People Just as Crazy as Me

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Alaska the Moose (not really)

So, it started around Thanksgiving - - - puppy fever. Now the truth is, this started because a friend of mine shared a FB post from our local ASPCA. There he was, Baxter, a 3 year old Great Pyrenees. I instantly wanted him. Great Pyrenees were my childhood dogs, and I loved them more than words can describe.

Baxter had three applications on him - - and he went to a good home, just not our home. And I was very saddened by that. And we all had the fever by this point - from Emry to Klay. I began looking for rescues, and I found that even though Great Pyrenees are a very expensive pure breed dog - - that people go to breeders spend THOUSANDS of dollars and then - - - abandon them. How do you spend that kind of money, and have no idea of what you are buying.

A male Great Pyrenees can grow to be about 150lbs - - and on its hind legs stand taller than most 6ft tall men.
A female GP can grow to be about 125-130lbs - - - and still maintains the same height as their male counterparts.

I found a wonderful rescue called 'Big Fluffy Dog Rescue' - they are based out of the South, but have foster families into New England. I began the very lengthy and strict application process. I was so pleased with all the questions we were being asked, and all the information they required from us. They really are making sure that they know who a family is, and how they will treat this dog - - before even seeing one.

A big edge was the fact that most of my childhood, from about 7 years old until I was about 16 years old - - we had 2 female GP's. Sisters, from different litters - but with the same parents. We went through training with them, and learned the breed inside and out. beautiful a dog as they are - - - they are also strong willed, and very VERY stubborn. They are decision makers. They are not fetch dogs - They are trekking dogs - Love to hike - love to meander. They are also very protective of their families. They were bred to be herders so, by protecting us - in their minds, they are protecting their flock. They are super affectionate, with out being super kissy - But the lack of puppy kisses is made up for the massive amount of DROOL and SLOBBER these pups produce. It's kind of gross... but, that's a big dog for you.

SO - after about a month, we were approved to start the process of adoption. A coordinator called me, and we discussed what we were looking for: Age, Gender, Demeanor. And together we found Alaska.

Alaska, is a 2 year old female Great Pyrenees. She is laid back girl, who loves to be pet. She is good with our cats, and is amazing with Emry. Her only draw back is - that she is a major counter surfer... Her head basically rests at the level of our countertops, and our tables - - - So, we are teaching her "table manners".

Alaska, is about 15 pounds lighter than she should be - at a small 85lbs. We are going to do what ever physically possible to get her back up to "fighting weight". Also, her muscles are very tight, and super lean. You can tell that she is sore. We are going to slowly get her into hiking with us - with proper nutrition and exercise - I'm sure her muscles will respond.

Now, you'll notice, in my instagram posts, and in the above title, I refer to her as a (or the) Moose. This is because of her sheer size. Even though she is lean - - she is MASSIVE. She lumbers around, and definitely throws that weight around. If she doesn't feel like walking - - She lays down, and she knows that no one can lift her if she doesn't want to be lifted. To prevent this, We have a lead attached to a tree, and certain times of the day, we let her go out on the lead, and just lay around the backyard. She loves the cold - her thick white coat keeps her pretty warm. So, while we freeze during her walks - she just LOVES it.

She gobbles her food, which is another sign that she wasn't fed properly before being fostered. Over time, I hope she realizes that no one, not even the cats - are going to steal her food - and she can take her time while eating. For this reason, we feed her a little bit twice a day - With my childhood GP's we could fill a large bowl and let it sit for the day - and they would eat it as they wanted. That's my goal for my Moose. To earn her trust, with food - - and overall.

We got her this past Saturday, after a LONG drive into CT. She was being fostered in Peabody, Massachusetts, but that was almost a 4.5hr drive for us - We were super lucky that her foster family was willing to meet us half way in CT. SO, we winded up driving 2.5 hours instead. She was amazing in the car - and basically laid her gigantic head on Emry's lap - and basically kept it there.

The car ride home was uneventful until the very end. When we were 15 minutes from home, the snow started. It wasn't supposed to be too bad, 1-3inches - light snow. Well, because of the light forecast - - the DOT wasn't out and about like they should have been. People see a little snow and get pretty scared. We were able to navigate to about a quarter mile from home - where he hit stopped traffic, on a hill... a snowy, icy HILL. My tires are pretty new - and all weathers - but, ICE can effect even the best snow tires. You just slide... and we did, oh boy did we slide. Almost off the road, diagonally - - - diagonally to the WRONG side of the road. The grass before the ditch stopped us. It was only because we were barely moving. SO, that was luck. A sand truck came through eventually - - - and sanded the side of the road where we should have been - - THEN 2 wonderful men helped Klay push us into the sand, and got me going fast enough to get up the hill.

The truth is - it was pretty freaky. Alaska just sighed in the back seat. We got home - parked - walked her around the property, and that was it. She was home.

Oddly enough - my dad really loves her. Pets her and everything. Which makes our cats totally jealous.

Speaking of the cats - Moose doesn't seem to mind them either way. Our black cat Nox, is super interested in her. And it looks as if he wants to snuggle her. He is trying to get to close to her as possible. Bryce - is scared - to death, of her. He is slowly being seen around the house. He even tried to touch her last night, while Moose was sleeping.

But - she is a love. And is now part of our family.

Have you ever adopted a dog from a shelter or rescue?
Would you adopt an animal, just because it reminded you of your childhood pet?
Do you think I'm nuts for adopting a HUGE dog?



  1. I think it so so awesome that you adopted a dog from a rescue!!! I have to be selective of what animals we bring in to our home with Chris's allergies, so I can't just bring any dog home from the Humane Society that I volunteer for...but you better believe if we got one that is ok around Chris...I would totally do it!

    Having that breed in the past is great because you know what to expect. We had Dalmatians growing up because my dad was a fire fighter and I know I can't handle one. We also had a German Shepard and they are a great breed if you have them young.

  2. I LOVE big dogs... I just hate their life span is shorter because of their size :(
    We just rescued another Aussie & I keep my eye out all the time for more. I'm all about rescue dogs!
    I love your fur baby... lots of years of happiness right there!

  3. So cute! I like big dogs so I don't think you're crazy at all. Especially if you are active and willing to take it out to get the exercise it needs.

  4. I don't think you are crazy at all, she looks like a sweetheart. Seamus is from a shelter and was totally worth it. We had a Newfoundland at the shelter and it was huge, totally taller than me but the most gentle dog ever.

  5. Congrats to you for getting a dog at a rescue <3 Shes goegeous. There will be a lot of jealousy from the cats but they will get over it lol