Created By: Prfnoff on February 2, 2011

Saint Bernard Rescue

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Saint Bernards are often depicted in media as carrying barrels of brandy around their necks, which was used to warm rescued victims from the cold.

The monks of the Saint Bernard Hospice deny that this was ever used in Real Life, and instead the early depiction came from an early painting.

The idea that the dogs could do this, or that a drink could even save someone from hypothermia was examined and busted by the MythBusters.

(All of the above lifted from Dead Unicorn Trope.)

  • In P.D.Q. Bach's "half-act opera" The Stoned Guest, a St. Bernard appears right on cue after Don Octave says "For who can save us now?", and the cast sings its praises until they get around to discovering that the cask around its neck has been drained of its contents.
Community Feedback Replies: 4
  • February 2, 2011
    • There's at least one Bugs Bunny cartoon with the Saint Bernard -- but instead of sharing his brandy with others, he drinks it himself and resultingly shows up drunk at his rescues.
  • February 2, 2011
    • The Wizard Of Id has at least once had Town Drunk Bung resort to getting in trouble on a mountain so that he'll be rescued by a Saint Bernard and he can drink its brandy.
  • February 3, 2011
    Two Far Side cartoons toy with the idea:

    One with a guy in an outhouse in the middle of nowhere, yellign for help, cutting to a Saint-Bernard with a roll of toilet paper around its collar (The caption is "Far away on a hillside, a very specialized breed of dog heard the cry for help.").

    Another is "Common rescue animals", featuring among others: a Saint-Bernard with a keg of brandy, a dolphin with a pair of swim trunks, a rhinoceros with car keys.
  • February 3, 2011
    Mentioned in Yodel Land.

    From Through A Face Full Of Fur:

    • In the Disney short "Alpine Climbers," Pluto falls in the snow and comes out blue and frigid. A Saint Bernard pours his keg of brandy on Pluto's mouth, and a rainbow of colors spreads from Pluto's belly to his extremities as he warms up again.

    A possible page pic (I assume it's the "early painting" mentioned in the OP). It would have to be cropped down to fit on the Wiki.

    Several media examples from the The Other Wiki's article on Saint Bernards:

    • Swiss Miss (1938). Stan Laurel coaxes a tot of brandy from a Saint Bernard.

    Live Action TV
    • Topper (1953-55). Neil, George and Marion Kerby's Saint Bernard.

    • A 1949 Punch magazine cartoon. A man has a St. Bernard and several puppies, all of which wear neck casks. The man says "Of course, I only breed them for the brandy."