A new puppy for my oldest daughter’s 11th birthday

Em's 11th birthday cake

Each of my daughters insists that every birthday have a “theme” – a trend a started when they were babies that I am now stuck with! This year’s theme for my oldest daughter’s 11th birthday was puppies, both in recognition of her love for dogs, and in celebration of her birthday present: A nine-week-old Great Pyrenees puppy. Through attrition we’ve moved from three dogs down to just one, a 13-year-old golden retriever who doesn’t move around a lot anymore. We wanted a family dog who would be good with kids, cats, chickens, and other small animals, but who would also function well as an outdoor dog and help keep the coyotes away from the alpacas and chickens, and hopefully at least scare away (if not actually catch) the roughly one million ground squirrels and rabbits that eat everything I try to plant.

Maizy puppy 4

After a lot of research, I determined that Great Pyrenees was the perfect breed for what we needed – kind and gentle with kids and smaller animals, loving but more independent than retrievers or labs, a true working dog that would love living and working on a farm.

Maizy puppy 1

My daughter named her Maizy and she’s very mellow for a puppy, anxious to please and so smart that she’s already leash-trained, all without much effort or expertise on our part. My daughter has slept on the kitchen floor next to her crate for the past week – we’re hoping she’s acclimated enough now that she can sleep on her own (since my daughter is getting really tired of her sleeping bag!)

Maizy puppy 3

You forget how much work a puppy is, but an outdoors puppy is a much better way to go – no stress with housebreaking, not as many worries about what’s being chewed, and she sleeps in her dog bed on our back porch, by the kitchen sliding door, so that she’s there waiting for us when we come out to play, or garden, or take her for a walk. Now if the sun would ever shine here, we might be more inclined to spend time outdoors . . .

Maizy puppy 2

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