Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Please join us!

Join us Saturday, May 5th in Denver Dumb Friends League's 19th Annual Furry Scurry!  Go to Furry Scurry and click "join team".  Type in "Pyrfect Paws" and join Christie and Shannon this May, as we gather Great Pyrenees owners, dog owners in general, and even those without dogs to walk to raise money for DDFL.

"Founded in 1910, the Dumb Friends League is a national leader in providing humane care to lost and abandoned animals, rescuing sick, injured and abused animals, adopting pets to new homes, helping pets stay in homes, and educating pet owners and the public about the needs of companion animals. The Dumb Friends League is the largest animal welfare organization in the Rocky Mountain region, welcoming tens of thousands animals to our two shelters. We turn no animals away. At our main shelter in southeast Denver and our Buddy Center in Castle Rock, dogs, cats, rabbits and other small pets enjoy the comfort of a nurturing environment in state-of-the-art facilities"

Please visit Pyrfect Paws to read more about us!  Email pyrfectpaws@gmail.com if you hope to walk with us in May, and would like to wear a Pyrfect Paws team t-shirt and what your size is!  We will only order tees if we get enough interested people! 

We hope to see you there!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Great Pyrenees in Castle Rock

A good Samaritan picked up this boy.  He was wandering as a stray in Castle Rock.  She can only hold him for 1 more day, as she has restrictions on the amount of dogs she can have on her property.  Do you recognize him?  The woman who is currently holding onto him will try and get him scanned for a microchip tomorrow.

Are you able to foster this gentle giant?  The nice woman who picked him up said he is a great with other animals, a real sweet heart.  She said he seems to be quite old, and she is sad at the idea of dropping him to a shelter.

UPDATE:  This great dog has been handed over to the Castle Rock Dumb Friends League.  If you are interested in helping this angel, please give them a call!

Please Share; Please help this amazing family find their dog Leslie!

You can also visit their Facebook page:  Leslie's Facebook Page

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A "Hart" Bigger Than Most: Hartley's Story

We've told Hartley's story often over the years, and never so much as since Dawn passed away.  Hartley's story exemplified Dawn's willingness to save a life.  Hartley had been shot in the face and left to die.. painfully.  Refusing to euthanize, knowing he could recover, Dawn took him into the Colorado Great Pyrenees Rescue. Who would have suspected that Dawn's passion to save Hartley would be met by that of his adopting 'dad', Zac?  Below is Hartley's story, told by Zac.  I apologize for the graphic nature of Hartley's intake picture, but it's needed to understand just what CGPR faced the day they saved his life.  I am overwhelmed by hearing more from Zac, and about the great lengths he took to not take that saved life for granted.  Every dog lover and person in rescue thanks you, Zac. You could have waited for a "perfect dog", instead you took on the great and worthy challenge to give Hartley his much-deserved chance to heal, and become *your* perfect dog.

My name is Zac Melton and Hartley is my Pyr.   I found Hartley around the summer of 2008.  He was a “high risk, special needs dog”.  It was between him and his brother Hudson.  Originally I was going to take in Hudson, however he was adopted the day before.  Taking in a dog like Hartley and having no prior experience with big dogs, is in hindsight not all that bright…but hey when it's love you don’t think.  We all know this.  

In short, Hartley was shot in the face in Harrison, Arkansas with what looked like a .22 cal bullet and was left to die.  He wandered around for a week bleeding until some lady couldn’t take it anymore and called Dawn at the CGPR.  Dawn took him to the local vet in the Harrison region and they did everything they could to stop the bleeding and heal his wounds.  This was the first time he was recommended for euthanasia.  He was given shots, flea and tick medication, and pain killers for his face. 

I found him a few weeks later (at this time, Dawn, Ken, and their daughter were living in a neighborhood in Thornton and had only a handful of dogs).  Hartley was underweight and still had dead ticks all over him…however! He was happier than he had been in a long while.  He was safe and people loved him.  It was obvious.  

