For those of you who are fans of our now six-month-old Great Pyrenees pup, I’m happy to indulge with an update on our anything-but-abominable-beasty.
To say Yeti has “adapted” to mountain life would be a flawed statement indeed. No adapting ever seemed remotely necessary for our great king of the woods . . . not even when he was just a roly-poly fur ball. If anything, at just six weeks, Yeti already seemed unsuited for our neighborhood where he spent three adorable weeks before our move to the mountains this past January. I seriously doubt whether Yeti would ever have happily adapted to a suburban environment, and I’m so glad we didn’t have to attempt it.
While I still often feel like a visitor at our new mountain homestead, Yeti seems like he’s lived in these woods for centuries.
It’s hard to describe Yeti’s relationship with this mountain. He seems drawn to the woods with a seemingly hell-bent devotion, much like that of some great migratory animal. The only thing he seems to love more than the woods is all of our attention. When we are outside together, Yeti’s loyalty to us rivals that of literary dogs. But when we leave him outside and return to the house, Yeti turns tail and runs for the woods as if the trees are calling him by name. Then again, maybe they are. I allow him to run wild and free but can’t help spying on him from our upstairs windows.
Pure white fur framed in brown and green —I’m convinced these woods have never looked as good as they do now with a Great Pyrenees exploring and patrolling in the brambles.
At the sound of a bird or squirrel in the treetops, Yeti cranes his elegant ruff, raising his noble eyes with a rustic royalty. He does not jump, buck, or bark. Not Yeti. He is a gentle, watchful giant —more guardian of the woods than hunter. Weeks pass without a single bark, which are apparently saved only for real danger or the frustration of not being able to reach a lovely, mud-caked rubber boot.
Witnessing Yeti effortlessly traverse the terrain here is something out of a wildlife documentary. I’m strangely envious of the ease with which he forges through the forest. As I watch him scale our steep walls of rock and clay, I also experience a dichotomy of admiration and protective instincts. “Yeti! Be careful!” I call more in compulsion than conviction, knowing my breath is sure to be wasted. I smile weakly at my own foolishness.
No longer am I the protector in this Mama, beast relationship. I’ve clearly been outgrown.
Love that he is, Yeti tolerates my warnings like an angelic teenager, even feigning to temper his speed. But he scales the walls anyway. He charges after yearling fauns like a wild stallion chases the wind. In a white whizz of fur, he silently vanishes into the trees. I catch my breath as I imagine him closing in on those swift hooves! I have no idea what his intentions are with the deer he chases. Inevitably my imagination paints some fairly grizzly images. What will Yeti do? What will the faun do? The sooner we get the fence finished, the better, I think to myself. I’m not sure for whose safety exactly.
Wild woodsman that he is, Yeti still barrels to the back door at my whistle and charges to his kennel without protest. Thankfully, he seems to love his kennel and unsightly supply of treats I over-indulge him with. He sits to be loved and fed, adores the kids as if they were his own little flock of sheep, and readily enters his crate when his bowl has been filled.
I marvel daily at how easy-going and content Yeti is. Even as I struggle to brush him for the weight of him bowling me over in his attempts to nuzzle, I laugh out loud at how much easier a job it is than brushing our daughter’s little blond mop. Though she be little, she is fierce. Even rainy days where I have to shove Yeti by the tush out the back door, I know that he’s not half trying to resist me. He lets me win and doesn’t attempt a whine or bark to get in the last word.
In a family of intense, passionate, opinionated members (including Bigelow), it’s been really lovely to add such a passive pet as Yeti to our mix. Finally, we have a people-pleaser among us.
~More about Yeti~
Yeti’s favorite things:
- People. Yeti will pass on almost anything for attention from his family and our friends. And the younger the human, the more appeal to Yeti. He always singles out the youngest in the group. When our friends are over with their tiny toddler, Yeti won’t leave him alone. I wonder very much if this is due to his sheepherding instincts.
- Pig ears and soup bones.
- Shady spots and patches of snow. Yeti gets overly heated easily with his double coat. Often after running about, he will plop down on the shady side of the house or even seek out the last of the snow patches to sprawl over.
Our favorite things about Yeti (thus far):
- How loving and affectionate he is.
- His rare but adorable guard dog bark.
- How he won’t look at us when he’s done something wrong.
- How plush he is.
- How easy-going and low maintenance he is. Yeti is way chill. Wish we could say the same for the rest of the family.
Our biggest behavior issue with Yeti so far:
We don’t love it when Yeti digs in the manure piles, rolls in the compost heaps, or deposits unidentified objects retrieved from the forest onto our lawn. But there is really only one major puppyism we are anxious to correct. Yeti likes to butt into our legs, even wrapping his front paws around a leg in a sort of bear hug motion. It isn’t aggressive. In fact, it would be super cute on, say, a ten-pound dog. But Yeti is so heavy that he sometimes knocks the kids over when he does this. We are working hard to train him out of this, but if anyone reading has experience with this behavior and any wisdom to offer, we would be grateful for your insight!
Our biggest concern for Yeti at present:
That he is going to catch Bambi one of these days.
What Yeti knows (thus far):
- Sit, stay, come (although he doesn’t always obey this one), out, in, and his name.
- To stay away from the tractor.
- To come running to his kennel when we whistle.
- To bark when it is altogether necessary.
- To come running to the kids when they cry out.
- To only risk stealing our boots when no one is watching.
Thanks for reading! If you love seeing Yeti in our posts, please leave a like or comment below! He’s quickly becoming the heart of this homestead.
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~