The story of St Guinefort

Guinefort was a faithful greyhound, belonging to a knight who lived in France in the thirteenth century. As the story goes, one day the knight went hunting and left his infant son under the care of Guinefort, his trusted dog. When he returned, Guinefort ran to greet his master. Everything was in a state of of disarray: the baby’s cradle had been overturned and the baby was nowhere to be seen. Furthermore, the dog had blood around its mouth.

Thinking Guinefort had killed his infant son, the knight immediately drew his sword and killed the dog. Guinefort is heard to make a final yelp, which stirs the child. The baby begins to cry and the knight finds his son unharmed under thecradle . The knight also finds the dead snake killed by Guinefort before it could attack the child. In some versions of the story, the snake is a wolf, killed by the trusted dog. The knight realizes his terrible mistake and he is overcome with remorse.

The knight and his family place the dog in a well, plant a grove of trees around it and make a shrine for Guinefort. The local people pay homage to this brave dog and many miracles are reported to occur at his shrine. The dog was recognized throughout the land as the protector of infants and from that day on, Guinefort was referred to as "Saint Guinefort."