Those of you have visited the gallery in the thirteen years since it opened will have been greeted by Pete’s beautiful Newfoundland dogs, and many will remember Bjorn, the “Old Boy”. Sadly Bjorn passed away peacefully in 2012 at the venerable age of 13. But you will still receive an enthusiastic welcome from our official greeters Wolfie and Picasso. They love their role, especially all the attention and cuddles, and have become very good at posing for photos.
Newfoundland’s (“Newfies”) are water rescue dogs, and are known as “Gentle Giants” due to their calm, docile nature and their size and strength. They have a sweet temperament, are courageous, peaceable and intelligent and are very devoted, loyal and trustworthy – “Nana” the beloved dog guardian in Peter Pan was a Newfie.
Newfoundlands were originally used as working dogs for the fishermen in Newfoundland, Canada, for hauling in nets, carrying boat lines to shore, retrieving anything which fell overboard and rescuing shipwrecked and drowning victims. They can be black, like Bjorn and Wolfie, or brown, gray, or black and white as is Picasso. The black and white Newfies are known as Landseer, named after the Victorian English artist Edwin Henry Landseer, who featured them in many of his paintings.
Our Newfies are an integral part of the gallery, and an attraction in their own right; our “welcoming committee” who will greet you at the carpark and escort you to the gallery – they do this every morning on our arrival at work, giving us a warm welcome and guiding us to the door safely! They are always to be found with Pete, and when they aren't busy performing their "meet and greet" duties love to hang out with Pete in the workshop helping him with his woodwork, especially the cleanup at the end of the day, as they love being hosed down with the airgun!
If you travel to the gallery with your own dog in your vehicle, please respect our boy’s “patch” and leave your dog in your car – where he will probably be given a warm welcome by Wolfie and Picasso!