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.