Lindsey’s Story

What a special breed this is. People who love these dogs have their own favorite stories illustrating the wonderful devotion and wisdom of Newfoundlands. Caring breeders such as Ellis and Judi Adler have the added satisfaction of knowing that the puppies they produce can make an enormous difference in their new families’ lives.

The Adlers have bred Newfoundlands for over twenty five years, and have collected many wonderful stories about their special Sweetbay Newfoundlands. They would like to share one such story with you.


Sweetbay's Lindsey CanCDX CanWRD CanDD, OFA NF-3554

Dean and Grace Edwards of Coquitlam, B.C. owned a six year old Newfoundland named J.J., and they thought he might enjoy having a friend. The Adlers and the Edwardses had known one another for years, through the informal world of Newfs, and Dean and Grace had admired the athleticism, intelligence and soundness of the Sweetbay dogs. But Dean and Grace wanted a Landseer, and there were no Landseers at Sweetbay. Then, by accident, they met a young black Sweetbay dog also living in Canada, and fell head over heels in love with him. Who was he out of? He was a Sweetbay dog? By any chance were Judi and Ellis going to repeat that breeding?

This was not a whim. They had looked, seriously, for nearly two years to no avail. But this dog was everything they wanted. Except he wasn't for sale! So they drove down to Portland to plead their case with Judi and Ellis, to see if by some miracle they might have one just like him.

And there they found Lindsey. A litter sister to the male they’d seen in Canada. But who Judi and Ellis had no intention of selling.

Lindsey was irresistible. Dean and Grace fell hard. She was just as wonderful as her brother. The Adlers resisted, but the Edwardses were persistent. They went home without her, but with their determination lessened not one bit. They kept up the courtship, determined that this special dog would become theirs. When Lindsey reached seven months old, their campaign to purchase her paid off. Lindsey clearly loved Dean and Grace and their two young sons, and it seemed like it was meant to be. Succumbing to the inevitable, the Adlers agreed, the papers were signed over, and Lindsey joined the Edwards household on Mother’s Day, 1990.

Lindsey came with wonderful manners but plenty of youthful exuberance. Dean and Grace’s first task was to teach her proper behavior when there are neighbors in close proximity. This means no barking, during the day and especially at night. Lindsey soon caught on, and everyone was happy.

One month after her arrival - on Father’s Day, in fact, at 2:00 a.m. - young Lindsey woke the Edwardses up with ferocious barking. Not "there’s a cat on the fence" barking. Not "I’m bored" barking. But serious deep from-the-heart barking. Dean climbed out of bed, went to the window, and angrily told Lindsey to knock it off. Dean could see their older dog, J.J., sleeping through the ruckus. Never blinked an eye.

But Lindsey was in manic mode. She ignored Dean’s orders to hush and kept barking, running to the back corner of the yard and flinging herself at the fence. Dean’s anger quickly changed to concern. Sure now that something was wrong, Dean listened - and thought he heard shouting.

Their next door neighbors had long been experiencing marital discord, and they had separated the past Christmas. Things had gone downhill since then. The husband’s volatile nature had led to physical abuse, and the wife filed a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting her or the children. Dean knew the history, and was worried that the sounds were coming from their direction. Fearing the worst, he told Grace to call the police.

Then they heard pounding on their front door. Dean peeked out the window, then flung open the door. It was Joanne, their neighbor, bleeding and badly injured. She stumbled in the door and collapsed. Moments later, the police arrived and found Joanne’s husband frantically charging about outside, searching for Joanne, a bloody hammer still in his hand. He was raging with fury, and brandished the hammer. The police gave him one chance to surrender - and after a long moment, he put the hammer down and was taken into custody.

The police later filled Dean and Grace in on the happenings that night. In spite of the restraining order, Joanne’s husband had angrily demanded to visit the children on Father’s Day. In accordance with the court order, and having no choice, Joanne had refused. So he waited until the early hours of the morning and then crept onto the property, carrying a hammer. He tried the doors and found them locked. He paused long enough to pick up a large rock, threw it through the sliding glass door, then slipped into the house. In seconds he was towering over Joanne, screaming in her face, and smashing her skull with the hammer. She tried to protect herself by shielding her face with her hands, and he swung harder, breaking her arm. Seriously injured, Joanne tried to crawl away, and he again swung, severing the tendons in her foot.

Joanne had a guest that night, sleeping in a far wing of the house. Tragically, he slept through the attack. What woke him was Lindsey’s frantic barking. He interrupted the attack long enough for Joanne to crawl to the Edwards’ house next door. And then the police arrived.

Lindsey had started barking the minute the husband stepped foot on the property. She knew something was wrong. When Dean told her to hush, she behaved out of character and ignored him, escalating the barking. Had she not sounded the alarm, the houseguest would not have interrupted the attack. The Edwardses would not have awakened in time to call the police. And Dean and Grace would not have heard Joanne on the porch and been able to let her in to safety.

The police gave Lindsey full credit for her heroic rescue. There was no question: the husband had nothing less than murder on his mind, and that Joanne was alive at all was due to Lindsey’s intervention. Joanne was in the hospital a long time, and in rehab longer still, but eventually made a full recovery.

Joanne looks on Lindsey as her guardian angel. When things first went sour with her marriage and her husband became abusive, her father urged her to get a dog for protection, but she was sure it wasn’t necessary, and wasn’t keen on the extra responsibility of owning a dog. Luckily, thanks to Lindsey, Joanne lived to reconsider her decision. She now thinks having a dog would be a wise idea. And she would like that dog to be Lindsey. But Dean and Grace aren’t about to part with their special girl.

And Lindsey? For several weeks after the incident, Lindsey patrolled her yard with extra vigilance. She barked at anyone who resembled Joanne’s husband. She would bark even more fiercely if anyone wandered about the corner of Joanne’s yard where the husband had appeared ready to commit mayhem. The remarkable part of the story is that Lindsey did not know Joanne. There was no friendship, no bond. But Lindsey knew when something wasn’t right, and she wasn’t about to let anyone get hurt on her watch.

Dean and Grace were very proud of their girl. They’d spent that first month teaching her not to bark, and had taught her well. Yet Lindsey had known what was important, and barked her head off when it counted.