Dawn had warned me about “high risk” dogs and taking in a dog like Hartley, but she also believed that he had a huge heart.  Her price at the time was $250 for a healthy dog and $125 for a “special needs” dog.  He was most definitely “special needs”.  It wasn’t long after taking him in that I noticed he had a rattling sound in his nasal cavity (Dawn did point this out to me when I got him).  I took him to Fort Collins to get him get checked out and x-rayed.  The results were dismal. He had bone fragments and metal shavings from the bullet still lodged in his nasal passages and behind his eye.  This is when I learned the meaning of “to live outside of your means” and how easy it is to do things that you can’t afford for love.  I had just paid off a $10,000 debt on my credit card maybe a week prior and was attending college on the GI Bill…in short, I was broke.

The young doctor gave me a few optionsThe first option was to not do the surgery and who knows what will happen.  The second option however was much better, do the surgery and who knows what will happen.  I thought long and hard for an entire 60 seconds and said “do it”. 

This is when it got interesting...my wonderful, underweight, 80lbs, 2 or 3 year old puppy just so happened to hate everyone that wasn’t me.  During this visit the suggestion of euthanasia had been recommended for the second time.  It took almost the entire staff to subdue him.  He broke out of his soft muzzle and his hard muzzle.  The staff had to reassure the other clients that everything was “ok” in the back room and that the dog, my dog, was alright. 

I came back a few days later after the surgery to pick him up.  The funny parts to this story were that I had to cut the stitches from his neck…the young doctor was too afraid to touch him and that my poor dog had to wear a cone for a month.  The sad part to this story was that I fed him through a tube in his neck for that month and the “holy crap you’re kidding me, but oh well” part of this was that the surgery cost $5000+ (a few months later I would end up spending another $700 to extract one of his canines that had died due to the gun shot).

Since his rescue Hartley and I have hiked various routes off the I-70 corridor.  We have summited Mt. Beirstadt, the closest of the 14’ers.  I have taken him down to various rivers and let him try to “eat” the water.  However he did seem sad when I had to leave him alone, so I got him a companion.  She also came from Dawn.  Her story isn’t as nearly compelling as his.  I think she was a stray…that’s it.    One of my favorite memories was trying to sleep in a queen sized bed with 1 other person and 2 Pyrs.

Ironically Hartley and I now live in Arkansas, I wish I could say that he is just as happy as he was in Colorado, but I think his wound still acts up from time to time, and the weather here isn’t as nice as it is out there…but still he is doing well, and if you come into my back yard and he doesn’t know you…even if you really like his story and think that he sounds like a great dog (which he is) I promise you, you will get growled at.  He’s a Pyr and he protects me.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Celebrating Love

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone and all their dogs!  While Valentine's Day gets convoluted, we an all agree it's a day to celebrate those we love.

For many of us, this means those with 4 legs.  It's hard to imagine a life without those little eyes and slobbery faces.  While I know many people hate commercialism, I find it reassuring when dogs and cats begin to get more acknowledgement for their important role in our lives!

I welcome the greeting cards, vests, and headwear;  as silly as they may be at times, they help assert the feelings of so many, many people who desire to demonstrate how much dogs are a part of our families!

So.. Happy Valentine's Day, all you pups.  We love you!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

3 Pyr Mix Pups Looking For a Foster or Forever Home

3 Pyr Mix Pups Needing a Foster or Forever Home

These pups are currently in Sparta, MO but will be transported to Colorado as soon as a foster or adoptive home is available for them!

  • 2 Males, 1 Female
  • Estimated to be 4 - 5 months old
  • Significantly underweight
  • Very sweet and loving

A Note from the Lady who Rescued these babies:
These sweet dogs were dumped several days ago close to my house and I rescued them this afternoon.   I was able to get one of them in my car (he was freaked out by anything around his neck) and the other two dogs followed my husband home about a mile away. As frightened as they were, not so much as a growl or a nip, but a willingness to get beyond the fear to be rescued.  

I am thinking they are about 4-5 months old, a Pyrenees mix, and have one 
female and two males.  They are significantly under weight, have mange and their over all coat condition is horrid. However, now that they are safely contained, have been fed, they are very sweet and loving. they give lots of tail wags and kisses.

I have 7 dogs and cannot foster these dogs.  I will do whatever I can to 
find them a foster or rescue as I know, with TLC they will be great dogs.  I will call my vet to see if he can come to my house to assess them and see what kind of treatment they will need and shots.  I would appreciate any assistance you can give me in finding a foster home for them.

