It’s a Sheep, It’s a Bear, It’s a Giant Puppy!

Jun
20

Introducing….Coco.





We have a giant puppy! Coco is a Great Pyrenees, the “elegant” working dog once adopted as the Royal Dog of France, considered equal to two men whether it be guarding the chateau or watching over valuable flocks. Bred for centuries for their calm temperaments and loyal, territorial protectiveness, Great Pyrenees are perfect working dogs, and Coco is here to work. A “gentle giant” of a dog, she will eventually be the size of a small bear at 85-115 pounds and willingly, instinctively, determinedly, plow through the woods chasing after coyotes who may threaten our goats.


I first fell in love with Great Pyrenees when we took our trip to the goat farm and met big, friendly, hardworking Admiral, guarding his herd of Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats.





Someday, we hope Coco and Admiral will develop a “meaningful relationship” and make Great Pyr babies together!

Doesn’t he look like daddy material?





Meanwhile, our baby goats will be coming soon, and as part of our preparation for their arrival, we decided it was time to find their guardian.

And so after some investigation and communication with a breeder, we set off for Virginia. Princess jumped out of the car to remove this limb from the road as we headed out. She loves to be macho. And she’s very handy.





It was an adventure, driving to another state, getting off the interstate and turning on progressively more rural roads in a place we’d never been before. And yet, this rural road was somehow familiar. We ended up on a one-lane country road much like the road we lived on at the old farmhouse. Except….. Something was so different.

They had GUARDRAILS!

We, seriously, came to a dead halt in the road and stared at this guardrail.





Princess said, “They must have a lot of money in Virginia. And we must live in the poorest state in the world.”

Yeah. Uh huh. Whatever. Here in West Virginia, we don’t need no stinkin’ guardrails.

Then we went on, around several bends, up a hill onto a ridge, until we found the farm with the big white dogs. And, oh, what lovely dogs! Princess picked out Coco right away. Born April 12, she is about two months old, white with badger markings. (One in four Great Pyrenees will have a pure white coat. “Badger” markings come in gray or tan and sometimes fade as they mature.)





There were three pups left in this litter. They were just great big balls of fluff rolling around together.





We took Coco on the long drive home. Never having been in a car before, she was sweet and calm, with us and with the car trip. She slept most of the way, part of the time on top of 15. (Yes, he’s not wearing a seatbelt here. We were in standstill road construction traffic for over an hour and I let him stretch out and take a nap until we got started again.)





Coco has grown up during her first two months walking peacefully amongst chickens, guineas, peacocks, cats, sheep, and cattle at her home farm. While Great Pyrs are very friendly, affectionate, and gentle dogs, they spring into fierce action to protect those in their “family” be they other animals or humans, so it was important to introduce Coco right away to her new farm family.

Coco, meet the chickens!





She thought they might want to play, but she was disappointed.

Coco, meet the cats!





The cats were quite suspicious.





Coco, meet Dookie-the-farm-shih-tsu!





Twelve-year-old Dookie was somewhat distressed to discover a two-month-old pup already twice his size.





And, boy, is she big! And can she eat!! The eight-pound bag of puppy food in the pantry snickered at me. I went back for the giant bag that they had to use a crane to hoist into my car. (Just kidding. About the crane.)





Then I decided a bath in the big washtub downstairs was in order.





Coco took the ordeal with patient tolerance.





I LOVE THIS PUPPY!!! She has the sweetest, gentlest temperament of any puppy I’ve ever seen. She is big and goofy and adorable, calm and cooperative. She doesn’t jump or whine or bark at night just for the sake of barking. She already knows she’s saving her bark for business. She is a working dog.





But it’s not time to work yet, so if you’ll ‘scuse her for now, she’s gotta nap.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on June 20, 2008  

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Comments

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  1. 6-20
    5:45
    am

    Awwwww!!!!!!! She is so darn cute! That picture of her in the tub…OMG. :heart: :heart: I just want to cuddle her. Hope the cats, chickens, and Dookie get used to her quickly.

