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.
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.
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.