We lost our 13.5-year old Pyr, Clara, in November 2008. In May 2009, we picked up 4-year old Ben, Great Pyr, from his owner. Our trainer, Lynn Hyndman, told us we would want to think about him over the summer. We worked four months with him but in the end, he would always remain a dangerous dog. When animals, especially Pyrs, are mistreated, not socialized or handled as pups, they pay the price.
A few weeks later, we adopted Mr. Lou, Great Pyr. He had a court order for euth on him in Montreal, and there was a reason for it. Three weeks later, he, too, had to be euthanized. Shortly after, I had to send proof of his death to the rescue. Live and learn. Poor Mr. Lou.
In January 2010, we took Ziti on trial. It took me awhile to decide since she had her dog reactive issues but we finally adopted her.
I then started volunteering with a local rescue, Hopeful Hearts, founder Rosalind Phelps. I was with them for close to three years. I donated thousands of dollars. I was on the board for over a year. I did everything from answering inboxes, graphic design for all materials, organizing events, on the walkathon committee and much more. When the red flags started to go up, I should have taken my queue at that time but, sadly, continued to have trust. I continued to give money and work hard. All for not. That was an eye-opening experience, and one I never want to encounter, again. I have learned my lesson the hard way. Listen to those red flags. I know there are many others who have gone through what I went through. If only someone had warned me. I left in July 2013.
They have closed down since they lost their charity status. Abnormalities and irregularities were found during the CRA audit and there was no way their charity status was going to be reinstated.
We have fostered many dogs but are now just taking dogs overnight before they continue on their journey to their fosters. Zeetie is dog reactive and Max, also a rescue, follows in her footsteps sometimes, although not to the same extent.
Toby one: He was a 6-year old black Lab/Dane cross who was an owner surrender. Toby needed removal of a cancerous toe which was done but you couldn't even tell he was missing a toe. He was snapped up quickly by his new family.
Toby two: He was, apparently, left at a shelter by his owners. He was a healthy approximately 8-year old Retriever and now lives a wonderful life with his family.
Max: Our little Pointer mix, DOB approximately March 2008. He comes from Beruit, the BETA shelter. I know we have enough dogs here to save but the dogs in Lebanon have virtually no chance of being adopted out and live forever in a shelter. One family with children came to meet him and wanted to adopt him but they weren't a good match. Max, at that time, was terrified of chidren. My guess is children probably threw sticks at him by the way he used to react to sticks and children. He just stayed with us.
Hera: She was a blind Shepherd cross who was the only dog we brought in to whom Zeetie never took offence. I would think that was because Hera never made eye contact and hence was no challenge. She and Zeetie were great in the beginning but Hera came to dislike Zeetie.
Gracie: She was a 3.5 year old Great Pyr who seemed to have lived her life outside. She had anxiety about being left alone (although, seemed okay when left with my two). It took 16 days before Zeetie accepted her but even then, we had to watch them. Fights broke out on a dime.
Wilson: A big baby of a 6-year old Great Pyr whose owner turned him in to be euthanized while the husband went to prison. He turned out to be a lovely boy but was a challenge since he has Addison's and could not deal with stress. He leaped at cars, people, barked more than a normal Pyr would and was protective of his family so care had to be taken. After 8 months, he found his perfect family. See his video on Youtube
Ramona: She was two years old. An owner surrender because a child stomped on her foot and she lunged at the child the next time he came near her. Nothing happened but chances cannot be taken when a daycare is involved. It's so important to teach children to respect dogs and train them how to be around them. She has gone to a fabulous home in the country where she has free range of the property.
Jasper: He was surrendered because there was a new baby in the house or so they said. Mr. Jasper had to spend most of his time in the crate and, by the smell of him, peeing in the basement and lying in his own urine. Sadly, he had to be euthanized by his adoptive family because he had bites. Pyrs are not for most people. I erred in my judgement.
Gypsy: I'll not know why she kept being shifted from home to home. She needs to be the only pet in the family, though. She just wants to be with her people and be loved. We had her for ten days and it was quite a chore keeping her away from our dogs but we managed until she went back to her original foster, and was subsequently adopted out.
This is an excellent article on aggression:
Dr. Sophia Yin