If you have ever been to Switzerland, you may have taken your picture with a typical St. Bernard dog in front of Matterhorn or Jungfrau!
There is no better time to plan a trip to the country of St. Bernard mountain dogs... A litter of fuzzy triplets has just been "Newly Swissed": Falko, Faris, and Figaro! These puppies were born on July 6, 2012, at the Barryland in Martigny.
A brief history of St. Bernard dogs
Located on top of the Great St. Bernard Pass at the Great St. Bernard Hospice (thus the dog's name), the breeding station is the world's oldest of its kind. Interestingly, the tradition of raising St. Bernard mountain dogs can be traced back to the 17th century, when the giant dogs were tasked with protecting the monks.
By 1800, St. Bernards were being used as mountain rescue dogs. Barry, the most famous of all, is said to have rescued more than 40 lives.
The St. Bernard dogs' barrel
"So what’s with the barrel hanging from the St. Bernhard’s neck?” you may have asked yourself. Is it true that St. Bernhard dogs carry wine instead of liquor in their barrel?
Actually, neither is the case. While the legend of Barry describes such a barrel, it would have been physically impossible for a dog to wade its way through the snow. The sheer weight of a barrel would have prevented Barry from saving all those lives. So there you go, the barrel is just an artifact for those typical tourist photos!
(Copyright Fondation Barry)