Schooner the ambassador dog dies of cancer

Daniel MacEachern
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Schooner, a furry, eight-year-old St. John’s ambassador, has died. A Newfoundland dog who for the past several years — with other dogs of the same breed — greeted tourists on cruise ships and atop Signal Hill, died of cancer Tuesday night.

Schooner, at age 3, on Signal Hill in St. John’s. Schooner, who died recently at age 8, was taken to Signal Hill since he was a puppy, to the delight of visitors to the historic site.

Owner Carolyn Jackman said he was fixture for tourists in St. John’s.

“(Tourism Newfoundland and Labra­dor) was looking for a Newfoundland dog and a Labrador retriever to greet the cruise ships, and that’s sort of how it started,” said Jackman.

A friend of the Jackman family mentioned Schooner, and his ambassadorial career was born.

Not only did he greet cruise ships, but he often opened conventions.

Jackman estimates Schooner made between 50 and 100 public appearances, with his last one coming at the AHL all-star game in St. John’s in February.

Jackman said greeting tourists was in Schooner’s blood.

“His father did cruise ship greetings, and the very first time Schooner was ever down on the dock for a greeting, an unofficial one, was when he was four months old,” said Jackman, who added her dog loved meeting people, and spent time visiting people in hospitals as part of a pet therapy program. “It was old hat for him.”

Schooner won two best-in-show titles at competitions as well, said Jackman, adding that he will be missed.

“It’s hard. It’s tough,” she said.

The Jackmans recently lost another Newfoundland dog, a 12-year-old, as well as another Newfoundland a couple of years ago.

The Jackmans currently have two wire-haired dachshunds, but Carolyn said they’d consider getting another Newfoundland someday.

“Once you get them, it’s hard not to have them.”

Twitter: @TelegramDaniel

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Nancy
    April 04, 2014 - 12:36

    I feel heart broken for you I know how much you will miss him. I had a Newfie years ago and she was the best pet ever. I stop now when I see one and get out of the a car just have to pat them They are a dog that will always stay in your heart. We will see them at the rainbow Bridge I know Jessie is waiting for me. So sorry RIP Schooner

  • Lisa
    April 04, 2014 - 02:47

    My family has the honour of owning a gentle giant. I cannot imagine how it feels to lose such a loving and loyal member of your family. RIP beautiful Schooner.

  • Lisa
    April 04, 2014 - 02:46

    My family has the honour of owning a gentle giant. I cannot imagine how it feels to lose such a loving and loyal member of your family. RIP beautiful Schooner.

  • Viki
    April 03, 2014 - 16:04

    So sorry for your loss. I have a framed picture in my house of Schooner that I took about 7 years ago at Signal Hill. It will always be displayed in my home in tribute to such a beautiful dog.

  • judy
    April 03, 2014 - 14:49

    Our thoughts are with you as a year ago -past march, my husband and I had to let our 8 year old Newfoundland dog (go home), but I like to believe our animals are the first to greet us when we enter the other side (home). I'm sure my Newfoundland dog, Fletcher and all the other beloved animals will greet Schooner.

  • Gloria Armstrong
    April 03, 2014 - 14:26

    Schooner was certainly a tribute to the breed and a true friend to all! We remember him from a visit here in Nova Scotia and his companion, Colin was so connected to his dog and an excellent handler. I'm sure he is sadly missed by all!

  • Bob
    April 03, 2014 - 14:08

    Hey schooner.Happy trails old man! I hope you enjoy your time in the clouds.There are good people up there to take care of you and hopefully lots of butterflies to chase in the sun.See you on the other side sometime.

  • Bonnie Turple
    April 03, 2014 - 08:46

    So sorry to hear of Schooner's passing. Losing a Newf is hard as they enjoy being part of the family, loving and caring comes natural to them. May you rest in peace and play over rainbow bridge without pain. RIP Schooner.

  • Char
    April 03, 2014 - 08:46

    So sorry to hear about Schooner. I met him one day on the harbour front... Beautiful dog. RIP Schooner..

  • Leah
    April 03, 2014 - 06:43

    I am so sorry that Schooner passed away. He certainly will be remembered by the thousands upon thousands of people from all over the world who have pictures of him with their family and friends.. I am from St. John's and took pictures of Schooner at Signal Hill to send to my little sponsored boy in Honduras.

  • Darlene
    April 03, 2014 - 06:11

    REST IN PEACE SCHOONER...RUN FREE AND were one of the best...cheers