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Newfs are everywhere in this world, except maybe in Newfoundland. So many people returning from Newfoundland have complained that they didn’t see a single Newf while they were on the island. There are, of course the staged events involving Newfs to help promote tourism. One such event was reported by various newspapers, giving hope to potential tourists that Newfoundland abounds with Newfoundland dogs. In an article entitled Cruise Ships Descend On Newfound Bonanza, the New York Times reported:

To welcome the first visitors of Newfoundland’s late-summer cruise season, two young women in redcoat colonial uniforms played flutes on the quay, and Sailor, a huge Newfoundland dog, wagged his tail enthusiastically.

I have written about Newfs as first cousin to the polar bear but they appear regularly in the hottest parts of the world such as Equador of all places. How they survive in such places has always fascinated me and when I was seated at a banquet next to a Newf breeder from Arizona, I had to ask. One summer I was sent to a conference in Arizona to the famous Camel Back Inn in Scottsdale. It was held in June because they got off season rates and when I got there I understood why it was “off season”. Only once in my life have I made a death threat and it was to the Phoenix airport limo driver who didn’t want to put on the air conditioning in the vehicle while I, in my business suit, was crammed shoulder to shoulder with other similarly clad gentlemen.

To my surprise, the Arizona Newf breeder told me she did not have air conditioning – this got my full attention! She explained that they had high ceilings in their home plus ceiling fans. The house was also equipped with dog doors and, in the summer months, the Newfs spent all their time indoors, except to go to the bathroom. It just confirms that love can conquer all.

One Newf was, until his death last June, a first dog. In Newfoundland? nope! in the country of origin, Canada? nope! – in the state of Missouri, USA. Over his two terms, Governor Mel Carnahan and his family had a Newfoundland named Beaumont. He got to greet thousands of children during events at the Governor’s mansion. At one Halloween celebration, he was made up as a skunk, complete with a white stripe down his back.

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

March 2001