A second Chance for Newfoundlands ,Byron and Rochesters best friends

Newfoundland dogs are one of the larger breeds of dog and are therefore unfortunately often in need fo new homes when their owners having bought a cute bear cub looking puppy start to find that it is growing bigger than they expected or perhaps the owners circumstances change and they have to move to a smaller house or a flat.Tragicaly there are also literal rescue dogs which have been kept in appalling conditions,yet such is the nature of these gentle giants that once restored to health they are loving and loyal pets.

blade close up

Newfoundlands became popular in the late Regency and the Victorian age ,Byron or possibly his friend wrote a poem as an epitaph to his Newfoundland  dog called  Boatswain .

Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without ferocity,
and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.

This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes,
is but a just tribute to the Memory of
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
and died at Newstead Nov. 18, 1808.

Victorian novelist Charlotte Bronte probably inspired by Byrons dog gave her Byronic hero Mr Rochester a Newfoundland dog as his companion.It is Pilot who first alerts  the blind Rochester to Janes arrival  at Ferndean as he runs up to her .There is an excellent post on the role of Pilot as an illuminator of character and plot in Jane Eyre here http://www.houndhead.com/2012/04/fictional-dog-of-week-14-pilot.html.

blade and poffy dress


and the breed was further popularised by the paintings of Landseer who painted so many popular portraits of one kind of Newfoundland the black and white that they became known as Landseers and are still a recognised breed.


If you wish to foster or  adopt a Newfoundland and are in the Yorkshire area here’s the site of the excellent Second chance  4 Newfoundlands




About hathawaysofhaworth

I am a Historian and author living in the north
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