The Dogs of Saint

The Dogs of St. Bernard

By M.H.F. Donne

Young America Stories and Pictures for Young People1887

Dog of St. Bernard.
The dogs belonging to the monks of St. Bernard are known and valued for their sagacity in finding lost travellers in the Alps. They often scent the traveller, who is covered with many feet of snow. They will scratch away the drift; will lie upon the traveller to give him warmth, and at the same time they make a peculiar and continuous bark to inform the monks of their discovery.

One of these dogs saved forty persons, and among them was a little boy that the dog managed to restore from a frozen state and carried on his back to the Hospice.

The Grand St. Bernard is one of the lofty mountins in Swizerland. The Hospice, where the monks live, is a large stone building, built on the highest point of the pass, more than 8000 feet above the sea.

The dogs are noble creatures: tall, large-limbed, deep-mouthed, and broad-chested. They go out either alone or with the monks in search of travellers, having food or cordials slung round their necks; and, being able on their four feet to cross dangerous snowfields, where men could not venture, they trace out those who are buried in the snow, supply them with food, and sometimes carry them home on their backs, or else come back to tell their masters where the dead are lying.

There are tremendous avalanches in winter, when the snow has fallen in such masses that it can no longer hold on the the mountains, but shoots down with a suddenness, swiftness, violence, and noise, compared by the monks to the discharge of a cannon; and sometimes the snow-drifts surround the walls of the Hospice to a height of forty feet.

The deep little lake before the Hospice does not melt until July, and freezes again in September, and the snow falls almost every day in the year!
Not a tree is to be seen, but only patches of moss, grass, and bright, hardy little flowers.

In the Hospice a guest-chamber, or hall, is kept for travellers, where a fire is always burning, and however cold it may be outside a warm welcome is ever ready within. May God bless the kind monks and cheer them in their noble and charitable work!
M.H.F. Donne

(เฉพาะผู้มีส่วนเกี่ยวข้องและลูกค้า The Spirit of Saintbernard)
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