  2. 6-20
    6:18
    am

    Welcome to the farm Coco! You’ll love your new life and family. Wow! Princess is strong! Don’t think I could have moved a tree out of the road. Go Princess! I remember sleeping in the car like 15 was. So relaxing. xxoo

  3. 6-20
    6:25
    am

    What a gorgeous dog!

  4. 6-20
    6:32
    am

    :mrgreen: Congrats on the new puppy, she is so cute! I just about shot tea out of my nose when I read what the other dogs name is. I love it!

  5. 6-20
    6:41
    am

    That is just the sweetest puppy dog ever! Isn’t nature beautiful? :cattail:

  6. 6-20
    6:46
    am

    Awww . . . she’s beautiful! I want one. But we can’t have cats or dogs because of my daughter’s allergies. I’ll just have to keep coming back here and looking at all the cuteness living on your farm. :thumbsup:

  7. 6-20
    6:47
    am

    That is one gorgeous sheepbearpuppy!! Yet another reason you will one day find me curled up on your porch waiting to be adopted by you. I can lift my own bags of food and am already housetrained *makes goofy puppy dog eyes at Suzanne*

  8. 6-20
    6:47
    am

    Oh Suzanne,I love her !She is so darn cute! Bet she will grow up to be a loving, precious member of the family. I am so excited for you and your family.

  9. 6-20
    7:02
    am

    well we were not as lucky as you our puppy is not turning out to be a good dog (No really I mean it).
    I am going to have to talk with our vet and see if something is wrong with him.
    He is aggressive at only four months.
    Check out my web site and there is a picture of him.

    Any takers?
    He’s free

  10. 6-20
    7:02
    am

    http://www.t-a-d-b.blogspot.com

  11. 6-20
    7:10
    am

    That. Puppy. Is. Precious. :woof:

  12. 6-20
    7:16
    am

    Are you sure she won’t eat the goats? She does look awfully soft and cute. I’m jealous.

  13. 6-20
    7:19
    am

    I’m in love! :heart:

    -Kim

  14. 6-20
    7:41
    am

    That is a breathtakingly cute dog. Dude, you have chickens, goats, cats, puppies, gardens… I’m getting seriously jealous ;) Get some ducks and I’ll be tempted to steal your life.

  15. 6-20
    7:42
    am

    he is unreal. so cute. i work with animal rescue and changing laws to protect animals. I am always glad when they get a good home. Christine – I hate to see dogs given away free especially bec of a problem. there might be a rescue group for that dog in your area and I would certainly ask the vet or a trainer. usually the problem is not he dog but the owners. if you chain the dog at all – it will make them agressive. if you dont exercise them and walk them they can become demanding and unreasonable. pls check it out.

  16. 6-20
    7:42
    am

    Coco – a perfect name for a perfect puppy! She’s just wonderful. Great choice Princess!

  17. 6-20
    7:45
    am

    That is the cutest dog! Ours died not too long ago and we are in the process of relocating so we don’t have one now but as soon as we make the move we will be on the search for our next best friend!

  18. 6-20
    7:54
    am

    She is so adorable. I LOVE big dogs. I have a Bernese Mountain Dog and he is the greatest dog ever. Working dogs are wonderful! I can’t believe she just sat in the bath though, I’ve NEVER had a dog do that. Congratulations on your new family member!
    P.S. Coco is a great name, I have a cat named Cocoa.

  19. 6-20
    7:58
    am

    Good lord that is a BIG ole puppy!
    I like her!
    I so want one if and when I move back to the country.

    Oh and by the way, as far as doggy food you might want to check out a little store outside Spencer.
    Across from Slate Church there is a small feed store that sells doggy food which is better for them then alot of the stuff you can get at the “box retailer who shall not be named” just FYI if your at all looking!
    :thumbsup:

  20. 6-20
    8:12
    am

    I LOVE her..Connie

  21. 6-20
    8:13
    am

    I feel like Daffy Duck and the abominable snowman.
    I want to hug her and squeeze her and call her George!
    She’s adorable!
    So worth the trip to VA.

