Polar Bear Yeti T. Puppy

The puppy is here visiting for the day! I have a lot of stuff lined up tomorrow and am not prepared to keep her yet, so I’ll be taking her back to the shelter in a little while. By tomorrow afternoon I’ll be set up for her. I had a very busy weekend and some ambivalence about the puppy, anyway, so I didn’t do things I would otherwise have done. I believe in crate training puppies, so I will be getting her a crate, safe puppy toys and a dish.

She’s a very LARGE puppy, very hairy, very soft and very smart. She does not bark. She vocalizes (so far) like a husky which is seldom and in something sort of like “words.” She’s affectionate, eager to do what Dusty and Mindy do, playful with Mindy and, today for the first time since Lily died, Dusty howled on his own when an ambulance went by. I think that’s the influence of Polar Bear T. Puppy. So far she’s learned to find her toy, to go in the back gate and up the ramp to the back door, to pee outside, to ride calmly in the back of the car and to walk on my left side. I think that’s pretty good for only a few hours away from the shelter.

She’s napping with Dusty and Mindy at the moment.

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I think she’s Great Pyrenees mixed with husky and I’d say the husky is pretty far back in the woodpile (maybe not). But both breeds a notoriously affectionate and not loyal; they’re both working breeds but with very different jobs to do. The farm I visited yesterday used three Great Pyrenees to guard their stock. That had something to do with my deciding today to give the pup a try. The farm had two females and a male; the male was in no way a pet — no one ever touched him — but he stayed with his goats and took care of his people. The females were outgoing and friendly and calm.

Neither huskies nor Great Pyrenees are easily trained. I don’t really have a problem with that. I’ve had seven huskies and snow-dog mixes and I appreciate their independence and intelligence. They learned what they needed to know very quickly, sit, stay, down, wait, up (into the car) and no. Living with dogs like that, I just had to accept that no matter what I did, there was a chance they’d run away. I hated it when they did, but it was part of who huskies are. One of them climbed a fence that was supposedly unclimbable; the other dug under a fence that had be fixed to the ground and was supposedly un-diggable. Fortunately, only two of my huskies had the tendency to do that, and both of them decided one day that they didn’t want to run away any more and nothing would induce them to leave the yard without me.

I’ve enjoyed the way this dog has just observed how things go on here and has fallen in line because she wants to. To me, really smart dogs do that, not “shake” “rollover” “play dead.”

In learning about Great Pyrenees, I discovered that one characteristic breed trait is the double dew-claw on the hind feet. Here is the left rear foot of Polar Bear T. Puppy so you can see it. That means they actually have an extra toe.

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I plan to build a better fence in front for her (and to give the neighborhood a break from Dusty’s bonzai barking). I think she’s going to be fun to work with and a wonderful little (large) being to live with. She’s nearly as large as Dusty right now, but half his weight. Great Pyrenees are “giant” dogs. So, not the practical small elderly dog I thought I’d adopt, but I think she’s the right dog for Dusty, Mindy and me.

 

23 thoughts on “Polar Bear Yeti T. Puppy

        • “T” literally stands for “the” but it has another meaning, too. I’ve owned upward of 20 dogs in the past 20 years and I’ve noticed that, like people, some dogs have deeper souls, even a kind of Weltschmerze, as if they’ve lived through something hard and come through (though that isn’t always the case with those dogs) while some dogs are just endemically happy easy-going unflustered. The unflusterable dogs are “T” dogs and the others are “O” dogs. “O” dogs are more likely to act independently of their person and to take on a somewhat “human” role in the family or pack. They can be trusted with responsibility beyond staying in the yard and riding well in the car; they have an unusual kind of intelligence that I can’t really define. I’ve only had three real “O” dogs — Molly O’Dog, LupO, and Cody O’Dog. I use the same system for labeling people. Plenty of bad stuff can happen to a “T” dog (as happened to Dusty as a pup) but he’s definitely a “T.” I hope that makes sense. O dogs aren’t necessarily smarter than T dogs, just different.

            • the “O” trait doesn’t emerge fully until the dog’s person is in real danger and the dog sees (which most dogs won’t) that he or she has to take over and care for the person. Sometimes the danger isn’t physical, but “merely” psychological. It would be fun to write about Molly, Lupo and Cody, though.

  1. She’s a beauty, Martha. I’m so glad this “T” girl got lucky and will be your dog now. I have a GP X Border Collie and she is now about 18 months old. She was following homeless people around and no one laid claim to her. She was flea bitten, had mange and, very thin hair. Apparently, she had never eaten dog food, just human food from Salvation Army. I will be doing a post about Sally, hopefully, soon if I can get out of this funk.

    • I would certainly LOVE to hear about Sally! You know, I suspect she will be my last dog. Maybe not, but it’s likely. That was a strange realization but then I thought, “A Siberian (which I love) crossed with a GP (a breed I’ve always admired and respected), a big, sweet protective girl? What could be better for me in every possible way.” I know that because of her I’ll pursue adventures I wouldn’t have otherwise, not the least of which will be training her. She’s so smart. ❤

        • You know, that’s one of the coolest things about a new dog, what we learn from them that we hadn’t learned from all our other dogs. I never had a dog who was a livestock guarding breed and I know there are things in her breeding that I’m going to learn. She’s already unusually attentive without being in the least hyper. It never occurred to me that those are two traits that a dog would need to successfully protect a herd of sheep — but they’re essential.

  2. Those eyes! She’s beautiful and I want one.
    We used to see a GP guarding sheep in eastern Oregon; it always had a red circle painted around one eye. Cool dog.
    I’m happy for you. 🙂

    • Thank you! I agree. I took her back to the shelter yesterday and “tucked her in” to her kennel there. She went right in. I don’t want that good habit to be lost.

  3. Wow, it looks as though you hit the jackpot with this lovely animal (oh, those killer blue eyes!). Congratulations, and I wish you years of joy with your pack.

    🙂

  4. I saw she was a Pyr. They are popular around here, probably because of their affinity for cold and snow, of which we have so much. We are going through a dog crisis and I do not know where we will end up, and with which dogs. Old dogs, sick dogs, unhappy dogs abandoned by their people and left with us because they knew we wouldn’t toss them into the street or dump them at a shelter. A lot of sorting out to do. Add to that 99% humidity and a temperature of 97. It feels airless outside. Nice that things are working out for you. Maybe it’s a sign that we are next. That would be really good. I’d like that.

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