The Italian Almanac
It happens in Italy - December 31st
Giovanni Morsiani, president of the Italian St Bernard Club, announced the creation of the Fondazione Barry du Grand St Bernard. Its members are 22 Swiss and 11 Italian communes (local authorities), as well as two St Bernard dog clubs, one in Switzerland and one Italian. The purpose of the foundation is the protection and conservation of the breed, that seemed to be impossible a few months ago, when the friars who ran the historic breeding kennels pulled out.
For the time being, the remaining 15 dogs from the former breeding kennels, located above the snow line at 2,400 meters, between Aosta and Switzerland, are being kenneled at Martigny. The move was made necessary by the closure of the pass. The "exile" is, however, temporary. The foundation will return the dogs to their home as soon as weather conditions permit. The tradition, carried on amidst increasing difficulties by the friars of the hospice, dates from the 11th century and will now continue with new supporters and new resources.