  22. 6-20
    8:23
    am

    Puppies are so cute!!!! She is a great addition to your farm. We have had many things get eaten by coyotes until we got our Mastiff puppy. He is only a couple of months old but he does a great job of keeping “watch” of our farm…..cangrats on your dog :woof:

  23. 6-20
    8:32
    am

    :snoopy:
    She’s a beauty! I’m so glad she has a good home and may you enjoy her presence everyday.

  24. 6-20
    8:37
    am

    She is adorable. You don’t do anything small, do you??

  25. 6-20
    8:53
    am

    :purr: She is gorgeous, Suzanne! I love her! She will be an awesome dog/ watchdog. Have a great weekend! :butterfly:

  26. 6-20
    9:39
    am

    Aw, she’s ADORABLE!

  27. 6-20
    9:41
    am

    What a wonderful puppy and great disposition for a working dog! I would have to say out of all of the working dog choices, this fits. I have a Border Collie and she along with the bread is so active, if I don’t keep her busy she heards my socks in the house! It can be a good thing for gathering laundry but bad finding a pair sometimes!
    http://lifeislikechampagne.blogspot.com/

  28. 6-20
    9:53
    am

    Coco is just adorable. She will be a great addition to the family.

  29. 6-20
    9:57
    am

    She must be the sweetest, most adorable, most even tempered puppy to walk the face of the earth!I am jealous. She is a lucky dog!

  30. 6-20
    9:58
    am

    I bet you are running out of time to bathe her in that tub. You’ll need to get her a kiddie pool soon! But she is sooo adorable. And her birthday is the day before my daughter’s. :heart:

  31. 6-20
    10:11
    am

    What a beautiful baby. She will be a beautiful gardian/protector and all around fuzz ball of love. That’s a dog you can hug!

  32. 6-20
    10:12
    am

    awww i love her already!!! she is so fluffy!!! :mrgreen:

  33. 6-20
    10:27
    am

    Coco is so cute and loveable. :)

  34. 6-20
    11:27
    am

    Welcome to your new home, Coco. What a sweetie! Wow! She is going to be huge…and possibly eat you out of house and barn, but when you look at her, it sure looks worth it…right.

  35. 6-20
    11:31
    am

    OMG. She is soooo cute!

    :woof:

    On the food? Yeah, you’ll need to start buying it by the gross!

    LOL on the cats…mine still hiss at the new dog. :catmeow:

  36. 6-20
    11:34
    am

    Last Sunday, our pastor used a live prop to help him illustrate a point…it was the CUTEST pygmy goat I had ever seen!
    Coco is totally adorable. So jealous she doesn’t bark at any ol’ thing that comes along like my sister’s 5 year old pappy who warns us of every life threatening leaf that blows by. Btw, I posted chapter one of my book on my blog. have a great day!

  37. 6-20
    11:44
    am

    She is absolutely georgous!!!!!!! I would love to have one of those dogs but where I live she would die of heat stroke with all that fur. And I am not kidding!!

    Letha :yes:

  38. 6-20
    11:54
    am

    Great dog. I like nothing better than a new puppy…..except maybe a new baby goat. Have you heard yet on any doelings?
    And as a dog trainer I would like to encourage Christine to get some help on training her puppy. It is not so unusual for a puppy to act aggressive. Temperment is a big part inherited no matter what anyone says. But saying that it can be worked out with training and exerise. Don’t give up on him yet.

