The St Bernards

St Bernards
St Bernards

Syrah, Cooper and Norman love a long morning walk, lots of play time and jumping in the bus for a trip to the beach.

The St Bernards of St Bernards Hotel are as iconic to the mountain as sunsets at the lookout.

Despite their celebrity status, knowledge of their history on the mountain is patchy.

They appear to date back to the late 1940s with each new owner of the Hotel carrying on the tradition of keeping the gentle giants.

Both Syrah, who will be eight in June, and Cooper, four, were inherited from the previous owner, Warren Morton who sold the hotel in August 2022.

Warren adores them and still considers them his dogs, coming every week to see them and have cuddles and play time.

“The first thing people ask when they walk in the door is where are the dogs,” Vicky Krenauer, the Bistro and Events Manager said.

“We have a lot of regulars that come for the dogs. One family visit every week during the winter to sit by the fire and the dogs join them.”

Syrah, who weighs in at 84kg, is happy if she has her squeaky cactus toy. When she doesn’t want to go on a walk the staff will find a squeaky toy to get her up and moving.

Cooper, 82kg, has just started to settle down. 

“He flew off the cliff during covid and SES had to come and rescue him, Vicky said. 

“He loves his zoomies and escaping and jumping in the stinky river down below and then it’s bath time again.”

Baby Norman is the new addition and just celebrated his first birthday. He already weighs a whopping 75kg and hasn’t finished growing.

“Norman is a typical puppy monster. We call him the biggest twit. He likes to jump up and you have to get that out of him very quickly,” laughed Vicky.

“The staff have a full schedule and have all been trained by a dog trainer.”

Being large dogs, their life expectancy is only eight to ten years. 

When Molly died a year and half ago, 2000 people posted on the website mourning her loss.

“They are the biggest gentle giants you can come across,” Vicky said, adding they are also great guard dogs.

“When we started opening for breakfast, they weren’t used to people arriving at 8am and they’d bark at everyone walking in the door.”

No expense is spared when it comes to the dogs. 

Norman gets acupuncture and physio weekly and Syrah monthly to maintain their joints, their kennel has heated flooring for the winter and a sandpit has just been built at the front of the hotel for Norman so he can learn to move his paws correctly and play.

Visitors and locals are blessed to have these iconic giants on the mountain and new owner, Tony Walsh is proud to carry on their heritage.