Monday, January 12, 2009

Newfoundland dogs on stage and screen

JM Barrie was probably the first writer, (certainly the best known), to make the Newfoundland dog breed famous on stage. In his play, PETER PAN (and subsequent Disney presentation), the Darling children’s nanny, Nana, is a large Newfoundland dog.
Other famous Newfoundlands include:
Boatswain - Lord Byron’s dog was portrayed neither on stage nor screen but is best remembered for the words which appear on his epitaph:
‘Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices’.
York was the Newfoundland who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their trek across America.
Pilot is the name Charlotte Bronte gave to the Newfoundland who belonged to Rochester in her classic novel, JANE EYRE.
In my latest novel, THE CONDOR’S FEATHER, due July 2009, I have created two Newfoundland dogs – Bella and Byron.
Byron is black while Bella would be classed as a Landseer as she has four white feet.
Not only are they faithful pets of their aristocratic owner but they have the search and rescue abilities of so many of their kind.
In the story, this pair of Newfoundlands travels with their mistress on her equestrian trek across the wilds of Patagonia in 1885.
The dogs appear throughout the story and I believe their presence adds to the book’s emotional impact in parts.

Photo: Typical black Newfoundland – Smoky from Wikipedia

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