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This one is about “Cuddles” owned by Ruth Graham of Essex, Ontario:

In response to the article about the Nanny of the Year Award, in the Newf News Magazine,

I am writing to let you know how our Newfoundland dog “Cuddles” provides ongoing emotional support to our daughter Amy.

Amy is 19 years of age. She is developmentally delayed and has mild cerebral palsy and dystonia.

Cuddles provides her with a great sense of security. When we go to leave home and Amy is not coming with us, Cuddles will curl up on the couch with Amy and keep her company. When someone comes to the door, Cuddles will bark which Amy likes because she feels Cuddles is protecting her by scaring the person away.

Because Amy is delayed, she goes on a special bus to school where she is in the community living program. Her bus comes up in the driveway for her. She goes out about 8:05 a.m. and sits on a chair in the garage to wait for her bus and Cuddles goes to the front window to watch. After she has seen Amy get on her bus, she will come and be with me. One day at about 8:00 a.m. while Amy was still in the house, Cuddles began to bark and run from Amy to the door so she went to see what she was trying to tell her. It was amazing because Amy’s bus had come early and Cuddles (who never barks at Amy’s bus) was letting Amy know that her bus was here. Amy got ready and went out to her bus. She praised and thanked Cuddles for letting her know so that her bus didn’t leave without her.

Also, when Amy takes her out to her pen, or is bringing her back in from the pen, Cuddles will take the leash in her mouth and with her head held high, lead Amy to the pen or back to the house. She is so proud of herself when she knows she has helped.

We are thrilled with Cuddles. She is certainly a valued member of our family.

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

June 1997