If you think you would like to foster and/or adopt one of these babies (or know someone else who would) please email us at coloradopyr@gmail.com and we will put you in touch with the right people! 

You Can Help Gracie


This beautiful girl is in Breckenridge, Colorado.  She needs a new family.  Please read her story below, and cross-post.  The account below is from her current owners, written to a local rescue.  If you feel you can help Gracie, please email us at coloradopyr@gmail.com or contact Animal Rescue of the Rockies at arrcolorado@gmail.com.  I wanted to interject some points about the breed, without censoring any feedback the current owner has about Gracie.  Please see my comments in blue.

In November, while we were living in Houston, we adopted a Great Pyrenees mix female who was surrendered to our vet by her family.   She is approximately 5-6 years old.  Her original owner passed away and the subsequent owners/relatives could not properly provide for her. She had escaped from her home more than once and was found to have a urinary tract infection and heartworms as well as being underweight and dehydrated.  We formally adopted her from our vet.

We have 2 other mixed breed dogs:  a 13 year-old greyhound mix male (about 65 lbs) and a small brown mixed-breed, 6 year-old male (about 35 lbs) Unfortunately, the new dog, Gracie, could not develop a stable relationship with our older dog.  We consulted with our vet and tried techniques to modify her behavior.   In addition we would be certain to never leave them alone in the same room, would never feed them in the same room and always intervened if it appeared that they were uncomfortable with each other. They would get along fairly well but since November, she has attacked our older dog three times with increasing intensity.  The last incident requiring emergency care for our older dog.  For the last week she has been boarded at DNR kennels due to her unpredictable behavior.  She has always gotten along with the younger, smaller dog and has always been very gentle with us.

We have always owned large-breed dogs and, for the most part, adopted dogs.  As recently as 2 years ago , we owned 3 adopted dogs and never had any issues with the dogs getting along or other behavioral issues. We feel a strong commitment to any animal we have adopted including the 3 cats we have owned over the past 14 years.  So it is with great reluctance that we feel we cannot continue to care for Gracie.  I feel she would be a good dog in a one-dog home.  Our vet in Breckenridge said that Great Pyrenees may have problems with other dogs as they are bred to guard sheep and perceive other dogs as a threat.

While Gracie may in fact be best in a one-dog home, as some are, our experience is that it just depends on the dog dynamic you are facing.  Owners are quick to assume that dogs who struggle "getting along" with other dogs in their home need to be homed alone.  While this may be true about some dogs, on the whole our experience has been a "let's let them meet and we shall see" approach.  For many dogs, there is no rhyme or reason to who they like, and yet for others it becomes clearly defined.  The exhaustion of trying to train a dog while managing other dogs in the home can leave an owner feeling like "they need to be the only dog".  But I caution people with this approach.  Just meet them and see.  Her vet said Great Pyrenees have problems with other dogs, due to their breeding.  On the whole, this is untrue.  Her vet was not incorrect per se, but I fear posting this without speaking to it, because I don't want the breed misrepresented.  Great Pyrenees are livestock guardians by trade, and when performing that job won't take well to another random dog wandering into their field and farm.  In a livestock setting, their job is to ensure there are no threats to their flock.  In a home dynamic, things change.  I have no experience owning Pyrs as livestock guardians.  My experience is that Pyrs adapt to understanding who and what their flock *is*.  In a home, they tend to revere their flock as everything in the house.  Your other dogs, children, cats, etc.  They are protective of that collective.  The reputation of Pyrenees as house companions is that of unbridled sensitivity, affection, and acceptance.  Problems within the 'pack' tend to be standard-issue dog dominance issues, and not in any way specific to this breed in a home setting.  Gracie isn't not getting along because she's a Pyr, there is just a group dynamic in her current home that isn't working.

She will have her final heartworm treatment at a veterinary clinic in Denver beginning February 15th.  Until that time, she will continue to be boarded at DNR kennels in  Breckenridge.  After the final treatment (or before) we will surrender her to a rescue group or the shelter in Summit County.  We really hate to have her boarded so long and would be willing to provide any monetary assistance for a foster home.  We are contacting you since, as I mentioned, your group was highly recommended to us by Breckenridge Animal Hospital.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Can You Be My Foster?


