Dogs are always turning up with weird things they’ve found while outside. They find sticks, rocks and bring in any number of strange things they’ve dug up in the woods. Last week, one dog made an interesting discovery while walking a Massachusetts beach with her owners. Veda, a two-year-old Newfoundland, found a stranded loggerhead turtle washed up on the shore.
That may not sound too interesting to you, but wait until you hear what she did. The beach, located near Ellisville Harbor State Park in Plymouth, was littered with ocean debris and seaweed after a storm came through on the weekend. As you can imagine, the weather in Massachusetts is a little chilly this time of year.
The light-brown shell of the loggerhead was camouflaged under all the debris, but Veda was still able to notice the cold-stunned turtle. When she spied the animal, she ran ahead of her owners and lay down beside the sea creature. The 40-pound turtle did not seem to faze the dog at all; she was simply helping a fellow animal in need.
Veda’s owners, Brad and Leah Bares, said that the Newfoundland had never seen a turtle before, but they weren’t surprised by what she did, because “that’s just the nature of a Newfoundland.” The Bares’ panicked at first, but sprang into action to save the dying turtle. They covered it with seaweed to keep it warm and contacted the Massachusetts Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.
A volunteer from the facility arrived shortly and transported the turtle to the aquarium’s Animal Care Center. Due to the cold temperatures, it is likely that the turtle would not have survived more than a few hours if Veda hadn’t have found it. After four days of gradual re-warming, the turtle is now doing just fine and has even been named Newfie, after the dog’s breed.
Newfoundland’s are a very large breed of working dog that originated in Newfoundland, hence the name. They are well known for their strength, intelligence and calm disposition. Did you know that in the original play Peter Pan written by J.M. Barrie, Nana the canine nursemaid was a Newfoundland? Barrie had a Newfoundland and Nana was a tribute to the breeds caring and loving nature as well as their tranquil disposition.
The breed is also known for its abilities in the water. They were originally bred to help fisherman and continue to work with many water rescue organizations. They have a very thick, water resistant double coat and webbed feet, making them excellent swimmers.
Of course, when you think of Newfoundland’s, the first thing that probably comes to mind is their large size. This is another asset that makes them excellent working dogs. A quick internet search will bring up plenty of real-life examples of Newfoundland dogs being used in the search and rescue field, water rescue field and as therapy or service dogs for humans with special needs.
Newfoundland’s are a highly versatile breed that has gained a lot of popularity in the last decade. They certainly aren’t for everyone though. The average height of a male is 27-29 inches and the average weight is 130-150 pounds. You need to have a lot of space if you plan to raise a Newfoundland, and they require quite a bit of grooming as well thanks to their super thick coat.
If you’re looking for a dog and you think a Newfoundland may be right for your family, just make sure you do your research. Large dogs like this come with extra responsibilities and they require more care. There are many smaller breeds that are intelligent and calm too, and one of these may be better suited for your family’s lifestyle.