We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Yes, it is still the Year of the Dog in the Chinese calendar, and we will make one last exception to our original desire to highlight sporting dogs, because this is a breed we love. I grew up around one.
Gentle giants. Males 130-150 lbs. Bred to do work both at sea and on land, the huge cuddly beasts pulled nets, rescued fishermen, hauled carts - and one, named Seaman, accompanied Lewis and Clark. Good choice. Interestingly, these dogs were probably of English origin, not North American, and are ancestors of the Lab.
I seem to remember reading that a Newfoundland dog once saved Napolean from drowning. From wikipedia:
An unnamed Newfoundland is also credited for saving Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815. During his famous escape from exile on the island of Elba, rough seas knocked Napoleon overboard. A fisherman's dog jumped into the sea, and kept Napoleon afloat until he could reach safety.