Friday, November 7, 2008

A New Addition to the Family


The Miller family has grown by one.

I’m surprised I was able to keep it a secret from so many of you for so long. I wanted to wait to tell everyone until he made his arrival.

Actually, he was sort of a surprise to us as well. I guess I never imagined that it could happen so quickly, considering how long it took last time.

We would like for formally introduce you to…

(Abe) Lincoln Miller

We got him Wednesday from a local breeder. Lincoln is a Great Pyrenees. The Great Pyrenees are in the same family with the Newfoundlands and Saint Bernards. He’s just about three months old and currently weighs 30 lbs. He will be about 120 lbs. when he is full-grown.

It’s kind of a funny story of how he came to us. I was reading through our daily FreeCycle posts online and saw a listing for an 11-month-old Cairn terrier puppy. Chester is half Cairn terrier (darn those breeders!) so I thought he might be a great addition to our family. I emailed the owner asking about the puppy’s gender, color, whether or not it got along with other animals and children…all of the responsible questions I thought. Well, two days later I saw in that day’s postings that the puppy had been picked up. I guess I asked too many questions and the people just wanted to get rid of a dog, not find him a good home.

While I sulked, I decided to look up Great Pyrenees breeders in our state.

[You have to understand that we have had a Great Pyrenees before. We got Ekimo when Jake was about five months old and he was about two months old. The two of them grew up together. He had what the vets considered doggy Irritable Bowl Syndrome or Inflamitory Bowl Syndrome. He got very sick just before Jensen was born and unfortunately had to be put down. Losing him was devastating. He had been part of our family for six years.]

I found a breeder and was admiring her dogs. Justin walked up behind me and said that I should call them. I was just looking, so I said I didn’t want to…so he did. He found that the breeder had a 4 month old male and a 3 month old male and female available as well as five day old puppies that would be available near Christmas. I was just looking for more information, but Justin was hooked. We had to really talk it over because this addition was going to be a big one for us. Adding another animal means that we no longer qualify for military housing (you can only have two pets in housing). It also means that it will be very difficult for us to find someone who will rent to us with three animals, to include a large breed dog, so we will need to purchase a home at our next duty station.

We went for a run and thought about it. By the time we were home we already had his name picked out. I called her back and Justin wanted to know if we could come and get him that day. He needed his health certificate done, so we had to wait until Wednesday.

Eventually I would like to breed Great Pyrenees dogs when we have our land in Washington after Justin retires. I figure I can grow Great Pyrenees and Angora goats side by side and it will be wonderful. I don’t think I’ll breed Lincoln. He will just be ours to love.

He is doing well thus far. He, Chester and DC are getting along well. I wonder if he looks at Chester as a giant chew toy sometimes (Lincoln is already three times Chester’s weight). DC was sure to hiss and bat at him right away to show him who was boss and he hasn’t given her a second thought. The kids love having him around. I’m not sure, though, if they enjoyed today’s poop roundup in the back yard. Lincoln is a much bigger dog if you catch my drift.

I was on puppy detail the last two nights, so I think Justin is planning to take over tonight since he doesn’t have to work in the morning. Lincoln is used to sleeping outside, so his first night inside he was a bit restless. He slept outside half the night last night (only because I was tired of fighting to keep him in) and he pawed at the door at about 2am to come back in for the rest of the night. We’ll see what tonight holds for us.

Though getting Lincoln was a bit of a spontaneous decision, we have yet to second guess ourselves. He is an amazing addition to the family and will be loved forever.

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