The Hero St. Bernard Dog Who Saved 40 Lives

About the hero St. Bernard dog in the Swiss Alps that worked as a rescue dog and saved over 40 people.


In the Swiss Alps, at the St. Bernard Hospice, the huge St. Bernards are not used much anymore to rescue travelers lost in the snow. People don't travel on foot now, and if anyone gets lost, helicopters come to the rescue.

The most famous of the St. Bernards of the past was named Barry. Early in the 1800s, Barry was the wonder dog of the rescue corps which set out daily from the hospice. Early in the morning, he would trot away, eagerly looking for people who had come to grief in snowdrifts or avalanches. He carried no keg of brandy around his neck. (The keg of brandy is only legend.)

After he died in 1814, Barry was stuffed and put on display. A magazine of the time reported, "For 12 years he worked and gave faithful service to the unfortunate. He saved the lives of more than 40 persons, showing an extraordinary zeal. He never had to be urged to work. If he felt a man was in danger somewhere, he ran immediately to his aid, and if he could do nothing, he returned to the convent and sought help through his barking and attitude."

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