Tuesday, January 17, 2012


We have a new addition in our home. Lissette, a
Great Pyrenees/Deerhound mix, is our newest foster dog. 
What a beauty she is, too. Inside and out. At only a year old
she is a curious combination of puppy and elegance. She’s
lithe and spirited just as a Deerhound should be, but turn
her loose in the backyard after nightfall and she is all Great Pyrenees. 
That is a very polite way of saying she has the vocal chords of a
large guardian breed and she isn’t afraid to use them.

Lissette came to us from a local rescue group. She was rescued from an
area shelter. Her life before the shelter is a mystery. She is well
groomed and housebroken. Could she have been an
adored pet? Her left ear bears an odd split at the tip-an exact cut,
not a tear and well healed. Was she marked in some way by a farmer? 
She is severely underweight. Was she a stray without food or the victim of
the slow economy with a family no longer able to feed her? Her trusting
ease with humans and other animals does not suggest she was abused
or neglected but then one never knows. Does any of this really matter? 
She’s safe now with a happy, healthy future ahead.

She is inside as I write. Quiet. And very curious about her
surroundings. My four huntsmen, as I affectionately call my Great Pyrenees,
are so settled in their ways and know what is expected of them
(not that they always deliver) that life moves at a predictable speed
around here. They know every table, chair, picture frame and dust
gathering knick-knack this old house has to offer. So it’s a very special
perspective when a new animal enters our lives and household. 
Lissette insists on investigating every inch of the home and yard. 
It’s entertaining watching her sniff, crawl under tables and chairs
and maneuver between the couch back and wall. 
None of the huntsmen are able to accomplish that last one.

She is happy, too. You can tell by her gate, bright eyes and fluffy
raised tail. That makes the frosty winter walks worth each
step and the extra work not as tedious.

Fostering an animal is a commitment to the unknown—temperament,
training, health, time. I do not know how long Lissette will call this place

“foster home”, some fosters reside with their families for months
before adoption. Attachment is inevitable--especially when the
animal is as beautiful and sweet as Lissette. It’s difficult to say
goodbye not matter how long a dog is with you.

But fostering is one of the single most rewarding acts
anyone can do to help save lives. Knowing
you have helped save a life and have had a hand in selecting a dog’s forever
family makes the extra work, cold nights and teary goodbyes a little easier.

Lissette is available for adoption through AARF in Tennessee http://www.adoptapet.com/pet6682039.html. There
are thousands just like her waiting to be adopted or fostered. If you would
like to adopt or foster an animal please contact your local animal
shelter or Humane Society, or visit Petfinder.com http://www.petfinder.com/index.html.

Sheila Rinks is the editor of Finding Fuzzybutt Four, producer of the Raising Indiana podcast and shares her home with her husband, 4 Great Pyrenees and 2 very well-fed kitties.


  1. Hope she finds a wonderful, permanent home soon!