My first Great Pyrenees truly was a Wonder Dog
Waco is my first Great Pyrenees dog and he's a gorgeous 130 pound house-dog who easily stretches out into a giant soft body pillow. His coat is white and remains that way no matter the weather. A few good shakes and the dirt is gone. When I glance out the kitchen window and see him standing among the bushes and trees, I have to pause and stare. The image is so striking with the contrast of his brilliant white against the greenery.
Great Pyrenees are known to have a bark now and then and Waco does his share of talking to the wind but as a rule he's pretty quiet. A sweet-tempered boy who is happy to have a home, he loves playing with the rest of the pack--all five of them.
Waco Wearing his Wonder Dog Cape
Waco's Story: Rescued from a Hoarder
Imagine a large dog stuffed in a small house with 50+ dogs and cats
Waco the Wonder Dog came into my life by way of The Texas Great Pyrennes Rescue (TGPYR) chapter in College Station. So you could say he's an Aggie by way of his adoption by his foster parents-you'll notice they made an Aggie maroon cape for him. Animal control in Dallas had pulled him out of an animal hoarding situation. He was then further rescued by the TGPYR Dallas chapter.
At some point Waco earned his stellar name Waco the Wonder Dog. Someone told me it was for "whacko" but no one knows for sure. He then traveled the Texas highways from Dallas to Amarillo to Houston and finally College Station. When he acquired his cape with the giant "W" it ensured his Wonder Dog status forever. As a closet Superman fan, how could I resist? I had to meet this big white dog.
How Waco and I Met In the Land of A&M
The Texas Great Pyrenees Rescue Group played matchmaker
In 2007 I lost my beloved lab, Beau, a striking Labrador Retriever who was a prince among dogs. Beau was one of those deep golden Labs with a huge chest and perfectly-formed head. Even better, Beau had a personality and attitude that endeared him to everyone. His death left a gaping hole in my heart. Enter Waco.
The emptiness left by Beau left me trolling the Internet in search of a big dog. I had Riley and Teddy and Freddie but I still longed for a LARGE dog that I could wrap my arms around. One day I stumbled across a breeder's site that featured Great Pyrenees. I'd never heard of them. The more I read, the more I wanted to actually see one. I began an online search and eventually found Waco. He had just been transferred to College Station, Texas outside of Houston.
I called and went through the approval process. Then I was allowed to meet him. It was December 2, 2007. We met at a dog park in the Woodlands outside of Houston. He had his reindeer antlers on and was charming everyone. I swear he smiled at me when we met. :) I took him home that day.
Take the time to get to know your rescue dog - Great help for building a a bond with any dog, not just rescue or shelter dogs.
A Closer Look at Waco the Wonder Dog - Pet adoption day for the Great Pyrenees who meets his new family
Waco's Early Days After Adoption
Working to ease the impact of having lived with a hoarder
Great Pyrenees are working dogs and often guard livestock. After the adoption, we stopped at a local pet store and I bought him his own fleece stuffed lamb. His foster parents had said he didn't seem to have a Pyr's guardian instinct but I figured what the heck. He could play with the little lamb. That night I gave him a long body massage and a good raking to calm him down. With three other dogs in the house, I wanted to make sure he was relaxed and felt comfortable.Each dog was introduced individually to Waco with me making it obvious that they were under my protection and "mine" and he was "mine, now too" to the them.
At the vet's Waco passed his new dog exam with flying colors. The vet said he was about 2 years old. and commented on his huge feet. However, none of the vets he's seen think he will ever grow into a full-sized Great Pyrenees because of the malnutrition he suffered from the hoarding situation. So I guess he's a bit like a Great Pyrenees but pony size. I love my big "compact" Pyr. He had and continues to have a sweet tempermentt and just wants to be loved. It's no wonder after his earlier life. He'd literally been starved of any human attention and affection and lived in a space crowded with other animals. In spite of his early life history, Waco eased into our family life without any major issues. .
Waco's singing "It's a Wonderful Life"
Waco is guardian but not to sheep. Check out his pack.
Today Waco's life is full of love. He's been with us three years and there's no end to the magic he brings to all who meet him. He's readily taken the new dogs under his giant paws and he and little Charlie the Pug have a special big brother-little brother relationship.
Charlie follows Waco everywhere. If Waco goes out, Charlie runs after him. It's easy to find the Pug. Look for the big white mass moving through the yard. Charlie's that little dark shadow trailing behind.
