TV Appearances & Stories
Extraordinary Dogs Television Programme Featuring Whizz and Young Christopher.
Look out for details of a new television programme due to be filmed soon.
Look out for a new book
THOSE AMAZING NEWFOUNDLAND DOGS
by Jan Bondeson
The Book supporting Newfound Friends
Jan Bondeson is a senior lecturer at Cardiff University and the author of Amazing Dogs, Greyfriars Bobby, and nine other critically praised books. He has been researching the history of Newfoundland dogs for six years. This book supports the charity Newfound Friends, dedicated to Newfoundland dog water rescue and hospital work, as well as helping critically ill children.
Known in Britain at least since the 1730s, Newfoundland dogs have been highly regarded for their bravery, intelligence and water rescue ability. This book will resurrect the forgotten history of the Newfoundland dog, using original sources and illustrations to shed new light on this magnificent breed.
Also by Jan Bondeson has lots of interesting and unusual stories about dogs.
Television Programmes Featuring Newfound Friends
BBC The One Show, BBC Blue Peter (4 times), Countryfile (3 times), BBC 999, BBC Breakfast News, BBC Newsround, BBC Rolfs Amazing World of Animals, ABC News, ITV People & Pets, ITV ITN News, SKY, Dogs With Jobs, K9 - 5
Recent TV Appearance
Awards Given to Newfound Friends
Citation from the premier of Newfoundland / Gold Medals, Star Pets 'One in a Million' award, Animal Health Trust Talent Award 1999, Golden Bonio Awards 2000, Pro Dogs Pet of the Year Gold Medal, Golden Bone Pet Dog of the Year 2002, Childrens Pet of the Year 2003, Daily Mail Dog of the Year 2004, Dogs Trust Award Medal 2008
The Childrens Hospice South West - written by Jill Farwell, one of the founders
The children at the Hospice have received several visits from beautiful Newfoundland dogs, one such from Bear and Dude was pictured in the Summer edition of NEWFOUNDLAND SCENE. They give enormous pleasure to children, parents and staff. The Newfound Friends fantastic fundraising enabled the Childrens' Hospice to build an adventure playground specially adapted for very sick children, and this, as many of you know, took the form of the ship 'The Matthew' in which John Cabot sailed and discovered Newfoundland some 500 years ago. This facility has also given great fun and interest to our children.
For those who do not know about Little Bridge House, may I add that Little Bridge House, the only Childrens' Hospice in the South West, offers sick children and their families respite and relaxation, friendship and a sense of community, a sharing in the 24-hour care of the very sick child, expert palliative and terminal care and then support for the whole family into bereavement. The Hospice is situated in the beautiful North Devon countryside and provides a homely atmosphere, where special needs can be catered for by qualified staff and where sick children and their families can enjoy the best possible quality of life.
All the families who use Little Bridge House have children who suffer from conditions which mean they will die in childhood, conditions such as heart disease, organ failure, cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Battens disease and cancer. Families from the whole South West region, from Bristol to Penzance, are welcomed without charge but the cost of supporting this very specialised care is around £1 million each year. Our hospice is a registered charity. We have little access to public funds and are almost entirely self-supporting, relying on the generosity of the public, companies, charitable trusts and other benefactors, to enable our work to continue.
It's been a wonderful friendship with the Newfoundland world, which links dogs and children in a very special way. We will always be very grateful to you for all your help.
'Bear' the Newfoundland puppy is said to be the worlds first specialist childrens dog. He is pictured with Natalia Budd at the Childrens Hospice South West in Barnstaple, where terminally ill children go for respite care.
Bears duties will consist, not only of being a companion to sick children but also, when fully trained, he will promote water safety with the Royal Life Saving Society's Rookie Lifeguard scheme. The Newitt family, who each year raise funds for specialist dogs, bought Bear. They were so inspired by seeing Newfoundlands working with children on a recent television programme that they set about raising the funds to provide a puppy.