UPDATE!  Snickers got adopted.  Thanks to everyone who cross-posted!

Snickers is coming into Colorado from a high-kill shelter in Wyoming.   Animal Rescue of The Rockies is picking up Snickers and a bunch of other dogs.  Snickers is a Great Pyrenees mix, and she just needs a foster home!  If you think you may be able to foster her, please email us so we can hook you up with someone at ARR, or contact them directly.    coloradopyr@gmail.com

Here is more info on Snickers from one of the people saving her life:

Snickers is a 10 and a half month old Great Pyrenees mix. I think she might have aussie in her to, based on her body and tail (I could be wrong).  Snickers and her boyfriend were turned into our shelter because daughter has allergies to them. Her boyfriend has been adopted, but she is having a hard time here. She is fine with anyone outside of her kennel, but is growling and barky in her kennel.Therefore she can not go up for adoption. She is very shy, sweet and submissive. She lacks confidence too. Snickers is house trained and she knows come, shake, down/off, and sit. She is good with dogs she will play with them when she comfortable, but she is also cautious and fearful of them at first. I did dog test her and that is what we found too. She is ok with cats, she will chase them and be friendly with them, but has never hurt one in the past. She lived with kids between the ages of 3 and 18 years and was cautious and friendly with them also. Snickers likes runs,  car rides, toys, digging, fetch, walks, and tug-o-war. She is described as active and playful.

Please cross-post Snicker's story to every dog lover you know in Colorado!

Jersey Girl Great Pyrenees For Adoption!

We are cross-posting, a beautiful, huge Great Pyrenees out of Jersey is in foster and needs a forever home.  I am already so jealous of whoever adopts her..  sooooo beautiful.

From Lisa, who is coordinating her adoption:

Big girl!
Over 90 lbs
But gorgeous
Super friendly
18 months
Yes- vetted. Needs to be spayed but we take care of that.
Great with the other dogs in the house.
Not sure about kids because the foster doesn't have any, but she said
the dog is so friendly she can't imagine she wouldn't be.

Let me know.
CONTACT IS :    lisa.tanis@us.army.mil

Lucy's Life Is At Risk, Please Help

We are cross-posting.  Tara is trying to save Lucy.  Lucy's owners feel it's appropriate to kill her, if they cannot rehome her before they have to move.  Tara can get Lucy into Colorado, but she needs a rescue group or a foster so she has a place to go.  Contact Tara:
Tara Moreland <thevillagerescuecontact@gmail.com
From Tara:
This is Lucy. She is a mix between a Great Pyrenees and  maybe Akbash or Lab, and she is 3 years old. She weighs 75 pounds. I love this dog so much. She has a hilarious personality, has never shown aggression, and is more gentle with my baby then my labs are. The reason she is free is because she is epileptic and requires medication to prevent seizures. The meds are really affordable (about $10/month) and we would supply a couple of months worth. We are moving to a townhome that doesn't allow dogs so we have to get rid of ours. I'm hoping to find a responsible person who can take her or we may have to put her down. Please email or text cause I don't answer phone calls with numbers that I don't recognize. 

The owner is moving in two weeks and has told Tara she will euthanize Lucy then if no rescue or home is found. Please consider giving Lucy a life. Poor Lucy. She deserves better humans than these heartless schmucks.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Charlie's Challenge: "Is there someone out there for me?"

Hey, that's not a Great Pyrenees!  No, this is Charlie.  And while he may not have double-dewclaws and a big, fluffy, white butt..  He needs someone to help him, and I wanted to help his amazing foster mom find that person.  I know that the readers of this blog are general animal-lovers, and I am gambling we can network this guy's story and help to find him a forever home.  Charlie needs some special effort, because he is special, and also special needs.

Why Charlie?  There are a ton of kitties who cross my path.  A kitty needing a home is no new thing, and there seems to be so many more cats who need home than dogs (if you can even imagine that).  I met Charlie, and he is so sweet, so resilient, so amazing.. I knew in my heart the first time I met him, that if someone has a heart large enough for a special needs cat, they will thank the day someone helped them find Charlie.

