Last night belonged to the Big Dogs. My husband and I were out in the front yard enjoying the slight drop in temperatures, pulling weeds from one of the flower beds in the front yard when one of our neighbors and her recently adopted dog came into view.
She had a Big Dog at the end of her leash. My husband, who had already met her, had explained that she’d adopted this big guy out at Lollypop Farm because the dog’s previous owner had developed Lyme disease and was no longer able to care for him.
Sally, his new owner, thought he was “about 6 years old” and, as near as anyone could tell, he was a mix of lab and Great Pyrenees. You could certainly see evidence of both.
He boasted an all white coat that came out in handfulls as my husband raked his fingers through it. What Sally had discovered in the two months that she had him was that, given his choice, he’d chase cars and trucks and he didn’t seem to know how to walk on a leash. He came with the name “Cain.” Sally, deciding he’d been through enough unsettling changes before she adopted him, decided not to change it.
And, he was an absolute love-bug; a 140 pound, hail-fellow-well-met, easy-going kind of dog. If he was running for public office, he’d win by a landslide on personality alone.
Children, Sally explained, loved him. Their faces would light up when he came sauntering down the sidewalk. He maintained his part of the bargain of “meet and greet” by standing perfectly still while they came up to him, stroked his neck or buried their faces in his furry neck.
We spent a long time enjoying his company and talking about dogs with our neighbor. I hadn’t seen her in quite a while so playing catch-up was fun. She was used to big dogs and, having had to euthanize her boisterous, chocolate lab not too long ago, had made up her mind that her next dog would be a 20-pounder and female. Right.
As it always happens, sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men are cast aside when something else comes along. For her, the “something else” was Cain.
According to Roger Caras, only very special people should be allowed to have Great Pyrenees. He writes:
Great Pyrenees are giant dogs with more good qualities than we can catalog. They are loyal unto death to their family; they will tackle anything that threatens them. They are very affectionate and responsive to human moods. They take to children naturally and are generally safe and reliable. They are incomparable baby-sitters. Gentle and considerate with strangers (although cautious at first), they are not usually quarrelsome. … They are especially appealing as puppies, and once grown, they move with enormous purpose and self-assurance.
This is a breed with so many special qualities one is tempted to urge restriction of ownership and breeding to to people understanding and deserving enough to be granted those privileges. (pg. 139 of The Roger Caras Dog Book.)
We somewhat reluctantly ended our conversation and my neighbor and Cain headed down the sidewalk. A short time later, my husband’s eyes lit up as he spied what looked to be an English Mastiff and its owners headed in our direction.
Could life get any sweeter? [gplus count=”true” size=”Medium” ]