Saturday, December 22, 2007


What a big day at our house! Monday morning was just like any other morning during breakfast - Mike has his gluten free cereal with a banana and I have my "fake" coffee drink, almonds and a banana. He reads the paper and I work the crossword. It's a quiet, relaxing time together with chatter about our plans for the day, catching up on conversations with the kids ... just normal every day stuff that gives meaning to the routine of our lives together.

I didn't know that as Mike read through the paper each day ... the sports pages, the comics, checking up on the local news ... he had added to his agenda to check the classifieds in the puppy section. Well, you guessed it- there was an ad for Great Pryennes puppies about an hour from our place. Some of you may remember meeting Beethoven, our first Great Pry who beat all of the odds for survival after having to have his right front leg amputated due to bone cancer. Unfortunately, last August the cancer returned in a more aggressive form and we had to have Beethoven put down. Beethoven was Mike's dog all the way, and it's been a rough last 4 months for both of us.

We still have our little chow Bailey, but he has been out of sorts, too. He has never been an "only." He was raised as a puppy by our Golden Retriever, Hank, who we lost about 4 years ago. Bailey didn't seem to be too affected by the loss of Hank, but after Beethoven was gone, he looked all over for him, he talked - something Chows never do much of - and just seemed really sad and stressed. It's tough being the only dog and in charge of keeping your house, your people, and your goats all safe. That's a lot for a little Chow Chow to do all alone,

So back to Mike and his classifieds. He made some calls to find out more details regarding the puppy. We have had misgivings about getting through the puppy stage with Great Pry puppies. They are quite the excavators (diggers) and they love to chew. Are we ready for raising a puppy? This definitely means the Christmas Village will have to come up off the floor from under the Grand Piano! Oh dear ... what to do. And then he called the vet to find about fees for neutering and shots.

"Funny, you called today, Mike We've been think about you."

"You have?"

"We have a dog down here we think you should come take a look at. He might just be the ticket for you. Have you ever heard of an Otter Hound?"

Oh my, time for some internet research! Let's find out all we can about Otter Hounds and then go down to the Vet's office to meet Big Guy. Can you imagine two dog lovers ever saying "no" to a rescuing/adopting a dog? So here's Big Guy's story.

He was running loose near the vet's house so she took him in and cared for him while running ads in the paper, nailing up posters, and letting everyone she know that she found a lost dog. Lots of pictures posted ... but no response. He is about 5-6 years old, clearly well-loved, well-fed (could stand to loose a few pounds LOL) very well-mannered, and looking for a good home.

So, Big Guy came home with us. He loves to ride in the car. In fact, when he rode with Mike to the feed store today, he didn't think the ride should have been over quite as soon as it was. He preferred to just stay in the car in hopes Mike would take him for a ride some where else.
He hasn't quite figured out the morning routine yet with feeding and watering the goats, checking the water ponds, feeding the barn kitties, and getting the morning paper. The electric fence has him totally stumped. Mike has walked the fence line with him to show him where it is, but, unfortunately, Big Guy hasn't put everything together yet. So he and the electric fence have has some prettty serious tangles. Poor guy.
He and Mike have a morning walk every day. Big Guy is strong and loves to really "haul the mail" down the trail. Mike just goes along with him as fast as he wants to go. The morning walk tires Big Guy out for the rest of the day so then he comes home and sleeps in front of the heater in my studio for the rest of the day. And Mike is a smiling guy with his early Christmas present.
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