September 11, 2008

Dog “rescues”

Filed under: dogs — origamifreak @ 9:16 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I really like Newfoundland dogs. They’re generally calm, friendly, affectionate, and they like swimming. I first met one about 15 years ago and have harbored a particular fondness for them ever since.

One time in CT I even picked one up that was wandering around in the dark in the middle of the road. A large, slow-moving black dog in the road on a pitch black night in an area with no street lights and sharp curves is a hazard to both himself and to cars, so I stopped on the shoulder to look for his ID, and there wasn’t any.

He waited patiently while I thought about what to do, and when I asked if he wanted a lift while I figured out where he lived, he got right in the back seat and sat quietly in the middle. It was funny, because he was so tall, it looked in the rear view mirror like there was a human sitting back there. I took him to Lisa’s nearby house where her Yorkie tried (unsuccessfully) to intimidate and chase him out of my car. (Charlie considered my car to be HIS territory.) Lisa put Charlie back inside and we drove around the neighborhood looking for a house with lights on, and finally found a guy who knew the owner and took him in for the night and arranged to get him back home (3-4 miles away).

Apparently this dog had a habit of getting out of his yard (the latch wasn’t secure), and wandering over to the corner store where he’d hang around waiting for kids to drop food, etc. I spoke with the owner on the phone a couple of days later to make sure he got home and was surprised by his nonchalance about the whole thing. He was a very nice dog and really shouldn’t been loose like that. I wonder sometimes why people don’t care more about their animals.

Anyway, this past weekend I had fun participating in the water tests that the local club hosts every year in the state park next door. The tests were for the purposes of getting titles as working dogs. There are two working areas in which Newfies earn titles: draft and water rescue.

If a dog acquires all of the following titles, he or she earns the über-title “Versatile Newfoundland” (VN):

  • AKC Championship in Conformation
  • AKC Companion Dog title in Obedience
  • NCA Draft Dog
  • NCA Water Rescue Dog (WRD)

Over the past 22 years there have been only 331 Versatile Newfoundlands ever designated. Last weekend we saw two get it by earning the WRD title. Here are the official results:

Saturday – Sept 6th:

  • WD Jolly Roger’s Darktown Strutter handled by Roger Frey
  • WRD Paradiso Stella Polare at Jolly Roger handled by Roger Frey
  • WRD Top Shelf’s Fire Island Annie CD, WD,DD,CGC,TDI handled by Rosemary Miller to a new VERSATILE NEWFOUNDLAND TITLE
  • WD ReQualifier VN Am/Can.CH. Jolly Roger’s Cherry Danish CD,WRD,DD,CGC,TDI handled by Eileen Bergal
  • WD ReQualifier VN Jolly Roger’s Danish Maid CD,WRD,DD,CGC,TDI handled by Eileen Bergal

Sunday – Sept. 7th:

  • WRD Am/Can. CH Pouch Cove’s All You Can Be CD,WD,DD handled by Nancy McKee to a new VERSATILE NEWFOUNDLAND TITLE
  • WD ReQualifier VN Jolly Roger’s Danish Maid CD,WRD,DD,CGC,TDI handled by Eileen Bergal
  • WRD ReQualifier Upwood’s Odin WRD, RN handled by Jackie Upwood
  • WRD ReQualifier Spirit Feather CD, RAE, TD,TDD, WRDX,CGC handled by Joyce Arivella

I helped in the “take a ring” exercise by being one of the silent swimmers (only one of three people calls for help). I also took a bunch of photos, and even rented a nice telephoto lens for the purpose.

The weather on Saturday was pretty bad, but Sunday was fantastic and I captured a few nice shots.

Odin “rescuing” Jackie on Saturday. He is one of the less well-known colors, gray. There are 4 standard colors – black, Landseer (black and white), brown, and gray.

Spirit going in after her bumper. She has the Landseer coloring.

Roger and one of his dogs, after the hurricane hit. Notice the streaks on the water from the wind.

Sunday the weather was much nicer. Here is JR going in after Nancy. He earned his VN at the end of this test. A point of trivia – JR is a son of the Newf that won Best in Show at Westminster a few years ago. (That’s where the “Pouch Cove‘s” part of his name comes from. Here’s a picture of JR when he was a puppy. Pouch Cove is a very popular sire; as of last year there were 24 offspring who had earned the VN title.)

Here is Odin going after Jackie, again. He’s one of the prettiest jumpers I’ve seen. I love the way he really stretches out.

Here are the judges and titleists:



  1. They are really the most “in shape” Newfoundlands I have ever seen! Usually they are big, slow lummoxes. I s’pose for a title and all the effort that goes into it, they must be athletes.
    From the photos it looks as though the swimmers are not very far away from the dogs. Or is this optical illusion?

    Comment by jpm14 — September 14, 2008 @ 8:32 pm | Reply

  2. They were pretty close to the swimmers, but not as close as the photos make them look.

    Some of the dogs were big, slow, and lummoxy but still performed their tasks. They just weren’t as photogenic while doing it!

    Comment by origamifreak — September 19, 2008 @ 12:41 am | Reply

  3. Cool pictures! Though if I was drowing for real and suddenly this massive black shaggy thing was lunging at me from a boat, “rescue dog” may not be the first thing on my panic induced mind, rather, it would be “those assholes in the boat could be extending an arm to rescue me but nooooooo, they’re throwing their moldy-black shag carpet from the ’70s at me.”

    Comment by Kathie — September 24, 2008 @ 6:29 pm | Reply

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