Sasha Kotovich and his big cuddly friends
Sasha lives in a small village in Belarus, very close to the border with Ukraine. Sasha's village is located only about 50 miles from Chernobyl where the nuclear disaster took place in 1987. The effects of this catastrophic disaster are still widespread in the area. Health and economic problems prevail and we can only hope that we never see any similar disasters again.
Sasha has stayed with us at Days Cottage and obviously has got very attached to the dogs which tend to rule over everything that happens in our household. From the age of 10 Sasha has been swimming with the dogs. Quite how he explains what he does when he gets home to Belarus, we don't know. We're pretty sure that they wouldn't have any dogs as big and pampered as any of the British Newfoundlands that he comes across.
Sasha has played an active part in our very busy display schedule this year. We've been able to teach him the necessary skills to drive our boat, something a child of his age would obviously enjoy very much. Sasha is very bright and able to pick up things very quickly despite the language barrier. Unfortunately he doesn't speak any English and we can't speak any Russian! However we seem to get by and it's amazing how you can cope in these circumstances.
The team of Newfound Friends members are always pleased to see Sasha and ask to be kept in touch with his progress when he has returned to Belarus. He is truly a 'Newfound friend' from distant shores and we send him, his mother and his sister our best wishes and a better outlook for the future.
The Dogs Trust Honours Awards - Guildhall London February 6th 2008
Whizz was nominated to receive one of the awards for his rescue of Topper, the Irish Setter.
Whizz was on a walk late one winter evening in a secluded wooded area and went running off into the undergrowth. By the time I arrived on the scene Whizz was pulling Topper to the side of a disused water storage tank which Topper had fallen into.
Pulling both dogs out it was obvious that Topper had sustained a serious injury to his rear leg and needed urgent medical attention.
Topper had been missing for the best part of an hour and his owners were looking in completely the wrong direction. My guess is that Topper ran off after a deer and came upon the water tank and was unable to stop. He probably hurt his leg by trying to gain purchase on the side of the tank to pull himself out.
Bearing in mind that there was only about 10 minutes of daylight left and the temperature was due to fall below freezing, if it wasn't for Whizz Topper would almost certainly have perished.
Whizz's prompt action and lifesaving skills were rewarded with the Dogs Trust Honours Medal 2008.
The International Festival of the Sea
The newfoundland dogs of Newfound Friends have done displays in various parts of the UK but the International Festival of the Sea is probably the biggest venue that any newfoundland has performed in, with attendances in excess of half a million visitors over a 3 day period. Without exaggeration, the response of the public to the dogs was exceptional. Quite often it took an hour or to return to base after each display.
The Premier of Newfoundland, Brian Tobin, presented the dogs with gold medals and was kind enough to write the following about them.
"It was certainly my pleasure to have met you when I was in Bristol attending the International Festival of the Sea, and to have the opportunity to learn about your very worthwhile organisation Newfound Friends. The entire Canadian contingent agreed that the dogs were a tremendous hit both at the festival and in the Newfoundland pavilion Newfoundland dogs have always been an icon for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. I must admit, however, that I have never been more proud of these magnificent animals than I was when I presented them with their gold medals of achievement. All Newfoundlanders and Labradorians can take pride in the fact that one of our provincial icons and an animal that is our namesake is part of a very important effort to raise money for childrens charities.
Whizz and Ellie, The Story
You may have seen all the national news and TV coverage recently featuring Ellie and Whizz, the dynamic lifesaving duo.
11 year old Ellie and 3 year old Whizz have only been training together for 5 months and instantly built up a relationship which inspires both of them to perform incredible lifesaving feats together.
In 25 years of training dogs and children in lifesaving, I have never come across such a relationship between a person and a dog. The pair of them have a natural infinity. They obviously enjoy one anothers company and both being of a tender age can only get better. I'm sure you will hear much more of this special bond between canine and human in the months to come.