5 of 52 Weeks – Life With a St. Pyr Pt.1
I didn’t intend to get another dog so quickly, and I really wasn’t sure if we ‘needed’ another one, what with Bear coming out of her shell so beautifully once she wasn’t under another dog’s shadow. As things happened, with the new house came an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. This post is long, but I’ve broken it up with pictures, so even if you just want to look at something pretty, here you go…
About a week after BeeGirl moved into the house, I saw an ad for Great Pyrenees x St. Bernard puppies that were in her price range, and not a six-hour drive from us. I almost didn’t tell her about it, except…the photo of the sire made me think of the big guy down at Pumpkin Creek, and BeeGirl still looks for him every time she’s out there. The entire family is a wee bit too enamoured with that dog, I think, and despite the owner insisting to me that he was part wolf, part husky – that huge ball of over-protective but cuddly white fluff looked (and acted) – all Pyrenees to me. I’m of the opinion the woman was trying to scare us away. Pffft.
I told BeeGirl about the ad. She looked it over, texted the owners, and we made plans to visit the next evening.
This is what she looked like the day we picked her out. Actually, to be fair to her, she picked us. Out of more puppies than I care to remember, there were about seven left I think…all female. Of course we’d missed out on the males! Neither of us were that interested in getting another female. They’re too interested in making themselves the dominant bitch in the house, and frankly…despite my general bitchiness, BeeGirl is THE ALPHA BITCH. Imagine that capitalized, bolded, and with fancy typeface.
But there was this one puppy who kept going back and forth between us, demanding our attention, pushing aside the others and making a general nuisance of herself. After five minutes of cuddles and our complete attention, she relaxed and we relaxed and it just fit. She was right. We didn’t even discuss it that long. We told the owners she was the one we wanted, and they marked her as spoken for in their records. We left feeling pretty proud of ourselves, knowing in one month we’d be back to bring her home, and wouldn’t everyone be surprised (we told only my bestie and my cousin…and even at that, it took us two or three weeks). That night, I checked the province-wide ad they’d posted, and noted that our puppy was #6. We talked about names for a few days, and decided on Sé – six in Irish.
This is her the day we picked her up…after a month, almost, of waiting not so patiently, BeeGirl got a text saying when the puppy would be ready for pick up. We went out the next day, and there she was! Three times the size she was when we were first there, her little blaze a little smaller, and her freckles had started to come in. She looked so scared! They’d been out rambling in the woods that day, and it took the owners some time to find her. She was absolutely covered in burrs, we were told, so they’d tried brushing her and bathing her. They did a marvellous job, considering the length and thickness of her coat! I began having second thoughts the moment I saw just how big her feet were, though. Paddles. Ping pong paddles, I kid you not. That’s what they reminded me of. Only fluffier.
I have to say, fluff, fluffy, fluffier – describes her as a puppy. There just isn’t any other word that’d do that mass of fur justice.
We paid (yes, paid, and it was hundreds – HUNDREDS – of dollars less than the local humane society), loaded her up in the truck where she took up the entire center of the seat, I shot one look of terror to the now former owner (she grinned and waved back) and we were off home. Fifteen miles later, I noticed what I thought at first was a mutation or birth defect or something. Sé had TWO dewclaws on her back leg. Both back legs! Freaky, I thought, but whatever. And then she puked on me.
Just like most of the rest of our critters.
I did some research on her feet, and in everything I’d read about Great Pyrenees and St. Pyrs previous, nothing had mentioned that Pyrs have double dew claws on their hind legs. Apparently it helps them climb the sides of hills and mountains (durr…the Pyrenees, right?) to protect their flocks. Thumbs up for Mother Nature! Granted, Sé’s flock will never get larger than 15 pounds, and they have long pointy ears and hoppy back feet instead of wee flicky ears and hooves…
She settled in pretty quick, even though we had to use so many discipline methods to keep her from chasing the cats! Finally she caught on, but even now she goes after them occasionally. See how she’s on her back there? Cute then, BIG inconvenience now. Her legs are about 18″ longer than they were there, and she still doesn’t have any concept of that. To her, she’s still 20 pounds of fluff. Not so much! It has been hilarious, though, to watch her grow into a gangly teenager all legs and mouth. Thankfully she doesn’t drool as much as a Saint does, though she does do it a fair bit. Her eyes have become decidedly Saint-ly, droopy and sad. Except when she’s being bad – then they’re droop and full of defiance. Oh. My. God. The defiance! Sé can make any human toddler look like Cupid in comparison.
She pouts to beat the band if we deny her anything. The bath tub has become her point of refuge, which is where she headed about five minutes after this picture was taken. If one of us says no often enough, she’ll go curl up in there, moan and groan for an hour or so, until she falls asleep. It’s hilarious. Weird as hell, but hilarious. She began chewing on her feet and legs around then, too… so BeeGirl added more exercise into her routine, and we started massaging her legs when we catch her doing the chewing thing. After a lot of research we found out the larger breed puppies will do that when they have growing pains, and seeing as they grow so fast, I can completely understand!
When we picked her up at the beginning of August, she was 17 pounds. By Halloween, she was 45 and three times the height. Mid-December, she was 57 pounds of flopping, panting, drooling fluffy insanity. When this picture was taken for her six month mark, she weighed 70. BeeGirl weighed her this morning, and she’s 75. Much like any mammal, she’s growing in spurts, and it always seems to be preceded by behaviour that makes me wonder why we got ourselves into this. Still, we love the heck out of her. How could we not love that face?
’til next time,