Polar Belle is an almost 7 year old Great Pyrenees. After we brought Mason home the neighbor and his son came over to check him out. The neighbor told me “Well that’s some expensive coyote food you bought”. Well shit. I hadn’t thought about that. So we got to talking and he says “you need a good dog t
o keep watch, like a Great Pyrenees.”
So off I go researching dogs. Now I have never had a dog in my life. I’ve had some experiences that I might share another time, but none of them are positive. So, I start researching all these different dog breeds and what they do. Who Knew there was so many different breeds with so many very specific traits. We decided a Great Pyrenees was perfect for our needs.
Great Pyrenees are wonderful livestock guarding dogs. They came from the Pyrenees mountains and are in the giant breed of dogs. They have natural instints with animals and for sure know more about them than I do. They also are a noctural breed. They relax and sleep all day and are on patrol all night, keeping everyone safe. Something important to add if you don’t know about this breed is that they bark. I read somewhere, after we already had her, that describes it perfectly. They bark at all things, real and imaginary.
The next step was of course to find a dog. $900! That’s the average price of a Great Pyrenees. Holy Cow. We certainly couldn’t afford that. We decided to give up looking for a while because we just couldn’t afford that much. I continued to troll the livestock sites just to see what was out there. . . . . And there she was.
I found an absolutly horrible story about a woman who after 10 years had lost her home and farm over her dog Belle barking. She had rehomed Belle to another family after months of looking and the new home just didn’t work out. They were keeping her chained up all day and night close to the house. This was no place for her to be, so I contacted the owner.
We spent several hours on the phone and messaging making sure Belle would be a good fit for us. Her mom was very concerned about the barking. I explained to her “I’m from New York, the noise at night is a welcome change to the quiet out here”. We all agreed she would be perfect and we scheduled a day to meet.
Belle and her mom arrived at the house shortly before we did that day. I knew that she was gonna be a big dog but I was really not prepared for just how big she was. Her mom had her on a leash that was acually a lead rope for a horse. I was nervous and Christopher was a natural, of course.
Belle’s mom had decided to stay with us for a couple of days to make sure she was comfortable. We decided that we would have her come inside with all of us to get to know each other better for the night. It amazed me then and it amazes me still how graceful that 150lb girl was. She found her spot on the living room floor and we gave her a much needed brushing. If you have never groomed an animal like her know this. The best place is outside to do it. It looked like it had snowed in our living room. And that wasn’t the grocery bag full we had gathered up.
Belle’s mom was very surprised. She stayed with us for 3 days and not once did we hear her bark. It took several more days before she got totally comfortable with us and went to work full time. I gotta admit it took a bit to be able to sleep through the barking. It was soooo loud and constant. I was always worried that something was out there. I finally figured out she was barking so nothing would come near us.
Belle has been with us for over a year now. Her mom came to visit us last month and Belle was so happy to be with us the visit didn’t even phase her. Her favorite daytime activities include napping and relaxing. Her favorite nighttime activities are being on patrol and barking. She prefers to be outside most of the time. Even when I try and bribe her in with a treat. She will come in the front door, get the treat and go out the back door.
Fun Fact I learned from Belle
She will come inside and go underneath our bed, and then it will storm. She always knows when it’s coming and she does not like lighting. So under the bed she goes.