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Luath

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J. M. Barrie with Luath
J. M. Barrie with Luath

Luath (born 1903) was Mary and J. M. Barrie's second dog, a male Landseer Newfoundland. The Barries adopted Luath in 1903, more than a year after Porthos (their Saint Bernard) had died, primarily at Mary's prompting.

Luath was Barrie's companion while writing the play Peter Pan, and was the inspiration for the Darling family's nurse Nana, also a Newfoundland. The dog costume for the stage play was modeled after Luath's two-tone coat.

Luath with Gilbert Cannan and his dog Sammy, in a painting by Mark Gertler
Luath with Gilbert Cannan and his dog Sammy, in a painting by Mark Gertler

Perphaps thinking of Nana, Mary wrote years later in her book Dogs and Men (a brief chronicle of the dogs in her life), "Luath's proper place was the nursery. How happy he would have been if there had been one, full of gloriously noisy children!" The Barries' marriage was childless (and reportedly sexless). When the couple divorced, Luath went with Mary, who married Gilbert Cannan. The couple kept Luath along with a few other dogs over the years. A painting of Gilbert by artist Mark Gertler includes both Luath and Sammy, another dog in the Cannan household.

Luath died of old age.

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