  39. 6-20
    12:03
    pm

    Oh she’s so cute – love the face when she’s in the tub! Can’t wait to see how big she gets. :woof:

  40. 6-20
    12:17
    pm

    Oh, that is THE CUTEST pup I have ever seen and reminds me of the Cottonelle pups I love on the commercial…they all look like “buddy buds”..I still think of Coco as Buddy bud, cause with her round head/sweet face, she just looks like that. LOL
    My favorite one is of her sleeping on Princess’ back and even looks like she is slightly smiling!!!! What a precious pup and I loved reading about her – very interesting!!!! She sure does look like a sweet sweet pup..gentle giant. I just love all your animals. LOL Give her a big hug for me! :love: :mrgreen: :love: :mrgreen: :love: :wave: :heart: :heart: :heart:

  41. 6-20
    12:59
    pm

    Aww….she’s adorable! :heart:

  42. 6-20
    1:06
    pm

    Wow! What a good looking puppy!! :flying:

  43. 6-20
    1:30
    pm

    Just a gorgeous girl…there is a great Pyr rescue group in Winston Salem, NC if anyone is SERIOUSLY interested in adoption. They can be found at the PETFINDER site..

    http://www.petfinder.com/search/search.cgi?animal=Dog&breed=Great%20Pyrenees&preview=1&exact=1

  44. 6-20
    1:53
    pm

    What an expressive face. In addition, I cannot get over the loving eyes. Truly, a wonderful breed. Can you tell that envy is all over me…have dreamed of -belonging to one of her- for way to many years.

  45. 6-20
    1:55
    pm

    Miss Coco is just beautiful. I love her eyes – wisdom of the ages in there, and the knowledge of what she is supposed to do. Princess, you picked the perfect dog, as if there was a doubt in the universe!

  46. 6-20
    1:59
    pm

    What a cute puppy It sounds like she will be a wonderful addition to the family. :woof:

  47. 6-20
    2:51
    pm

    what an adorable puppy! That sweet face!

  48. 6-20
    2:56
    pm

    what a gorgeous puppy..so sweet!

  49. 6-20
    3:07
    pm

    Way. Too. Cute. Has Coco met Spartacus?

    On another note…Did you or are you planning on naming your farm?

    Have a puppylicious weekend!

    Linda~

  50. 6-20
    3:11
    pm

    Oh what a beautiful puppy! I love big dogs. I want to get a Newfoundland, but thinking I may need to wait till I win the lottery so I can afford to feed one that size! :rotfl: :snoopy: Besides I already have 2 dogs.

  51. 6-20
    3:26
    pm

    OMGosh! She’s too, too cute!

  52. 6-20
    3:36
    pm

    What a cute, so very large, puppy!

  53. 6-20
    3:46
    pm

    She is gorgeous! I am in LOVE!!

  54. 6-20
    3:47
    pm

    Love the new addition to the fmaily. I am sure that what ever or who ever comes around will think twice before doing anything at all. They might jut turn around and high tail it down the road. Lots of puppy to love, that is for sure.

  55. 6-20
    3:56
    pm

    Coco is absolutely gorgeous! :heart:

  56. 6-20
    4:02
    pm

    Oh my gosh! I want to hug her and squeeze her and call her George, too!!! She is sooooo cute!!!!

  57. 6-20
    4:04
    pm

    Very cute puppy pictures. I love that breed. :heart:

  58. 6-20
    4:21
    pm

    You found a puppy as adorable as your kids!

  59. 6-20
    4:36
    pm

    I was just going through some old books and was glancing through one called “Pass It On” by Gigi Graham (yes, Billy’s daughter)..and on page 52, there is a pic of them when small and the caption says it was thier fav pet – a Great Pyrenees, and it’s name was Balshazzar! It looks so cute!

  60. 6-20
    4:49
    pm

    My favorite pics are the ones of her in the bath – so patient and sweet looking. I love working dogs and wish I had the room. This weekend we get a visit from my grand doggy, maggie – english bull and pitt bull mix and maybe something else – who knows lol.

  61. 6-20
    5:52
    pm

    :woof: Oh my gosh! I’m in love with that puppy too! I already have 4 dogs but I want one of these too!

  62. 6-20
    8:53
    pm

    OH I want to hug her! What an adorable, and BIG ol’ pup.

