Lola received the Newfoundland Club of America Award for Heroism at the National Specialty Show in Delavan, WI, on 4/22/04.

Lola’s Story (Am/Can Ch Longship’s Cherry Cola Lola )
Written March 2003


It was a dismally cold and rainy night during the winter of 2002 that Vermonters generally call a “January thaw.”. The temperature was hovering around 32o, and our snow-covered yard had turned into a skating rink.

My wife and I raise and show Newfoundland dogs. We are a small kennel located in Richmond, Vermont, which averages about 10 dogs and one or two litters per year.

That particular night, per our regular routine, the dogs spent the evening relaxing in the house. At 9 o’clock, they head out to their kennel runs in the back yard for the night. In my haste, I quickly grabbed their evening dog biscuits and headed out the door without my jacket. It was freezing rain by that time, and the kennel was covered in ice.

Just before I secured the last dog in a kennel run, I slipped and fell, hitting my head on the icy ground immediately losing consciousness . As my senses slowly returned, I remember feeling this immense pressure on my chest. My first thought was that I was having a heart attack. Then I felt something warm and wet on my face which was in direct contrast to the bone-chilling cold on my back. When I opened my eyes, there was Lola, our seven-year old champion bitch, lying on top of me and constantly licking my face. Due to her large size, her body covered most of mine and protected me from the driving rain.

I unsteadily got to my feet using Lola as a crutch. I gave Lola her biscuit, put her in her kennel, and made my way back to the house. My clothes were soaked through except on the front where Lola covered me. I was freezing cold and shaking badly When I saw the clock, I couldn’t really comprehend the time. I had been unconscious on the icy ground in the freezing rain for over 45 minutes! I was home alone that evening, so there was no human intervention available. I truly feel that if Lola had not protected me, I would have had severe hypothermia or worse.

As I write this, Lola sits at my feet. She was diagnosed with bone cancer recently when she was also 30 days pregnant. She miscarried the puppies, but her strong spirit and intelligence still shines through in spite of her pain. She will always be a hero to us.

Submitted by:
John Cornell
Richmond, VT

(Sadly, Lola passed away in John’s arms on April 11, 2003)