Barry I was the most famous of all the hospice dogs. Records show that he lived from 1800 to 1814. In his function as an avalanche rescue dog he saved over 40 lives.
The myth , called "Knabenritt", is a beautiful story. There are many different versions. Here is the most popular one:
Once upon a time Barry was on the way alone on the Great St Bernard Pass. Suddenly he saw a young boy in the snow. The boy was so exhausted from the long hike that he fall asleep in the biting cold. To wake him up Barry has licked him until he woke up.
It's not know how Barry has made the boy understand that he could ride on him. The myth says that he brought him back healthy to the hospice. This story arised at the beginning of the 19th century. A high amount of people were crossing the pass at this time. The mortal remains of Barry I are still visitable today at the Natural History Museum of Bern.
(bibliographical reference: Die Hospiz-Bernhardiner - weit mehr als ein Mythos, Anja Ebener)