Monday, November 2, 2015

The Newest Member of the Wollner Clan

I have All Saint's costumes to show you, because I managed to complete my last minute scramble of sewing in the kitchen while watching the kids play through the door, but I think they can wait until tomorrow, because today I want to share with you the newest member of our family and the ways in which she's already amazing us, even though she's only been here for a few days.

This is Lily:

She's an eight week old Great Pyrenees puppy and on Halloween, we skipped trick or treating (it was raining and cold) and we drove north for a couple of hours with all the kids in the car, for a surprise.

It wasn't a surprise for Sadie, who knew why we were driving, or Maggie, who I'd been prepping for the surprise, but for Patch, who's birthday is next week and who is entirely puppy crazy, it was a complete surprise:

For a long time we've been on a wait list for a service dog for Maggie.  A very long time.  We first began to application process in June of 2014.  Paul contacted them last month and was told that they wouldn't even begin matching Maggie with a dog to begin training for another year.  So we're going to look into other places and fund raising.

But while we were waiting we saw a picture of Lily, and fell in love.  So we drove up to a little farm with a few dogs that watch their animals and we met the parents of the puppies and Paul picked out Lily because she was the most interested in him when he came into the barn and she had the cutest little face.

I was't sure what puppy life with a Great Pyrenees would be like.  I grew up in a house that always had dogs, an Australian Shepherd, a black lab, a pit bull/lab mix, but we'd done a lot of research on Great Pyrenees before going to get her and I was a little nervous after reading about how strong willed and independent they can be.

Lily immediately put me at ease, as I comforted the little ball of nerves in the car.  By the time we were halfway home she'd decided this whole car thing wasn't so bad.

The first night here she slept far more soundly than either of the boys.  I kept waking up and expecting to hear her barking or whining, but instead (after proving that she could jump in and out of the "large dog" pen we'd gotten for her) she settled into her bed and slept.

The best part about yesterday, however, was watching how her relationship with each of the kids had already developed, and how different those relationships were.

I'll start with James.

Lily seems to think that James is a puppy.  He crawls everywhere.  And she wants to be with him all of the time.  She trails him around the house. When he crawls she walks right next to him.  When he sits, she'd sit with her back against his. When he naps, she naps:

I was helping Maggie with something and came back to find them like this.
James isn't entirely sure what to think of her.  He's not a huge fan of being kissed repeatedly by a puppy and she loves kissing him.  Still, they already seem to be thick as thieves.

Okay, one sneak preview of St. Francis and the Wolf.
Next is Patch.

Lily and Patch are kind of hilarious together.  She sits next to him and he says "sit, stay" over and over again, which he must have learned somewhere although I have no idea where, and he beams with pride because he finally has a puppy.

Then there's Maggie.

I wasn't sure how Maggie would react to the puppy.  When we got into the house she came over and touched Lily's nose and said nose, and then touched her ears and said ear.

By yesterday morning she and Lily were inseparable.  Lily would lay next to Maggie and Maggie would put her mermaid dolls on top of Lily so they were "riding" her.

Then I noticed that Lily kept finding Maggie's toys and carrying them around the house.  Maggie didn't mind.  She always wants someone to play mermaids and Lily was only picking up mermaids.  She definitely recognized which ones smelled like Maggie.

Yesterday afternoon Maggie was having a tough time.  She was upset and started to cry.  And just like that Lily was there.  She picked up her puppy blanket, which I'd wrapped her when we brought her home, and she shook her head and yipped, trying to get Maggie's attention.  Then she laid down next to Maggie and Maggie began to pet her and suddenly all was right in the world.  Just like that.

Sadie is the one that the puppy loves to run with.  Sadie's constantly moving and the moment Sadie stands up Lily's ears prick forward and she stands up too.  When Sadie moves, it's almost always quickly, like a whirlwind moving through the house, and Lily is right there beside her, a ball of excitement.

So far when I'm with Lily she's calm.

Unless we're outside playing and then she likes to run around the yard next to me.  The moment I'd stop moving she would run straight towards me and lay down at my feet and look up and wait to see what we were going to do next.

We're going to take her to puppy classes and obedience classes and I've noticed that some of the obedience schools nearby offer service dog courses, so I'm hoping she can take those as well.  I'm not sure she'll ever be an actual "service dog" (I doubt it) but I do think she's going to be a great addition to the family and a great comfort to Maggie when she's upset.

And having a giant dog who's protective of the family in the house won't hurt either.

So meet Lily, the newest member of the family!  We're so excited that she's here!

I have no idea how she managed to fall asleep between all the kids while they were playing.  But she did.
And I snapped this moments later.


  1. What a great idea, Cam, and thank you so much for showing the various relationships forming. I am on the board of an organization which cares for, among others, some adults with autism. I think I'll bring up the subject of pets at the next meeting.

  2. What a beautiful puppy! I'm sure she will be the perfect addition to your family. It sounds like she's already right at home!

  3. These are the cutest pictures I've ever seen! I'm so jealous! Your kids are going to look back on the day you brought her home and be so grateful for such fun parents. I think children really benefit from pets, and now that your kids are old enough to help out a bit, it's wonderful they get the opportunity.


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