This is Kala, our little Cape Shore Water Dog. Actually, not so little, as at 11 months, he now weighs almost 70lbs. I have been exchanging letters with Rober McGrath of Patricks' Cove in Placentia, the man who breeds these dogs, to find out a bit more about their history.
Apparently, the dogs were introduced to the French Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon when the Basques sailors would stop over for liquor and other supplies. These same fishermen would also stop on the South Shore of Newfoundland to dry their catch on the beaches, and to resupply their vessels as well, often leaving a few dogs behind. The dogs were used to retrieve fish in the middle of the ocean, that had fallen off the hooks as they were hauled in, and seem to be fearless of any kind of wild water.
Robert's daughter Jacinta had been to spain and saw these dogs (as in photo above) jumping off the wharves; they look identical to Robert's dogs, and must be from the same line. Robert inherited the strain of water dogs from his uncle Dave (and has been breeding these dogs for over 50 years), who inherited the line from his father before him, Walter Coffee, who was the first person on the CS to have one of these dogs.
Here is Kala, just fresh out of the water, up to his usual tricks... he is not as wooly as some of Robert's dogs, but rather sleek as a seal; suits him just fine!
And there he goes, off to the mainland again!