page at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Medicine.

A resort where your dog is as welcome as you are

That’s the motto of Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara, California.  This resort doesn’t place a limit on the size of dog that can stay – so your Newfoundland, Great Dane, and St Bernard are welcome (along with your Chihuahua and Papillon)!

A pet-friendly room is an additional $25 per night.  Toys and treats are available at the resort gift shop and there is doggy room service to order your dog’s meal and treats (2 pigs ears will set you back $7.00)

The concierge can supply you with details of local pet-friendly attractions and establishments, veterinarians and pet sitters.

Best of all in two of the resort’s restaurants they have established “Pet Posts” where you can tether your dog in the patio area adjacent to your dining table.  (this is the best the resort can do because of Santa Barbara laws that prohibit pets in the dining area).

So, if you are planning a trip to California – Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort should be on your itinerary (please send photos)

Doggy quote of the month for February

Beauty without Vanity,

Strength without Insolence,

Courage without Ferocity,

and all the Virtures of Man

without his Vices.

– Lord Byron in memory of his dog Boatswain (a Newfoundland)

North America’s most pet-friendly airlines

As most of you know, I’m a big supporter of traveling with your dog when on holiday/vacation and I encourage you to support pet-friendly shops and accommodation providers in your area.

Petfinder.com recently released its findings for 2011’s most pet-friendly airlines.  This year, the site extended its coverage to Canada so it is now ranking airlines that service North America.

Petfinder reviewed airlines in the following categories:

  • what airline is most pet-friendly overall

Winner:  Pet Airways – a dedicated airline for transporting pets

  • offers the best amenities for pets and their parents

Winner:  JetBlue – for the 2nd year in a row.  JetBlue provides travelers with a pet carrier baggage tag, a travel “petiquette” guide, 300 TrueBlue points each way, and a comprehensive e-booklet with pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, parks and animal hospitals in some of JetBlue’s major cities.

  • best in offering transport to a variety of pets

Winner:   Frontier Airlines because they allow dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and small birds in the cabin

  • best for flying multiple pets in the cabin

Winner:  Frontier Airlines, which allows up to 10 pet containers on each flight. Only one pet container is allowed per person, but the limit per flight means that multiple friends/relatives can travel with animals so the entire family arrives at its destination together

  • best service for large sized pets

Winner:  Pet Airways, the maximum height for a pet carried by the airline is 34 inches.  This allows for large sized breeds like Newfoundlands and Great Danes to fly.

All pet-friendly airlines which made the ranking were required to have zero pet deaths in the past reported year according to official government reports.