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Posted on July 23rd, 2013 No Comments

Bernard The First Aid Rescue Dog: A Brief History

The calm and gentle sweet natured St. Bernard dog that makes a great pet is part of a beautiful and inspiring legend ?that of rescuing lost travelers trapped in life threatening situations in the snowy dangerous mountains.

There was this monastery in Switzerland called the St. Bernard monastery. The monks of this particular monastery first bred these dogs and trained them in mountain rescue and from here the canine friend borrowed his name.

The St. Bernard dog owes its origin to the Roman Molossian dog which is related to the Tibetan mastiff. The function of the St. Bernard dogs in the earliest phase was to guard the monastery. 20000 travelers who used the busy pass of Saint Bernard every year in the 18th century were often helped to feed by the St. Bernard dogs.

Their incredible sense of direction and keen instinctive nature helped them to become rescue dogs in the bitterly cold Alpine wildernesses towards the later half of the 18th century.

The linking of the St. Bernard with first aid and safety

It is pretty well known to any lay person that the St. Bernard dogs rescue incapacitated or fatigued travelers who are lost in the snow of the Alps. These dogs have small barrels or canisters hung round their necks. And usually there is a cross on that canister. There is a lot of debate regarding the contents inside those canisters. Some say, the small barrels contained alcoholic spirits like liquor or rum or brandy that the victims (rescued by the dogs) could drink to warm themselves up.

Others argue that alcohol that has a vasodilator effect on the body can lead to hypothermia in patients. It slows down the metabolism of the body as well. But many people believe that the St. Bernard breed of dogs never carried alcoholic spirits like brandy in their canisters.

If at all these dogs wore any canisters round their necks, they contained first aid supplies. Even the monks raising the check here St. Bernard dogs vehemently deny that their pets carry barrels round their necks.

First aid supplies and emergency medicines in those times weren鎶?as advanced and developed as in today鎶?times. And brandy was regarded as a good medicine to revive and warm up people who were freezing to death. Naturally, helpless people lost in click this website the snow, who would otherwise share this site die would lap up the brandy carried in the canister round a Saint Bernard鎶?neck after emergency rescue.

Some books and websites tell us that the legend/idea of the Saint Bernard dog giving brandy to lost travelers was born from an old painting of this particular breed of dog carrying such a flask round its neck.

Since then, this picture has caught on and has been reproduced in other pictures, cartoons, storybooks and in comics. This was how the Saint Bernard breed of dog came to be associated with first aid, emergency rescue and safety.

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