I’ve been blessed with having a Newfoundland in my life for about the last 20 years. There was about a 2 year break in there where I was Newfie-less but for the most part, I’ve been living the lifestyle for about 2 decades.
It’s been an exciting part of my life and the learning never stops but I thought it would be fun to highlight a few things that stand out.
20 Things I’ve Learned About Newfies, Dogs And Myself Over The Last 20 Years
Dogs live in the moment. They don’t know that they’re given a timeframe to live. This is a new acceptance for me. For the past few years I’ve been worried about the age of Sherman and Leroy. They are beyond the average lifespan of a Newf and that thought was always in my mind. Sherman and Roy don’t know that they are beyond that timeframe and I’m not telling them. We enjoy every day.
Newfies have big heads to open doors. That had has to be that big for something, right? It’s to open doors that aren’t fully latched. We have 2 doors in our house that don’t latch unless you pull them closed. It’s the bathroom door and the screen door that goes out to the backyard. Leroy knows they don’t latch and so instead of waiting for someone to open the door, he puts his down and opens it with his head.
The problem is he hasn’t quite figured out that the bedroom door doesn’t work that way. Yesterday I was taking a nap and was awoken by what sounded like an earthquake. It was Leroy’s head hitting the door.
No dog is perfect but every dog is perfect to someone. When we use to show there was always a dog that was better. A dog that had more coat, a better gait or a better handler that knew how to show off the dog’s strengths. One day I remember admiring a dog’s coat from afar and wishing that Sherman had a coat like that. Later that day the owner of that dog came up to us and commented what a nice head Sherman had and that he wished his dog had a fuller head.
Dogs always stay in your heart. There’s a reason that your heart gets heavy when you lose a dog. It’s because that dog goes straight to your heart and stays there forever.
Treats matter. They really do. A job well done deserves a treat and what that treat consists of depends on that dog. Some are edible treats and some are praise treats. Whatever the treat is each day deserves one or several.
A Newfoundland is more than just a dog, they’re a lifestyle. You really can’t tell that to someone and ask them to get it. They have to experience it on their own. You get a Newf, your life changes.
Dogs are my whole life. When people say dogs aren’t my whole life but they make my life whole I always think I’m odd for not getting it. Dogs are kind of my whole life. For the past 20 years my life has been dogs. My jobs are always dog-related. Whether it’s in the veterinary world, dog product world, dog blogging or dog walking, that’s what I do. My social life revolves around my dogs.
Yelling is overrated. You can’t yell at a Newfie because you will hurt their feelings. You reason with a Newfie.
You never stop learning. After 3 Newfoundlands. I am still learning. I learned with Thunder, I’m learning with Sherman and I’m learning with Leroy. I’ll learn with my next dog. Each Newfie teaches me something new and different that I can put towards the next. It’s exciting and a little scary.
No question is too silly. Every question deserves a respectable answer and no one should be afraid to ask. Be wary of those who don’t ask questions.
Newfie people are the kindest people. They really are and I’m not a fan of people. When you find your Newfie people, cherish them and keep them close because they will offer you the shirt off their back if you ever need it. Of course, every group has a few bad apples and you will come across them.
A clean house will never exisit. This is good news for me because I’m not into cleaning that much
No Newfie is the same. Not every Newf is going to be a gentle giant or a nanny Newf. Sherman and Leroy are the perfect example of this. Leroy is anything but gentle and could honestly care less about my kids. I mean he likes them and he interacts with them but he’s nothing like Sherman is with them.
Sherman is a nanny dog. He watches over them and he lets them know when they are doing something that he doesn’t like. If there aren’t using their inside voices, Sherman investigates. He’ll put himself in between the 2, offer up a toy for distraction or bark at them. When we had our pool, he watched over them carefully. Leroy likes horseplay and tries to join in, he doesn’t try to stop it.
Dog hair has no taste. I’ve eaten enough over 20 year and sometimes I know that I’m eating it and other times it just sneaks in there.
Newfies ARE dogs. I know this hard to understand because they look like bears but they are dogs and should be respected as such. They need to be trained, they are not babysitters and they are all different. Notice the title of this post. I refer to Newfies AND dogs, as if a Newfie is different from a dog. Still learning!
Mud is just wet dirt. Common knowledge but when you say it over and over again in your head for 20 years and you see it on your floor for 6 months straight, it’s easier to handle.
Shit happens. Seriously, poop happens and it happens at the worse possible time. Shit is always going to happen. It’s going to happen on the carpet in the hallway, on the carpet runner, in the car, on the sidewalk, at an outing and in the yard. The good thing about shit though is that you can pick it up, throw it away and move on. Unless it’s diarrhea, then you have to wipe it up but you can still throw it away.
I’m never going to be a perfect dog owner. Just like a perfect dog doesn’t exist, neither does a perfect owner. I’m going to make mistakes and some are going to be bigger than others. Each mistake teaches me something making me a better owner than I was before. “The biggest mistake is believing there is one right way.”
Dog hair really is my glitter. I’ve never been into things that sparkle and shine. Give me a dog over a diamond any day.
Being vulnerable isn’t easy but it’s necessary. I’ve been writing this little blog about my dogs for almost 8 years now. Sometimes I publish an article and I get sweaty palms because I know it’s a risk. I share a lot of personal things and sometimes that isn’t received well. I recently received a message from someone who said that I talk negatively about the breed too much and I’m doing a disservice.
I get that. The Newfie is a very special breed and one where negative traits aren’t talked about much because no one wants to share that their dog isn’t a “gentle giant” 100% of the time. My goal for sharing openly and honestly about the Newfoundland breed has always been to help the breed. I don’t think negative things are shared enough and I think this is what is doing a disservice to our breed. Rescues are full of Newfies right now and online forums are filled with people questioning what is wrong with their dog.
Many people do NOT know what they are getting into when they get a Newfie because of words such as “gentle giant” and “nanny dog”. People expect that from day one and it’s not fair to them, the dog or the breed. People aren’t training their dogs and we can only blame BYB’s so much. We have to take the blame a little for this too. That’s why I share the good and the bad and will continue to do so, if for nothing else, so that people don’t feel like they’re alone.
That’s my 20 things. Can you relate to any of them?