Hospice dogs back on the Great Saint Bernard pass
To perpetuate a centuries-old tradition, the Saint Bernards from the Barry Foundation will once again be spending the summer in their place of origin. They will remain in the hospice kennels on the Great Saint Bernard pass at 2,500 metres above sea level until the beginning of October. Visitors can come and see the Saint Bernards in the hospice breeding centre and even accompany the good-natured dogs on a hike.
Although there is still a lot of snow on the Great Saint Bernard pass, the pass road was opened again a few days ago and there is already a great deal of hustle and bustle up on the pass. A good half of the Saint Bernards from the hospice breeding kennels have moved into their summer quarters at 2,500 metres above sea level.
Aurélie Schillaci is one of the animal keepers at the Barry Foundation who will be working with the dogs up on the pass on a regular basis over the coming months. It will be her first summer in this wonderful location. "I find the area quite unique. This is where the Saint Bernards come from. Countless legends originated here."
The hospice breeding kennels will be open every day until the beginning of October. Members of the public can watch the Saint Bernards going about their various activities every day between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and usually even get to stroke the dogs. Admission to the hospice museum is combined with the opportunity to see the dogs. As a result, visitors will not only meet the descendants of the legendary avalanche dog Barry, but can also find out a range of interesting facts about the pass and the hospice in the museum.
Anybody who would prefer to do something more active with the Saint Bernards can accompany the dogs on a 1 ½-hour walk in July and August. "The short mountain excursions in small groups are an experience of a lifetime. They allow people to come into much more direct contact with the dogs", explains Claudio Rossetti, Managing Director of the Barry Foundation. "The participants are always enthusiastic about being able to hold a Saint Bernard on a lead, and enjoy watching the dogs romping around in the untouched mountain environment."