    We debated between a Grt Pyr & a Golden Retriever when we decided to add a 4-legged friend to the family. We found Riley (a golden retr) before any GP’s were available. We have been SOOO blessed by Riley joining the family. When I leave for work in the morning, I literally tell the kids that Riley is in charge! He’s such a protective, loving ‘beast’. My boys call him their hairier brother.

    Regarding the unrulely/aggressive pup Christine posted about…. is he fixed/neutered? That made a HUGE difference in our pup’s attitude. He acted aggressive just once w/ my oldest son. Within a day or so he was at the vet getting fixed. He has NEVER acted aggressive w/ our family members since.
    He’s protective of us, but not aggressive. Big difference. Good Luck!

    Coco – welcome!!! I look forward to seeing you grow up.

  63. 6-20
    11:08
    pm

    She is beautiful! We are all going to enjoy reading more about her :)

  64. 6-20
    11:56
    pm

    What a beautiful puppy. Welcome Coco. You have a wonderful family to belomg to.They will be so good to you. Have a great week-end and :hug: to all.

  65. 6-20
    11:58
    pm

    Need to take spelling 101. :eek: That should be “belong” Take care everyone.

  66. 6-21
    9:13
    am

    He is so cute…. but you MUST resist the temptation to cuddle him.
    I have 2 very close friends that raise goats. Each has GP to guard their flock. You want him to bond with the ANIMALS NOT HUMANS- so they instinctively protect your flock.
    Each made the same mistake and cuddled the dog and then he didn’t want to watch the sheep or goats and they became preyed upon. Some Boer goats are VERY expensive. Each dog was replaced.
    Each got new GP puppies and put them in with the goats/sheep and they were raised as part of the flock… no cuddles- no baths…and it was very hard to resist that face. BUT for the sake of the dog and his job you got him for YOU MUST. It seems cruel- but really the cruelty is spoiling the dog and not allowing it to be the guardian it is bred to be.
    The flocks and families are VERY SAFE!!! and the dogs are very happy.
    Good luck.

  67. 6-21
    9:14
    pm

    :shimmy: I read your blog every day I can, You’re living my dream life. I can look at CoCo’s pics all day. What a cute beautiful big puppy. My gran raised chickens and I have tried, but something gets them. I go to the pen to find headless dead chickens. It’s so gross and puzzling. One day I saw a fox out there and it was gorgeous. It was also chewing on something. hmmmmmm fox in the henhouse, maybe not just a cliche? My gran would bring the newly hatched chicks in the house and put them on top of the stove in a bird cage and warm them with a light bulb, then give them oatmeal until they all hatched and put them back with mom.

  68. 6-21
    10:56
    pm

    Give Coco a big hug for me. I can almost smell that puppy breath. I love puppies, is there anything more innocent?

  69. 7-18
    9:49
    am

    Suzanne,
    I just found your blog via some folks at Active Rain and Twitter. I have to say I am loving it! I’m hooked and will be checking in. Love your pictures. I too am a picture nut, but nearly as good as you. I suspect you know more than you are letting on! Great stuff

  70. 11-15
    12:59
    am

    I think I’m in love with that puppy! How absolutely adorable!

  71. 1-12
    2:14
    pm

    so cute

  72. 1-15
    12:32
    pm

    Absolutely the most adorable face, what a bundle of love! My daughter raises Goldens, and this is the only other puppy I’ve seen that has that same sweet face, and disposition. May you have many years of devotion from this beautiful baby.

  73. 3-27
    2:14
    pm

    Oh…she WILL bark and bark nearly all night. Pyrs bark at night in order to let the predators know that they are there protecting their family. It is the rare Pyr that doesn’t bark…a lot. And, if she comes to here name now, that won’t always be the case, either. However, because they are so darling and sweet and kind, the barking and the selective deafness doesn’t matter much…because you love your Pyr.

  74. 9-10
    2:43
    pm

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....






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