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May 08, 2019

The Truth about Renaud

How Renaud is Indeed Learning from Kaspar how to Become a Great Pyr..

Renaud w/ESA HarnessAnd i don't mean a Great Pyr in weight!! OMG, Renaud is doing this all on his own. The boy can eat! And he has filled out quite nicely since we got him in October. Last October Renaud had a definite "waist" but also had a bad habit of putting his head on the counters to see if there was any sweet morsel of people food he could inhale. In other words he was hungry.  Now his waist is gone although he is not fat, just filled out and solid all over.  Proof of his solidity: He ran into my left knee a week ago and I had a black and blue knee for several days.  

Ah yes, managing such a big guy is a challenge!  During the months of Novermber and December I honestly thought several times about changing his name to Tornado or Destructo or any combination of both names. But nowadays he's more of a Romeo. What a sweetheart.  

Renaud has indeed learnt to live quietly and calmly (more or less) in our small house alongside the other dogs and not feel like he can crash through the rooms like the proverbial bull in the china shop.  He has his 2 favorite places to lie down, one is in the kitchen on the cool tile and one is behind my desk on the cushy blanket I bought for him (yes, it's super cushy and is printed with doggies all over, I am a sucker for those things.  I bought TWO of course, they were 2 for 1 kinda thing but sadly Eva decided to floss her teeth on with the other one and promptly destroyed it, she does that often enough, any textile that has a fillling gets demolished by her).  

Renaud has learnt that it's quite pleasant to be brushed every evening, even the backside (the great Pyrs have this wonderful 'skirt" adorning their back legs but it does get matted awlfully quick especially between the back legs).  Back in October, November it was a trial to get the brush back there. Renaud would twist and turn and take my whole hand (brush and all) in his mouth.  Not that he would bite you understand,, but just a way of saying "don't do that" and impeding proper brushing.  To his credit I must say he had just been fixed (neutered) so I did feel some sympathy for him not wanting anyone with any hand-held instrument to approach him from the rear. But there were mats back there and his tail was pretty much a solid mat too..  Had to work patiently, one little bit at a time till all was de-matted but now he is so proud to wave that beautiful fan tail around.  And he loves his brushing.  It's almost as if there was an understanding that to have the lovely soft brushing on the face and ears and the vigorous brushing of the top coat on the back and legs, well one has to accept the tugging and de-snarling brushing that goes on under the neck and under the belly and on the back legs and yes, on the tail.  
AND  Renaud, best of all, has learnt the 'order' of things! That Elfie gets brushed first, then Marguerite, then Eva (the 3 of those takes about 3 minutes mind you) and then Kaspar before his turn finally comes. Renaud just goes to lie down nearby and watches the proceeding until I call his name, then he bounces forward, tail high and head forward and closes his eyes midway in utter delight as I brush his face with the soft side of the brush, holding his chin up of course.  

Now it doesn't stop him from forgetting all his manners when the door is open and it's time to RUSH in to the house.  And I mean r-u-s-h, so my black and blue knee can attest to it.  Well, yes there are a few more manners to be learnt but the progress that has been made is amazing and I do credit Kaspar for showing him the best example ever.  

I took Renaud to the beach last week, at Waveland where the sea is small and not frightening - at least not for a dog, I personally was not fond of the dead fish all over, that water must be quite TOXIC. But we were not there for swimming, we were there for taking a long walk on the wet sand and getting our paws wet for a cooling off.  So first off Renaud was much better behaved in the car.  He likes to stretch out on the back seat , the cargo floor when I put the seats down simply will not do for him.  He's very good on a leash, did not even attempt to grab any of the dead fish carcasses but just trotted alongside me.  After our walk, we went into the water and he seemed to enjoy that until he lost his footing and had to swim for about a half-minute and looked a bit panicky.  I moved him back to the sand-floor and he promptly grabbed the leash between his teeth and pulled me fiercely, going backwards, out of the water!  Let's face it, he's mot likely about 10-20 lbs less than myself at this point and he's got all 4 feet on the ground.  We took a 2nd walk to get most of the water out of his hair then made it back to the car and off he snoozed all the way home.  What a good boy.  

I have acquired an Emotional Support Animal harness for Renaud so I can take him more places with me and hopefully even make him into a serious therapy dog who can visit the residents at local ursing homes, something I had wanted to do with Kaspar who had the ideal temperament but somehow never got aroudn to doing.  He did very well putting on his harness the first time, didn't seem to mind at all, immediately went into a Down Dog Yoga pose as a matter of fact!  What a funny guy.  

So we are so PLEASED with Renaud's progress and good manners, a 100% turn around from the near-wild beast we first brought into the house. And yes, I give most of the credit to Kaspar, our beloved Ol' Man' who is forever wise and kind and admirable in all his doggy ways.  

And Renaud has a loving personality, in fact he has seriously become attached to me, not without a sense of humor.  When the week before I took Eva to the beach for a walk, we came back to be copiously vacuumed all over, the way dogs do to get all the information they need to know where you've been and whom you've been frolicking with .  Well, while the other dogs were all vacuuming Eva, Renaud was vacuuming me, from the waist down, with great seriousness and intent.  Then if any of the other dogs came to get a sniff of their own, he simly butted them off with his big hard head (remember the knee story?) and then resumed his sniffing, as if to say "Let me do it, I'll tell you later what I found out".  Quite funny really. 

Life with Renaud is a great pleasure, the way life with Kaspar has been these past 10 years.  Just LOVE my two Big Guys! Kaspar&Renaud