St. Bernards did indeed tote brandy on collars around their necks.
The fellow who gave the St. Bernard dog its name was an Italian churchman, also named Bernard, who founded a hospice in the Alps.
He bred the dogs to work as rescue dogs in the Valle d’Aosta in northwest Italy.
Another St. Bernard, a French monk from Clairvaux, was recorded as saying “love me, love my dog” in 1150 or so.
He wasn’t the first to express unconditional affection for his dog.
Variations of the phrase have been found in earlier cultures, but he is remembered for it.