The Newfoundland dogs of Jolly Roger will carry on their annual holiday tradition at Ulbrich’s Garden Center in Alden, N.Y, on Dec. 14. For one day out of the year, these big “Newfies” rely on their natural instinct to help pull fresh-cut Christmas trees from the “Cut your own” fields to the tree-staging area, all to raise money for charity.
For the past 15 years, Roger Frey, owner of Jolly Roger’s Pet Supply, has partnered with the garden center for one of their biggest events of the year. Frey said he has been breeding Newfies for 38 years, and he provides 15 to 20 of these working dogs to pull trees in sleds, wagons, and carriages.
The dogs, who weigh up to 150 pounds, also are available to take children on sleigh rides from the field up to the nursery building. Donations raised, which can range from $250 to $800 in one afternoon, go to the Alden-Marilla Community Food Pantry. The pantry services 25 to 30 families per month, Frey said.
The dogs wear festive bells and wreaths around their necks, and they’re also available for photographs with children. Frey, who is the president of the Newfoundland Club of America, said the event has become a special tradition for area families.