Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oakley: The Adventure Begins

    "My mama always said, 'Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.'" Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last 20 years, you've heard that oft-quoted line from "Forrest Gump."
     It's not too different when you adopt a shelter dog. The director of the shelter where Oakley came from originally thought that he was a beagle mix, then their vet noticed the long legs, adding in the Brittany. All I knew was that he curled up on my lap and fell asleep on the way home.
    Then there were some other characteristics that didn't add up on the Britt or Beagle side of the ledger. For starters, the double dewclaws on the back paws fell into neither breed descriptions. Then there was the ridiculously long tail with the little crook at the end. And then there was the black nose, and the black-rimmed eyes, and the bark. Think of the shock value of Gary Coleman opening his mouth and James Earl Jones' voice coming out.
     Answers came at last week's pre-neuter once over. The vet looked at the tail, and the dew claws, and said, "Great Pyrenees have those."
     No, no Beagle. Great Pyrenees. Calm, independent, relatively quiet, big-assed dogs. As in some males go up to 160 pounds.
     "He could go up to, oh 70 pounds," the vet guessed. A bit more than the 35-40 pound range I'd guessed at originally.
     Only time will tell. Oakley is six months old, and some feel that he may be at half his adult size.
I knew less than spit about Brittanys when Orion adopted us. I hopped on line and read everything I could about Great Pyrs. Another French breed originating in the border regions with Spain, bred to guard livestock and property. Pretty healthy. Run on the aloof side, generally, with strangers, but loving to their humans. And calm.
    I don't know how this is all going to shake out, but I'll bet the results, like the box of chocolate, will be sweet.

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