Since Bailey entered into our lives eight weeks ago, it has been a roller coaster ride of adulation, head turning, instant recognition and numerous “selfies” with her fans. That’s right, we live with a celebrity. You would think, that residing in the Canadian province of Newfoundland & Labrador where Bailey’s breed originates from, people might be more blasé about seeing her. A friend of ours, William Ball, tried to prepare us for the attention that owning a Newfoundland dog would bring into our lives. Bill should know as he has experience raising these dogs (four of them under one roof at one time) and wrote a book on it called “Life Among the Giants – Living with Newfoundland Dogs”. Even with reading his book and several others, we were still not prepared for the onslaught.
Signs of her magnetism became evident quite soon. On our trip back from Eastern Ontario to Labrador with our 9 week old pup, I left my husband and Bailey outside a grocery store while I ducked in to get a few food items. Upon my return, my husband was standing by a woman who was taking a “selfie” of Bailey and her. She wanted a photo to show her daughter. There was also the seemingly endless line of staff and customers at the PetSmart Store who wanted to meet Bailey. Bailey was great about it considering her world had only been the breeder’s house less than 24 hours earlier. It was hard to get everything on our list quickly but the service was great. That was in Cornwall, Ontario. By the time that we left La Malbaie (Quebec), I had experienced having a couple take a photo of Bailey. They were returning by Labrador to Ontario from touring the island of Newfoundland and were disappointed not to have seen any Newfoundland dogs. The photo made their day. We were getting accustom to being approached by strangers and answering questions if Bailey was with us. The questions were usually standard in nature.
- Is she a real Newfoundland dog? Yes, she is a purebred Newfoundland dog – just not born in Newfoundland.
- She’s going to get real big, isn’t she? Yup! Probably around 120 to 130 pounds. Give or take a few pounds.
- Look at those paws! Proof that she will not be a small dog.
- How old did you say she was? Only 9 weeks but, she’s a giant breed puppy.
- Will she shed? Not much now but, she will.
Over time, the entire family has embraced Bailey’s contagious charm, Yard work or any other activity taking place in the front of our house is often interrupted when Bailey is present. People of all ages enjoy running their fingers through her soft fur and Bailey loves people. I am not sure how many people have been licked to date. One time, a man jumped out of his truck and asked if he could see her up close. He told me that Bailey was the first Newfoundland dog that he had seen after spending his entire life in Labrador. The only problem was that he had left his truck still running on the road and a line-up of vehicles was starting to form. Funny, no one honked their horns. They just smiled and waited for him to finish. Going anyplace with Bailey draws a crowd. On today’s walk to school, Bailey was joined by three children besides my husband, son and I. When we walked home yesterday, an elderly lady was waiting to give doggie treats to Bailey. Bailey has a real talent for playing to crowds – only it is not an act. She’s just being true to her breed – welcoming & friendly. On my part, I am getting use to people saying hi to Bailey and Bailey’s owner.
P.S. At 17 weeks, Bailey is now 21.9 kg or 48 pounds 4 ounces.