New photos of Norah, our Great Pyrenees/Maremma puppy

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Nov 30, 2002
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After having four or five dogs at any given time over the last 12 years, we were down to just one (Billie Holiday, our Maltese), and the faux farm was getting too quiet. In one day, we went from quiet to riot! Meet our newest addition: Norah Jones, a ten-week-old 7/8 Pyrenees, 1/8 Maremma puppy. (As a jazz die-hard, I shouldn't give Norah Jones equal billing with Billie Holiday, but in our household, they get along just fine.)

From her first day here (a week ago Sunday), Norah has been friends with all of our animals except for one: Santana, one of our cats. Santana believes in first proving to any and all dogs that HE is king of the faux farm jungle and not to be messed with. Even he is coming around quickly -- I'm sure due in part to visions of sleeping on top of that lush Pyrenees pelt...

As for the rest of the gang, it was love at first sight. We wanted to be sure that tiny Billie established her place in the hierarchy (top dog) immediately while Norah was still small (okay...relatively small!), which so far is working well. The first time we took Norah into the yard, the horses DEMANDED an introduction. Norah agreed and ran to the gate, immediately giving sweet muzzle kisses as Mingus and Scarlett each reciprocated. Flash wanted in on the fun, but Mingus and Scarlett decided she was theirs and made him wait his turn. Now, every time we head outdoors, Norah runs to the gate as the horses put their heads down to her level. Norah and Billie share a pillow for naps, and Willoughby, our other cat, immediately welcomed her -- at least as long as Norah remembers that Willoughby's tail is not a chew toy!

While Norah's parents are both working dogs (goats and cattle), she will be only on light LGD duty -- part LGD, part general farm dog. She is too small at this point to run with the "big" boys and girl, but we plan to create an escape hatch in the corral fence so that she can be with them yet get away if they play too rough or start running. Since we have all three horses in one corral now (we had Flash gelded in October), we let Norah play in the empty small corral and run-in shelter when we work outside so that she can observe the horses and chickens and get the outdoor time she craves. (So far she shows no desire to chase or bark at the chickens...)

She is a sweet, smart, not-so-little puppy, very quick and willing to learn, yet at the same time showing that Pyrenees stubborn independence. She already knows her name and basic commands -- come, off and leave it -- although "knowing" and "doing" are two entirely different things. Keith is a big softy, but I keep reminding him that what is cute with a puppy will NOT be cute with a 100+ lb. adult.

As is the case with all of our animals (and my husband), Norah already has a number of nicknames, each to suit the occasion.






...and the list goes on!

Here are some very poor photos of Norah with Keith and Billie. She is growing so fast (she is already much bigger than in these photos), we won't have many more "hold" photos.



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Oh my gosh, she's adorable! And she looks so huggable! They're always so cute when they're small but they grow up so fast. She sounds like quite the character.
We have a Gt Pry here. He also comes from livestock guard dog background. He is absoutly amazing with our alpacas. He is not in with them but has run of our fenced property. He lets me know if there is something that is not right in the area. We got him when he was about the size of your pup and now he is about 125 lbs but a very sweet lovable dog. They are called gentle giants for a reason. From the sounds of your litle one you bought a super and adorable one.
Our beloved great P developed bone cancer and we had to have her put down. She was an absolutely amazing animal. The breed is really the "gentle giant". I miss her each and every day.

I neglected to tell the story of how we picked Norah from her litter:

We had to travel a fair distance to her breeders' farm, so on our way there I told Keith what I had read about picking a livestock guardian dog...independent, bold, not shy or meek, friendly but not clingy...blah, blah, blah... We were undecided as to male or female and decided to choose the best dog of either gender.

At that time, I thought WE would be making the choice.

From the moment we approached the run holding the available pups, our decision was made for us. One pup decided Keith was HERS and pushed in front of the others to get to him. When we went in the run, Keith knelt down and this same pup came over and literally latched on to him. So much for the criteria for selecting this working dog...she had chosen us. More specifically, she had chosen Keith. Seeing as how she and I share the same taste in men, how could I argue? If she's not the best LGD, so be it -- we had been chosen to be her people.

Since I work from my home studio and Keith works long hours at the hospital with a long commute, I was a bit concerned that Norah would become closer to me, but this past weekend showed me that I needn't have worried. The two of them spent hours outside playing, working, and just hanging out. Thanks to Keith, our LGD has discovered how comfortable our bed is... This morning, when he left for work, Norah sat at the door and cried for him. And to be honest, I know exactly how she feels!
Oh my gosh susanne, she's so cute and cuddly! So happy and excited that you got her. I've been down with a bug of some sort lately but when I feel up to it again (and it's not so darned cold), I want to come over for some puppy appreciation time and of course to see Flash back in with the group, too. I think the last time I was over it was still warm enough to ride the dirt bike!

What a wonderful story Susanne. There is really no denying it, when a dog chooses you you can do nothing but take them home and share your life with them. I had the experience of having a puppy (that I btw had decided against taking because they were not at all what they had been represented as) choose my special needs daughter and no matter how firmly I removed that puppy from her lap it just raced back there again. That pup turned out to be a very special caretaker for my daughter. She spent every moment she could at her side and made sure my wandering girl stayed in her own yard safe and sound. I could not have chosen a better companion for our family. I hope you have many years of wonderful memories with your Norah and someday look back at her choosing Keith as a great blessing
I hope you have many years of wonderful memories with your Norah and someday look back at her choosing Keith as a great blessing
I already do!

Daryl -- since you've been feeling poorly, I don't feel *quite* as guilty for not emailing the photos yet... You definitely need to come by to meet her, and we need to bring her over to romp with the Saints and Buster.
She's awesome!!! Our big boy, Dozer, sends his best wolf (defender) whistle!!! (Not a moment too short as "tutoring" looms!).
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She's just plain cute. What a great puppy to cuddle up with!

Thanks, everyone!

Norah is an absolute love, and already half again as big as when we brought her home. She is extremely well-behaved, if you excuse a bit of willfulness now and then...
It helps that she loves approval, which means that she comes running when we call and is willing to walk on her leash. She has slipped a bit on her early potty talents, but still she does well for such a young pup. At her size, it's easy to forget that she's just a baby!

She is learning to limit her indoor chewing to her kong and her bones -- and the occasional kitty tail. The only real damage so far is a button on my old frisé rocking chair. Oh yes, she does love that favorite of all doggy cuisines: kitty almond roca... Outdoors she loves sticks, fir cones and horse poop. She collects them all and hoards them in her favorite spot on the lawn. I do wish she had someone to play with -- it's too bad it's too far for Dozer and Norah to have a play date!

She loves spending time in her corral (aka dog run on steroids), romping in the mud and watching the chickens. So far, she shows no interest in chasing them; instead, she stands next to their fence and waits for them to come to her. While she loves to play, I already see a more serious side to her than with any other puppy we've had. Today when we took her to the vet for her second round of puppy vaccinations, she was friendly but did not show the usual wiggly, kissy puppy behavior to the vet and vet tech -- but she did like their resident corgi! The vet examined her, gave her her shot, and said: "She looks like a keeper to me." We have to agree!
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