Molly’s World

Just another St. Bernard blogging about life…

Archive for June, 2008

A Primer on St. Bernards

Posted by mollybrown08 on June 29, 2008


It occured to me, from my many walks around the neighborhood, that a lot of folks are not familiar with my distinctive breed.  I know that we are particularly rare in the south, but it seems that we aren’t all that plentiful in many other parts of the United States either.  This is distressing, as we are a wonderful and noble breed, suitable for all situations. We are loyal and friendly, good with children and adults, and will fit well even in small spaces, as we don’t require much exercise, being rather sedentary.  As puppies, we have the size and weight of your basic cinder block, although we do tend to grow fairly quickly. We come in two varieties, long (rough) and short haired, although, the short haired (like me) is the original.  It’s believed that we get our name from the St. Bernard Pass in Switzerland, although I tend to think that we more likely get our names from the fact that we are saintly in character!  The most famous St. Bernard was a lad named Barry, who was reputed to have saved anywhere from 40 to 100 lives in the Alps.  St. Bernards were also companions to the monks that live there, which may also contribute to our saintly dispositions. Contrary to public opinion, most of us aren’t named Cujo or Beethoven, although that rumor has been perpetuated in modern film.    There’s also a mascot for the New Orleans Saints that’s named “Gumbo”, and I think that’s a lot better than the other silly names.  There was also the wonderful Nana, the companion of Wendy and Peter from Peter Pan (at least in the Disney version), although I never understood the flying bit.  There’s a print of Peter, Wendy and Nana, although I don’t think it does her justice….

Grown up Saints can weigh up to 200 lbs, but we never lose our gentle nature.  To the contrary, we’re more likely to knock you over with enthusiasm and love than any malicious intent.  Prior to me living at this wonderful home, there was another Saint here, named in part for the dog in the Peter Pan fable.  Her name was AsiaNana, and she was as loved as I am.  She came to live here in May of 2001, after her wonderful person Lyric couldn’t keep her any longer. Lyric wanted to be sure that AsiaNana (her name was just Asia at the time) got a good home, and  she came to meet my people and my little sister before she would entrust her beloved Saint to their care.  You see, we Saints are really special, and need to be with special people….certainly at very least with people who can hang on to a leash well, be ready with a drool rag, and have a well-working vacuum cleaner!!  Here’s a picture of AsiaNana, taken with my little sister, Willow….


AsiaNana was lost to kidney failure in May of 2006, the same month that I was found by Animal Control…I think it was MUCH more than coincidence that all of this happened, don’t you?

One more important item to discuss about our breed…we don’t come equipped with brandy kegs.  It is a total myth that we are born with those wooden barrels around our necks.  After all, are Great Danes born with wooden shoes???  Geez!!!  The origin of the keg story is a bit of a muddle, with some saying that Saints in the Alps did carry them, and others saying that they didn’t, but it always does make a good photo op.  I personally DO have a keg of my own, although I’ve never been photographed wearing it, as I don’t want to brag.  I just figure that it’s part of my safety and rescue equipment.  There are some really dashing pictures of dogs in full gear, though, and they do look ever so good…

Me, I’m more of a laid back, wait for the moment kind of girl, although I’m sure I would swing into action should the need arise.  Meanwhile, I think I’ll take a nap.  Talk to you all later!

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Confession is Good for the Soul

Posted by mollybrown08 on June 17, 2008

So far, I know you all think I’m a big brave St. Bernard, since my breed rescues hikers and skiiers in the snow and digs in avalanches and the good stuff like that. Well, I also think that, regardless of being in a Jewish household, that I must be Catholic, since I’m named after a saint, and since I’m Swiss, so I see that a good bit of confession is due here…(actually, I’ve been noticing that there’s this big thing called Jewish guilt, too; but we won’t let them know that I know that…okay?) The confession I have to tell you all is that….aww, gee, this is tough…..I’m really not that brave. I mean, I’d protect my humans and my sister and all, but there are some things that just GET to me….