Charlie and his siblings were scooped up by a woman named Terri.  Terri does trap & release for feral cats.  Trap & release is an amazing undertaking, costing a lot of money, time, and emotional sacrifice.  These people save the lives of *countless* cats, as they keep feral populations down.  When kittens are rescued during this, they are often taken in to be socialized and adopted into loving homes.  Charlie's story was going to be no different.

Terri socialized the kittens for a while, and she did an amazing job.  Not only is Charlie *not* feral, he is more affectionate and loving than most cats you'll meet.  Her next step was to get Charlie neutered, so he could be put up for adoption.  Charlie sounded congested;  the veterinarian put him on anti-biotics, but nothing changed.  He wheezed and it sounded like it took effort for him to breathe.  Before he could be anesthetized for a neuter, Terri needed to find out what was going on with the poor guy. 

Charlie was brought to a lung & heart specialist.  No small financial feat for a rescuer.  It was easy to assume perhaps he had asthma, as many kitties do.  After an initial consultation and an echocardiogram, it didn't help.  We still didn't know what was wrong: he didn't have asthma.  Lucky for Charlie, the very next week the specialist's office was having *another* specialist visiting and seeing patients for a day.  This doctor was the expert's expert in lung conditions.  It was soon discovered that Charlie had laryngeal paralysis.

Paralysis of the Larynx occurs in both dogs and cats.  The larynx is commonly referred to as the "voice box" and it is just above the trachea, the "wind pipe".  Made of cartilage, it aids in breathing, sound production, and prevention of aspiration "breathing in"  of liquids and foods.  Surgery is the only way to correct this.  Without too many boring details, the surgeon essentially "ties back" a structure, allowing the paralyzed parts to stay somewhat fixed open so the animal can regain somewhat normal function.

In Charlie went, getting his much-needed surgery.  I wish you could have seen him.  Immediately after surgery, still groggy, he was as friendly as the day is long.  In recovery, he would purr and ask me for more scratches.  Hard enough, finding a home.  Now he will have to find an owner who is smart enough to realize that his challenges have made him that much more amazing.  He went through all this surgery, and is still in recovery, and maintains the best attitude.  What an amazing little boy. 

He is still a kitten, and has been through a lot.  While under, they also did his neuter.  He has some weeks of recovery, but then he will need to find his forever home.  Terri saves a lot of lives, and while she has taken on the challenge of nursing him through all this, the sooner Charlie can be adopted, the sooner she can take all that special time she is giving him, and she can give it to continuing to save more lives.

So what does it mean, to adopt a kitty like this?  Because of his surgery, he will always need some special considerations.  The real one, is just that now it may be easier for him to aspirate (breathe in) his fluids and foods.  Charlie will need to be feed in more of an upright position for his life.  They make special chairs for the dogs with this condition.  Lucky for Charlie, he is so sweet that I doubt this will be met with much resistance, especially when he gets used to it.  I imagine scooping him up for a cuddle, stretching him up towards me, and taking aside 10 minutes twice a day to feed him.  Any other special considerations and needs would be best explained by a veterinarian. 

When I think of special needs animals, I always think:  Why wouldn't someone?  When we adopt perfectly healthy animals, it is incorrect, naive, and unfair to assume they will always be thus.  If we are true animal-lovers, we must anticipate their changing medical needs.  Sure, Charlie is starting off sooner than later, but he will be worth it.  I think the testament of a true animal lover, is admitting you are willing and able to support special needs;  one day, all our geriatric pets will be one.

If you are interested in learning more about Charlie, you can email Terri at terri.doolittle@denverwater.org
You can also email me at coloradopyr@gmail.com, and I can give you her telephone number.  Terri was kind enough to let me share his story, and I hope everyone who reads this can cross-post and forward to all the animal lovers you know in the Denver area.

-Shannon Murphy
Sweet Charlie right after surgery.  The yellow at his neck is just iodine, and his wrapped paw is merely his catheter.  Look at those eyes!
One day after surgery.  Snuggling and being amazing.  The red is just the wrap from removing his catheter.