Our May Pet of the Month is a living embodiment of the classic literary institution of a “gentle giant”. Please sit back and allow us to tell you a story about Harley, the Great Pyrenees.
Harley was adopted in 2013 from the Michigan Great Pyrenees Rescue. When his new parents, Anne and Bruce attempted to load him into their SUV, he refused to jump into the back. It took both of them to lift his 115-pound frame into the vehicle. Harley has since been taught to put his front feet on the back and one of them can lift the rest of him.
Anne and Bruce chose a Great Pyrenees because they are known for being friendly to small animals and it is because of this trait we have deemed him a “gentle giant”. Bruce and Anne have provided photographic evidence of his gentle demeanor as he interacts with the family’s six cats, one rabbit, and their foster kittens. They were also warned Great Pyrenees have a tendency to wander. Despite their fenced yard, they have found Harley likes to “walkabout” their rural neighborhood. His first stop is the muddy wetland and burrs behind their house and then off to check out a nearby pond and surrounding fields. Eventually, after an hour or so, he makes his way to the front porch to be lured inside with a treat.
As a large breed, Harley was at a greater risk for hip and mobility issues. In December 2017, Anne noticed he was moving more stiffly and seemed to be uncomfortable when she was petting him. After a thorough exam and discussion, Dr. Weinrick sent Harley home with medications to help with inflammation and pain. It appeared to work and he was doing well until March of this year. He was again having mobility issues. This time Dr. Weinrick recommended a long-term course. After baseline blood work, he was put onto the lowest effective dose of carprofen and has been able to resume his neighborhood “walkabout”.
Harley continues to enjoy his furry roommates, the snow, and lying in his favorite spot, on the sofa, snoring. His discomfort and stiffness appear to be controlled on carprofen and joint supplements. He still refuses to jump into the back of Bruce and Anne’s Escape and they definitely weren’t able to help with his distaste for temperatures over 70 degrees. All things considered, though, we think this is a story that warrants a storybook ending:
“And they lived happily ever after.”