For one thing, I HATE storms. Once a thunderstorm starts, I generally stay inside even if I need to do something, and I spend my time hiding upstairs with one of my peeps. Sometimes, I even try to jump on the bed and get under the covers, but I generally want to lay there and shake a lot. The louder the thunder, the more I start panting and staring at someone. It’s embarrassing to be this big galoot of a dog who is trying to crawl into a persons bed because you’re scared; but the next fact is even worse……

I’m nervous around my two cat brothers. As I’ve told you, one of them is psycho, but the other one is nice, yet if they’re between me and my food bowl, I will whine and cry and not go there. I think they’re catching on, too, as they seem to be playing this game a lot more lately. I get back at them, though, but going into the kitchen when they’re not looking and eat all of THEIR food. I really get nervous when they try to fight, but then my first aid training starts up, and I get right in the middle of them, so I manage to be brave then. I think I might make a poor example of a rescue dog if it came right down to it, so I need to work on it a lot. I mean, my relatives have been doing this for hundreds of years and all, and it would be awful if I was the St. Bernard that couldn’t rescue straight. I don’t know if this will get me expelled from the Alpine League of anything of that sort, but it wouldn’t be pretty. I’m sure I have an Uncle Johan somewhere who thinks that his niece has just grown soft living it the United States, particularly where there’s no snow. I’m not sure what I’d tell him about how that explains the cats, I just don’t know. It’s funny, though, that I’m the same dog that just runs up to any dog, cat, person, squirrel, possum, probably skunk (haven’t tried it yet), so I’m not certain about the actual syndrome. What’s interesting is that my little sister Willow went to do something that I know I’d love, and she got all freaked out. She went swimming in order to help her leg that she still won’t use. Her person came home all scratched up from Willow flailing in the pool, but they finally figured out how to do it where Willow wasn’t a scardy dog. I think I would have just loved to go swimming. Maybe if I go along, I can help her out!!! I mean, I WOULD be doing it for altruistic reasons only, you know. Willow is more of a scardy pants than I am, and that takes some doing. Aren’t I just a princess??

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My Rescue, Animal Control, and Helping Paws Rescue

Posted by mollybrown08 on June 8, 2008

I realize that some of you don’t really know my background, and even if you do, I’d like to give some shout outs to some wonderful organizations and some really nice people.

I’m a lucky girl, but I wasn’t always the beautiful specimen you see. In fact, I was found by Athens Animal Control weighing only about 85 lbs, and covered in demodex mange…it wasn’t pretty. I’m going to post a picture of what I looked like then, but don’t look at it if you’re too sensitive…I don’t want you to be sad. I have no recollection of where I came from, but I think it was somewhere good because I came to Animal Control with friendliness and good manners. Even in my condition, I would give my paw to anyone who came close to me. Animal Control was very good to me; they had to keep me at least five days to see if an owner showed up, and they didn’t want me to remain in that condition, so several there pooled their funds, and found enough to take me to a vet, where they worked on my mange and my weight. I was also lucky enough to be fostered by Helping Paws Rescue at Pawtropolis and I was then named Molly Brown, after the Unsinkable Molly Brown. I then wound up staying there for several months, even though my people had put in an application to adopt me, since I had to get to 100 lbs before I could leave. I’m not posting all of this in an appeal for pity; in matter of fact, I’ve got a wonderful life now! This is more a shout out for two wonderful organizations: Pawtropolis (Helping Paws), and Athens Animal Control. It’s also going to be about another organization, that I’ll get to soon. Pawtropolis is a cool spot where I go for daycare, and occasional sleepovers, but more than that, it’s the home, too, for Helping Paws Rescue, an organization that helps orphaned and stray dogs and cats find shelter and new homes. I was taken there soon after I was found and, with the aid of sponsors, nursed back to health. The place is the brainchild of Amanda Rodriguez, a cool lady who just loves dogs, and who runs a rockin’ place. Here she is right now!! I have her website address posted here on the blog, and I would love for everyone to visit it.

As I said, my first stop was Athens Animal Control, and although it’s your standard “pound” that every town has, the people that work there really care about the dogs, and try their best to care for them and find them homes. They sure went above and beyond for me. This brings me to the other group that I mentioned before. One of my people started working for a group called Athenspets.net, which is a wonderful site started by a teacher named Allyson Hester. She now has a group of volunteers who go to Animal Control on a regular basis, walk the dogs, and also take pictures of them. The volunteers then write up stories about the dogs, and Allyson puts the pictures and stories up on the website, in order to get more people to see them. This is a picture of Allyson and her fourth grade class, who raised $1100 for Helping Paws Rescue. So, as you can see, me and my peeps know some pretty awesome people, and some wonderful organizations that can use some time and some moolah…you didn’t think I was writing this all for my health, did you?? There are a lot of dogs (and cats) out there who need great homes like mine, and unfortunately, the number never runs out. By the way, here’s a newer picture of me to make you forget about the sorry one above…oh, and my brother Chester is in it as well. Here’s another one of my brother Chester! So you all have a good week…Molly.

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