The family had researched carefully before they chose pets for their children. So they knew that the breed was friendly and good with kids. They were also aware that the puppies would grow far bigger. However, now that the dogs were older, seeing them at full size was still quite a shock.
The dog owners in question are Bee and Joshua Fisher, a couple who reside in California. The Fishers live with their three sons – Tegan, Cruz and Lenox – in Long Beach. However, the couple felt that their family needed something more.
In fact, Joshua and Bee started thinking about getting a dog as a furry playmate for their boys. Tegan was still a baby and Cruz was three years old; Lenox was the oldest. As such, it would have to be a breed that was good with children.
The Fisher parents consequently did some research into which dog breed would make the most suitable playmate. They settled on a large breed called a Newfoundland dog, which is sometimes employed in rescue work. As a result, the children’s new companion Ralphie was welcomed into the family.
The Fishers got Ralphie as a little puppy in 2014 and they knew he would grow big. Nevertheless, they were surprised at just how big he might become when they went to pick him up and saw his older siblings. Bee subsequently described the incident to Metro.
“We didn’t realise how big they were in person until we went to get Ralphie from the breeders,” she said. “When we first saw the older dogs, we were shocked and we were laughing.” A year later, Ralphie had grown considerably, but still not as much as the Fishers expected.
A combination of Ralphie’s huggable size and gentle nature won the Fishers over. Moreover, eventually just one Newfoundland dog wasn’t enough. “Ralphie was this fluffy teddy bear and now he’s grown he’s not as giant as some can be so Joshua wanted another,” Bee explained.
“And somehow [he] convinced me,” she added. Consequently, Ralphie was joined by his younger fur-brother, who the family named Boss. The two Newfoundland dogs grew up with the Fisher boys and became their companions, best friends and protectors. Now, however, Ralphie and Boss are both huge.
You’d expect that as the youngest dog Boss would be the smallest, but he’s actually the larger of the two. In fact, in March of 2016 he already weighed 160 pounds – and he still hadn’t finished growing. Conversely, Ralphie was a lighter, but still impressive, 125 pounds.
When you also consider that Newfoundland dogs can grow more than 6 feet long, you’d be forgiven for worrying about the children. Yet despite their size, these dogs are known for their gentle temperament. Or, as Joshua told The Dodo, “Ralphie and Boss are sweethearts.”
Not only do Newfoundlands have a calm disposition and a loving temperament, but they are also loyal. It’s this combination of traits that make them ideal as working dogs or therapy animals. As a matter of fact, they’re so good with children that they’re sometimes known as the “nanny dog.”
Of course, with such a large and powerful breed, children should still be supervised around them in case of an accident. There’s the potential for an inadvertent bump or an affectionate lean that could knock a child over. By and large, though, Newfoundlands are the gentle giants of the canine world.
That can certainly be said of Ralphie and Boss. Joshua Fisher told The Dodo that the Newfoundlands want to experience whatever the boys do. “They want to be a part of everything,” he said. “The moment Lenox grabs his backpack for school, Boss will be waiting, ready to get in the car.”
However, it’s not just an adventurous spirit that the dogs have in common with their human brothers. Each one of the Fisher boys has a different but equally loving relationship with the colossal pets. “Boss is NOT a licker, at all. However, he loves Tegan,” Joshua said.
Joshua added, “Tegan is the only one Boss will ever kiss and generally where Tegan is, so is Boss.” Meanwhile, Cruz is Ralphie’s ideal playmate. “Cruz loves Ralphie,” Joshua explained. “Those two are each other’s sidekicks. It’s probably because those are the two with the most energy.”
“Lenox loves them both equally and will play with them both,” he continued. “And they both love him too.” Bee Fisher also told Metro that the boys love how big their giant playmates are. “The kids are fascinated by their size,” she said.
“The oldest, Lenox, likes to relax with them and lie on them,” Bee added. “Three-year-old Cruz wants to play with them – they let him poke and prod. And Tegan, he’s only eight months and he’s not quite crawling yet, but will be exploring with them soon.”
Moreover, it isn’t just the Fisher boys who are fascinated by the size of the giant dogs, either. Joshua said that wherever the Newfoundlands go, people gravitate towards them. “It’s like they’re celebrities,” he explained. “Everyone wants a photo or to pet them.”
“We [attract] crowds of people – you can’t do anything when you’re in a rush,” Joshua continued. What’s more, you can certainly see why. The Newfoundlands look and behave like giant teddy bears who you would just love to hug. Nonetheless, you might want to pack a towel for the drool, though.
“We have to keep emergency towels around the house,” Joshua admitted. A little unwanted moisture is worth it, however. The Fisher boys are going to grow up with the biggest bodyguards in the business. It’s wonderful that they also happen to be their best friends and an integral part of the family.