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Last January I wrote about Newfs and Nanny Work and gave some examples to demonstrate this incredible instinct to look after children. At the end of the column I asked for more examples from our readers and here is one received from La Belle Province:

In answer to your call in the Dogs in Canada, January, 1997 issue, I am writing to tell you a darling story between a little boy of eight years and my Newfie who was only six months old at the time.

I work in a Social Service Centre and a young boy, Bobby (not his real name), was referred to me because of a dog phobia caused by an attack from a Rottweiler. He was in therapy since then.

In the course of the therapy he wanted to meet a dog. This gave me the idea to bring some pictures of my dog and to organize a meeting between the young boy and Juliette.

When I arrived at my office with my Newfoundland, the young boy was waiting for me with his mother and one of my co-workers.

You should have seen Bobby: he was nervous, glued to his mother, sucking his thumb and had his toes pulled in his summer sandals.

At that moment I asked Juliette to lie down and she did. She could sense Bobby’s fear and I have never seen Juliette so calm as on that day. Psychically, she must have told him that she was a good dog and that he had nothing to fear.

About 10 minutes later Bobby came over to touch Juliette very softly on the flanks with his fingertips. He wouldn’t go near her head for fear of being bitten. This stage lasted at least half an hour.

Juliette, although only six months, remained calm throughout. Finally Bobby was able to stroke her ears and tell her how great she was. He became brave. At that point he was hugging the Newfoundland and didn’t stop to ask me what Juliette would do.

When the visit ended, the mother took a photograph of Juliette and Bobby to immortalize this great meeting.

After two hours I left with Juliette and from afar I heard the small voice of Bobby telling his mother “Mommy, I want a Newfoundland!”

Line Moisan
L’Isle-Verte, Quebec

Peter Maniate has been writing columns for the Newf News, the magazine of the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada, since 1979.  In 1996 he started writing a Newfoundland dog column in the Breedlines section of Dogs in Canada magazine on behalf of the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada.  When Dogs in Canada ceased publication at the end of 2011 he continued the Breedlines column in the Newf Newfs.

Permission is granted for re-publication of the preceding article or excerpts from it as long as the author is credited and the name of the original publication and date of first publication is included.

Dogs in Canada

April 1997