Happy Days for Waco the Wonder Dog - Great Pyrenees dogs know how to enjoy life
Dog Walking and Training in the Neighborhood
Many have never seen the Great Pyrenees breed before
Cars slow down, heads turn when Waco and I walk the neighborhood streets. It's not because of me. Waco is a gorgeous dog. Think of a giant puff of snow moving elegantly down the street. He's a striking dog, all 130 pounds, and his coat glistens in the sun. We love to walk.
While we walk, we practice our training. I run him through his paces. By the time we're through we've both had our exercise. Sometimes Charlie the Pug or one of the other dogs tags along.Every now and then I take the group out together. Now that's a sight.
Of all the dogs, Waco is the least excitable--unless you count those incidents with a couple of local opossums or the stray cats. Then he might have a few things to say. Of course, I'm not sure the opossums have seen anything like Waco, either.
Waco's Got His Very Own 6-Pack! - Yep, we've gone to the dogs - six and counting
Waco's Favorite Dog Chews - Good for Teeth - Every big dog should have a bedtime snack
Waco loves these dog chews. Every night when he goes to bed he gets a dog chew, ice cubes, and biscuits. (Naturally he loves to go to bed.) If I forget the chew, he stands at the bedroom gate and waits. He won't go to his crate or relax until I've given him one. It's his one active domineering act. .
Waco the Wonder Dog Loves the FURminator - A big dog's delight is having his owner use a good shedding tool
These are the BEST the market has to offer when it comes to getting rid of all that hair--and believe me I should know. I tried any number of grooming tools before a friend who works for a groomer told me about the FURminators and how they rely on them. These are wonderful and Waco likes nothing better than to stretch out on the floor and have a full-body comb-out. From his state of bliss, I'd say he's in heaven.
Every Dog Needs A Den of His Own - These Midwest dog crates are safe, tough, and easy to clean.
Waco is happy to go to his crate and take a time out from the rest of the crew. In the evening he has free access to his crate and goes in and out as he pleases.
Waco lounges on his favorite mat with HoneyBunn
Waco Enjoys His New Pad - A pet pad or mat is perfect for resting, training, and time-outs
I picked up a couple of these a few months ago and Waco fell in love with this one--even though it's not the one suggested for his size. He loves to curl up. Sometimes he rolls and plays on it. We also practice "mat" training and it's worked out perfectly. The pad can be used in a crate but Waco likes his out in the middle of the den where he can keep a watchful eye over his siblings. As it turns out, the little dogs pile onto it and often sleep together--sometimes even tucked next to Waco.
Waco Shares His Favorite Links
- Going to the Dogs: A Life Framed by Dogs
Meet Waco's 6-pack: Riley, Teddy, Freddie, Charlie and HoneyBun
- A Life with Dogs
Waco's home blog. Visit him and all his canine family.
Waco wants to hear from you. Love Pyrs? - So do I.
TanoCalvenoa on April 16, 2013:
I love the picture with huge dog and tiny dog.
wordpress-guru on February 18, 2013:
Valerie Proctor Davis from Birmingham, Alabama on October 16, 2012:
You're so lucky to have a Pyr! My own dog is half Pyr, but he got all the calmness.
Lynda Makara from California on September 01, 2012:
Waco looks like a real sweetheart. I enjoyed reading his story. Angel blessings.
SteveKaye on August 29, 2012:
Your dogs look wonderful. Thank you for bringing in rescue dogs. Wish you the best.
Mamabyrd from West Texas on August 23, 2012:
Waco may you rest in Peace, always have fresh water to drink, bones to chew and angels to scratch your ears! your momma is really going to miss you!
Delia on October 29, 2011:
Wow what a gorgeous dog! I love these Pyrennes, there are several that live in our neighborhood. I love your collection of doggies, especially the Maltese Honey Bun...very cute. I'm glad you rescued Waco and took him into your life.
anonymous on October 22, 2011:
I loved reading this wonderful story about Waco--I wish I could give him a great big hug! Great lens!
WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on October 20, 2011:
Congrats on your Purple Star! Kind of you to adopt such a wonderful big dog!
Heather Burns from Wexford, Ireland on April 01, 2011:
OMG, I love Waco. My daughter has a female Pyr called Indy and she is also a joy. Weighs just 120 and a love. They are wonderful dogs. So nice you rescued Waco. My sister used to have an Australian sheepdog named Waco.
