I'm going to tell you about a famous St. Bernard dog, and his name was Barry, just like mine, so that's why Piper said I should write about him. Actually, I'm quite happy to do so because I did not even know until recently that there were any other dogs named Barry -- especially not famous ones!
In 1049, an Augustine monk named Bernard of Menthon founded a hospice in the pass. Many years later, he was made a saint, and the hospice, the pass, and a breed of dogs all came to share the name Saint Bernard. The original idea of the monks at the hospice was that they could provide shelter for travelers, and they could keep the pass safe by scaring away all the bandits who wanted to rob the travelers. But soon the monks were also going out to rescue people who got lost or buried in the snow.
The dogs of the St. Bernard Pass spent almost two centuries rescuing people, and they saved more than 2000 people altogether. People always think that St. Bernards went out with little casks of liquor tied around their necks, but this is not really true. Or at least no record can be found to show that it really happened.
And that's pretty much the end of the story. Those monks might have been the first people ever to train dogs for search and rescue work, but they certainly weren't the last. I'm just proud that a dog with my same name was part of such a fine tradition!