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In talking to people about Newfs I am always fascinated and frustrated when someone says they don’t need a fenced yard or a pen because they would never put their Newf outside, especially in the cold of winter. These people seem to feel that Newfoundlands need the same care as a tropical reptile and of course I am always trying to portray Newfs as the hardiest of the hardy when it comes to cold temperatures.

At the end of March as winter finally started to give it up, I got a couple of e-mails that paint a word picture of what a Newf really thinks about the cold and as a real bonus, a super photo that says it all.

The first note came from Kathy Rudachyk of Barrie, Ontario who has a three year old Newfie bitch and a Lab: “Abby is not too happy that the weather is getting warmer. On Saturday, which was quite warm and sunny here, she came into the house panting, and flopped down on the AC vent. I am sure if she could speak, she would have said ‘please turn on the air conditioning!’ She may be spoiled, but that is a bit much since we still had piles of snow in the backyard. But I must admit, I have turned on the air conditioning in the car for her. Abby was thrilled today when we went to the beach because there was a small area where the ice had melted enough so that she could stand in the water with all four paws! She just held her head up high with an expression of ‘AWWWWWWWW!’ Kettle, our ‘heat seeking’ Lab had a look of ‘Are you kidding, I am NOT stepping in that.’ ”

Sydney's ice patch
Sydney's ice patch
Sydney's ice patch

Then I got another word picture (plus some fabulous photos), this time from Bob Mulholland, who lives with one year old Sydney and 16 week old Molly, in Carleton Place, Ontario: “With Springtime rapidly thrust upon us, our Sydney and Molly are none too impressed. At the request of my wife, Deb, and the Newfs, I had to leave most of our back deck unshovelled all winter to give Sydney and Molly a nice cool bed of snow and ice to curl up upon. Now with the bright sunshine, the ice on our deck has been reduced to single Newf size. As you will be able to see in the picture with Sydney and Molly, Sydney is remaining dominant over this last cool resting spot. With almost everything else in the house, he allows the puppy to do as she wishes – with all his bones and toys – but not with this last patch of ice.”

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

July 2006