Angela F from Seattle, WA on March 06, 2011:
What a great lens. Sounds like he's a fabulous addition to your family!
teachersolutions on February 19, 2011:
Enjoyed reading about Waco. Having had Pyrs myself, I know they are the most loyal and have the best temperament of all dogs. Thanks for sharing your story.
jp1978 on February 12, 2011:
Waco's bigger than I am! I love dogs and cats.
ladyquestra on February 06, 2011:
Waco is beautiful. I have a 3 year old Pyr and he is the best companion ever. Waco looks like he has a kind, loving soul just like my Loki. What a great rescue story, Waco is as lucky to have found you as you are to have found him.
BuckHawkcenter on January 30, 2011:
Great story of a great rescue! Waco the Wonder Dog sure has lived up to his name. Adding to the Best of Pet Rescue on Squidoo, to help showcase your great story and to bring attention to the Rescue Group that brought you two together.
JanieceTobey on January 29, 2011:
Ahhhh! So adorable!!
Jeanette from Australia on January 27, 2011:
What a lovely story. So glad you two got together! And congratulations on your well deserved purple star.
Beas on January 27, 2011:
I love dogs. I can see your Waco is really sweet dog. He reminds me of the dog of my ex.
clouda9 lm on January 26, 2011:
I truly enjoyed my visit here today. Buba our half Pyrenees and Shepherd mix sounds so much like Waco. Great attitude, just because of size heads turn and oh so loving as the day is long. My Angel Blessing today is SWAH :)
Melody Lassalle from California on January 26, 2011:
What a wonderful story! I was just thinking that Misha (7 1/2 lbs) is about the size of your dogs nose. LOL Great Lens!
Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on January 26, 2011:
@SusannaDuffy: Uh, and he's the compact size. :) Thanks for stopping by.
Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on January 26, 2011:
Congrats on your purple star. Wonderful dog lens.
Carolan Ross from St. Louis, MO on January 26, 2011:
A very well told story about this wonderful dog. Waco is lucky to have you, and/or vice versa? Your own photos and stories really add personality and a unique perspective. Well done!
claudiax3 on January 26, 2011:
What a crew you have! I am sure Waco is grateful for all you've done! Very cute!!
Richard from Surrey, United Kingdom on January 26, 2011:
Thanks for sharing your story about Waco. You have a truly happy bunch of dogs :)
LissaKlar LM on January 26, 2011:
I love that Charlie the Pug follows Waco around. They both seem like real sweethearts.
rlivermore on January 25, 2011:
Awww, what a nice story! Thanks for sharing about Waco.
Julia M S Pearce from Melbourne, Australia on January 25, 2011:
I'm glad Waco got the good home he deserves.Great story.
Ann Hinds from So Cal on January 25, 2011:
Waco is beautiful. I love his story and it's always nice when these dogs get the homes they deserve. We have a shelter dog and find that they are the most loving animals. Love the pictures!
TheresaMarkham on January 25, 2011:
Beautiful pix - well done!
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on January 25, 2011:
Waco is just beautiful! I am so glad you rescued him! (I know you didn't personally slip into the hoarders home, but the people who did, needed you!) Most Excellent and Most Beautiful dog and story!
ohcaroline on January 25, 2011:
I'm sure Waco is grateful for having found such a loving home. Good for you.
Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on January 25, 2011:
I've also never heard of the breed Great Pyrenees, so really enjoyed getting to know Pyrs through meeting Waco. He's a gorgeous dog and obviously well loved in your household!
tssfacts on January 25, 2011:
I have never heard of this breed before. He is a beauty.
kimmanleyort on January 25, 2011:
I can see why you fell in love with Waco. His pictures are adorable. Kudos to you for rescuing him from a hoarder. You have a wonderful lenswriting style.
Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on January 25, 2011:
My word! However do you feed such a magnificent fellow! I hadn't realised just how BIG a Great Pyrenees dog could be.
Carol Fisher from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK on January 25, 2011:
Wow, what a beautiful dog.
GiftsBonanza on January 25, 2011:
What a lovely looking dog!
hayleylou lm on January 24, 2011:
I love the jacket :)
Jen from California on January 24, 2011:
Such a pretty dog!
anonymous on January 24, 2011:
Waco looks like a great healthy dog.