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Heroic Newfoundlands


Our female Newfoundland, Dirigo's Magnificent Villa, CD, was honored on February 29, 1984 for being chosen the Ken-L Ration Dog Hero of the Year. The ceremony took place at the Vice President's mansion in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Barbara Bush, wife of/Vice President George Bush, awarded the gold medal to Villa and praised her for her outstanding behavior. The following day, March 1, 1984, Villa and company traveled to New York City and appeared on the "Good Morning America" show, hosted by David Hartman.
More than 300 dogs were entered in the competition. Villa was selected from among eight semi-finalists by the readers of "Dog World Magazine" for the 1983 Ken-L Ration Dog Hero of the Year. We, as Villa's owners, received a $500 U.S. Savings Bond and Villa received a year's supply of
Ken-L Ration dog food.
Villa is the 30th canine to receive this prestigious award and the first Newfoundland recipient.
Villa would like to thank all of you Newf owners for their support.
- Lynda Viet



Another first for the Newfoundland breed
30th Annual Ken-L Ration Dog Hero of the Year Award 1983
Wednesday, February 29, 1984

reprinted from Newf Tide

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Barbara Bush, wife of Vice President George Bush, today bestowed the Ken-L Ration Dog Hero of the Year A ward upon Villa, a I5O-pound Newfoundland, for the heroic rescue of 12-year-old Andrea Anderson during a blinding snow storm last February. During the ceremony at the Vice Presidential Mansion, Mrs. Bush commended Villa for her act of courage and devotion, as Villa's proud owner, Lynda Veit of Villas, New Jersey, stood beaming.

Mrs. Bush placed the six-inch, 1983 Dog Hero of the Year Medal, on a patriotic red-white-and-blue ribbon, around Villa's neck in the ceremony this afternoon in the Bush's living room.

Last February, during a severe blizzard, 60-mph winds drove young Andrea into a large snowdrift about 40 feet from her home. Disoriented, blinded by the blowing snow and unable to pull herself out, she desperately began to scream for help. Hearing Andrea's cries, the one-year-old Villa leaped over the five-foot fence surrounding her run.


Villa ran 80 feet to the snowbound girl, licked her face reassuringly, and circled Andrea to clear the snow entrapping her. The dog positioned herself so that Andrea could grasp her and be pulled out of the snowbank. Once Andrea was free, Villa continued to clear a path through the blinding snow, and pulled the frightened girl to safety at her own front door.

As 1983's "top dog," Villa will be presented an engraved gold medal commemorating her act of courage. She joins the ranks of 29 other devoted dogs that have received medals from Ken-L Ration since the program began in 1954. Ken-L Ration is a division of the Chicago-based Quaker Oats Company.

Lynda Veit (Mrs. Richard) of Villas, New Jersey
Lynda Veit, the vivacious brunette owner of Villa, the 1983 Ken-L Ration Dog Hero of the Year, is a veteran of II years as a high school Physical Education and Drivers' Education Instructor. For the past five years, Lynda and her husband Dick, a School District Superintendent, have owned and bred Newfoundlands, called "Newfies." They obtained Villa at thirteen weeks of age from breeders Gerry and Penny Webb of Showhagan, Maine. Lynda laughs, "Newfies are our hobby. The only other hobby we have is running fish nets into Delaware Bay!" She is very articulate and attractive.
Lynda plans to breed Villa in April. "Villa recently won her first Obedience Title," Lynda boasts. Villa is a purebred Newfoundland, whose full name is Dirigo's Magnificent Villa.

Andrea Anderson, of Villas, New Jersey
Perky and bright, 12-year-old Andrea is a seventh-grader at Tietteman School. A next-door neighbor of the Veits for six years, she has been "best buddies" with Villa since the Veits brought the dog home, even lending some assistance in building Villa's run. Andrea is the middle sister, Diane is older and Heather is younger.

"My friends are excited for me, but they can't really believe all this is happening!" said Andrea, excited herself. "I have a pretty new corduroy suit, just for the ceremony."

Andrea is the daughter of Bob and Bea Anderson, of Villas, New Jersey.







Villa's story is featured in the Scholastic children's Book Ten True Animal Rescues





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