Friday, December 17, 2010
"The Wanderer" A Great Pyrenees Story
Last night we stayed up late watching old movies. Both dogs were inside with us, until just before bedtime J always takes them for a walk last thing in the evening. Well he took them over to the little house and tied Sierra to the porch, with her long lead rope. Meanwhile he went inside and got some stuff ready for a shower. When he came back out to check on the dogs, it was 11pm and they were gone.
Somehow Sierra managed to untie herself, whether alone or with Summers help, we'll never know. Sierra got the knot untied that connected her to the post, so now she's dragging a long rope through the woods, it's dark, and cold, and the wind is starting to really blow.
Sierra is our 15month old Great Pyrenees, and she can't seem to control her urge to split the second she has the least bit of freedom. She has been trained on a daily basis by Jarin, and still the desire to explore outweighs the command "Come". She'll just take off on a scent, into the woods and off she goes. If my golden retriever "Summer" is anywhere in the vicinity, she will gladly join along for the adventure.
3 weeks ago they escaped together into the woods, and we searched all evening for hours looking for them. Sierra finally came back panting and exhausted after 6 hours in the wilderness it was 9:30 at night ... she came alone. We continued searching and calling for Summer, we didn't find her until the next morning at 10:30am. She was a couple miles away, and was very lost. That night she was gone was the worst, I cried all night with worry, and every time I heard the coyotes howling in the night, it made me cringe. I know there are bear around here, mountain lions and coyotes right in our own backyard wilderness area. From where we found Summer a couple miles away, you can head East toward the Cascade Range, and a vast mountain wilderness area.
Now go back to last night...Remember Sierra is on the porch and Summer is sitting nearby, it's late She gets untied, dragging her 12 ft lead rope, it's 11pm and they're gone into the woods and beyond. There is one thing I do know about Summer, I know she is grumpy after 10:30pm, she's usually tired and wants to be in bed. So I was almost sure she'd be back soon. The thoughts of what happened the last time still hovered in the back of my mind. I was just praying she'd return quickly and safely. Much to my relief, about 20min later I walked over to the barn, and there was Summer sitting outside the barn door crying to come in. Sierra was still not back yet, we would still be worried until we got her safely home. J went looking in the truck, calling for her, we were both concerned the rope could get snagged on roots, or deadfall and trap her in one spot.
I am happy to report she finally showed up exhausted and elated about 12:30 am barking "I'm home...that was sure fun!!" her rope was still attached and it was covered in mud.
Never underestimate a Great Pyrenees and their desire to wander. My husband has had 3 different dogs over the last 30 years. They have to be fenced in, or kept on a lead when they're young. As they get older and more mature they can be trusted a little more, until one day maybe 5 years old, they'll want to stay home more, but they will almost always want to patrol a larger area than your perceived boundaries. Every quality Great Pyrenees Breeding Facility we have ever went to had every one of their dogs in a large kennel/run or pasture, and contained at all times.
Sierra has a 1 acre pasture Jarin built for her. The fence is strong to keep a Great Pyrenees inside, and safely gives room for her to run. She gets walks everyday, hangs out in the shop in her own huge playpen, and gets to go many fun places in the truck. She also gets to spend quality time with the family sitting by the fire inside and being with everyone in the evening. Great Pyrenees are a beautiful breed, with a noble and free Spirit. They are best partnered with someone who understands their nature, and has a large area for them to run and be free.