I put out the call to hear your stories of the pets you’ve rescued. And you did not disappoint, I received tons of emails detailing how pet owners came to have their furry children.
While not all of them have happy endings, this story does. As many of you know, I also have a rescue dog, his name is Dexter and he is my heart and canine soulmate. I am big proponent of rescuing and thoroughly believe in rescue pet adoption.
I believe all our furry children, no matter how they’ve come to us are rescued. Even if you bought your dog from a breeder or a pet shop, she still is, in a sense rescued. You just never know what circumstances that dog came from, or will be left to, if it weren’t for YOU!
And now without further ado, is Millie Big Butts story. I love that name! I think a dog is the only one among us not bothered by being called Big Butt J
Please continue to share your rescue pet stories (with pictures, too) and remember, they are all rescued when they get a loving home. Thank you!
The Happy Rescue Tale of Millie Big-Butt
– Contributed by Shayna Grissom
A year after losing my first Great Pyrenees, I knew I wanted another. After buying two pets, I learned a few things about myself. Firstly, I hate training dogs. I don’t have the time for it. Yes, puppies are cute, but I already have two young children struggling to make it to the potty. I don’t need to add a puppy to the toilet training list. Secondly, adoption was the only option for me.
Great Pyrenees are a unique breed. Their size puts them on the front of the kill-list in kill shelters. There are organizations specifically combing shelters looking for these dogs to rescue them before that happens. They are a class of working dog, a guardian, to be specific. The Pyrenees is closer to a wolf than other dog breeds, and is the only breed with double dew claws. Their job is to follow and guard livestock. Goats, chickens, children, whatever your small critter is, they follow it around and make sure it doesn’t get eaten.
Unlike other working dogs, Pyrenees don’t herd, they simply follow. They also like to sleep. They sleep until their chicken wanders off, to which they get up and follow the chicken and go back to sleep. As a pet, this translates to a giant white fluffball following you from room to room just to sit within proximity. They are huge and incredibly friendly, but make no mistake, they are experts at interpreting aggression. If they sense confrontation, they do not bite, they use their large body to break up the altercation. Which makes sense, if livestock are fighting, the Pyrenees can’t kill the instigator. Using their bite is a worst-case scenario, making them ideal for kids. If your small children decide to duke it out, a Pyr will just get in-between them and stand there.
When it came time to get another Great Pyrenees, I looked up a local Pyrenees rescue and was told about Millie. She spent the first five years of her life in a barn. Likely a puppy mill momma or a discarded remnant of a divorce. Whatever the case be, the original owner was angry that she dug a hole in the barn and decided he no longer wanted her. The foster owner noted he seemed angry and aggressive, but was happy he brought her to a Pyr rescue instead of a kill shelter.
The first family who tried to adopt Millie returned her. Her crime? She looked sad.
The second family who returned Millie felt that their house was too small. She is afraid of small spaces.
The third family returned her because “she walked too slow.” Yeah, because she walked too slow.
I was nervous bringing her home, expecting those excuses were not the real reason she was returned. Who returns a senior dog for walking too slow? For the record, she walks fast enough for me. Perhaps I’m a slow walker as well.
Millie jumped into the back of my Forester with compliance and a blank look. She had been visiting so many homes, she just thought she was going to visit another. To our delight, we couldn’t ask for a better dog. Mild mannered and easy going. When we walk, I hold the lease so that the people around us feel more secure, but she won’t leave my side. At 145 pounds, Millie is much larger than me which I imagine looks funny. People always ask me if I have a saddle for her, or if she’s a bear, Shetland pony, etc. She doesn’t care what you call her just so long as you pet her.
It’s clear she didn’t have a large amount of interaction with humans prior to our home. Often, she sees us playing (Pyrs don’t typically play, they just watch) and chasing our kids. Not knowing what to do, she just stands there and wags her tail. Like most dogs, she’s afraid of fireworks. She’s too afraid to get on our bed, so she will just bury her face in my under arm and whine a little. If our fear-aggressive dog gets out of line, Millie will give her some choice words, but otherwise lets the little dog maul her face.
The first time she played outside she rolled on the ground as our 30 lb dog tackled her. My friends say she looks happy now, and she’s not afraid of the couch anymore. I must coax her into eating sometimes, but once she is certain it’s okay, she lays down and buries her dead in the food dish. I wish she could have come to me sooner. It’s been 2 years since we first got her, and a Pyrenees lifespan is short due to their size. At 8 years old, I’m hoping I can make the remaining years for Millie Big-Butt the happiest she’s ever had.