St. Bernards and their Mystery Barrels
In this episode of AnimalZone, the team embarks on an enchanting journey to Barryland, nestled in the picturesque Valais Canton of Switzerland. Established in 2006, Barryland is a unique amalgamation of the St. Bernard museum and the Barry Foundation, dedicated to the revered Swiss national dog, the St. Bernard.
The adventure takes us to the historic Great St. Bernard Pass, a hospice perched at an awe-inspiring altitude of 2460 meters (8,070'). For over a millennium, this sanctuary has been tended by a devoted order of monks, offering solace to travelers and pilgrims. By the 17th century, the compassionate monks began caring for the St. Bernard dogs, and their legacy continues to this day.
The legend of Barry 1, a heroic St. Bernard who saved over 40 lives during his residency from 1800 to 1812, is celebrated with reverence. Since then, there has always been a St. Bernard named Barry at the hospice, carrying forward this noble tradition.
Meet Claudia, a compassionate dog therapist, and her heartwarming canine companion, Alba. Together, they visit hospices, hospitals, and individuals with special needs, spreading comfort and healing. The presence of these gentle giants has a profound impact on patients, often alleviating their pain. In educational settings, children not only learn how to interact with St. Bernards but also develop empathy for these magnificent creatures.
The mystery of the barrels beneath the St. Bernards' necks unravels. Stories abound about their contents, with some believing it's filled with alcohol, while others insist it's water. Children hold out hope for a sweet surprise like chocolate. Claudia playfully keeps the secret, adding an air of mystique to this cherished tradition.
Alex, a St. Bernard Specialist, sheds light on the versatile capabilities of these dogs. Far from their placid demeanor and droopy expressions, St. Bernards are adept at sled-pulling, displaying intelligence that belies their appearance. As puppies, they have a penchant for chewing, a trait that lasts up to a year and a half.
Introducing Nolan, a lively 5-month-old female St. Bernard, and Patch, a wise senior at 8 years old, viewers witness the range of personalities within the breed. Males tip the scales at 65-80 kilos, while females weigh in at 50-65 kilos. Litters typically range from 5 to 8, with a record-setting 16 pups. These affable giants revel in tugging toys and playfulness.
For those eager to learn more about Barryland, a treasure trove of St. Bernard history and charm, visit barryland.ch. Join AnimalZone on this unforgettable journey celebrating the indomitable spirit of the St. Bernard and the heartwarming connections they forge.