St. Bernards and Their Whiskey Barrels

St. Bernards and Their Whiskey Barrels

Legend tells that Saint Bernards carried barrels of whiskey around their necks to aid stranded travelers. In order to help travelers, an Augustine monk named St. Bernard de Menthon founded a hospice and monastery around the year 1050.   Sometime between 1660 and 1670, the monks at Great St. Bernard Hospice acquired their first St. Bernards.  The breed they raised were descendants of the mastiff style Asiatic dogs brought over by the Romans.  They were smaller than modern St.Bernards and had shorter reddish brown and white fur with a longer tail.  The earliest image of their dogs was depicted in two paintings done by well-known Italian artist Salvatore Rosa in 1695. At first, the dogs were companions to guides called “marrioners” that helped bring travelers...