Newfoundlands speak of love and loyalty. They were bred originally to act as life-savers on fishing boats. They would jump in the water and bring a fisherman safely back if a man went overboard. The webbed feet are a dead giveaway.
It has to be said that they’re not the brightest kids on the block. They want little out of life apart from companionable people, nice, gentle walks and swims – and the occasional game.
Connie is our brightest. She has a number of toys. Her favourite is Fluffy, now little more than a rag; he was a large Old English Sheep dog toy. He had his stuffing knocked out of him when she was a puppy. Now she sleeps on him and carries him about.
Her other favourite is Petty Pal, who we thought had been lost in action somewhere in the wilderness we call a garden. Petty Pal is Moomin meets a Teletubby on a dark night. She loves it with a mother’s heart. Her favourite game is for me to throw it and then she can go and rescue it. She won’t let the others play this game, so inevitably this morning we descended into a free for all wrestling match when Tabitha became bored with the spectacle. Newfoundland Soup.
Mind you, these days no fists and minimum contact as Tabitha has nasty arthritis. I love playing with them. They are the perfect stress buster. They should be available on prescription.