Molly’s World

Just another St. Bernard blogging about life…

Posts Tagged ‘puppies’

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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