A few days before Christmas, our 3rd animal arrived on our farm… an 8 week old Great Pyrenees puppy! We wanted a Great Pyrenees because they are good livestock guardian dogs but are also great family dogs as well.
This is the first photo that we ever saw of him when he was only a week or so old. We loved that his fur made a heart shape on his forehead.
Jershon and I knew about the puppy for about 6 weeks before he was ready to come to our house, but we kept the secret from the kids. We wanted it to be a Christmas surprise.
So on the morning of December 21st, we woke the kids up bright and early (6 am) so we could drive an hour and a half to go pick up our puppy. The kids were pretty confused as to why we were getting in the van so early in the morning. I told them that we needed to go pick something up for the house.
Landon wasn’t thrilled with that idea and asked why Jershon couldn’t just go get it by himself. haha. So I told him that we were going to pick up a Christmas surprise but he needed to keep any and all guesses inside his own head. (I didn’t want him giving any clues to the other kids just in case he had an idea of what we were actually going to pick up.)
When we got to the pick up place, the kids were surprised (although Landon said he had guessed it in his head) that we were there to pick up a puppy!!
As I mentioned in the last post about the kittens, since family history is what inspired this farm in the first place, our animals will all (or at least almost all) be named after ancestors/family members.
So let me introduce you to Merv…
Merv is named after Jershon’s uncle Mervin who passed away this past summer.
When we had only had Merv for a little over a week, one day he got really sick. He was really lethargic, wouldn’t eat, hardly drank anything all day, and had some vomiting and diarrhea. At first we wondered if he just ate something bad but by that afternoon we were getting pretty worried about him.
Jershon took him into the vet and after some tests, they diagnosed him with Parvovirus. We were pretty confused as to how he got it since it can only be passed dog to dog (through their feces) and he hadn’t been in contact with any other dogs since we had had him at our house. We read that it can take 3-10 days for them to show symptoms after being exposed so we figured that he either got it from another dog at the breeder or maybe he picked it up in the grass next to the Wal-Mart parking lot when we picked him up.
In any case, at this point it didn’t really matter where he got it from but we were worried that he may not make it since this virus has a pretty high mortality rate.
We had the choice of having him stay a few days at the expensive pet hospital (with a higher chance of survival), or bring him home and do some outpatient treatment (with a lower survival rate).
We felt good about doing the outpatient treatment so Jershon brought him back home that night with some nausea medicine and some recovery food.
Our main goal was to keep him hydrated and get him to eat well enough that his body would be able to fight off the virus and he wouldn’t get dehydrated.
He got to spend the next few days sleeping inside our house.
Miraculously, through a lot of prayer and nursing him back to health, he made a full recovery! We are super grateful for that. Within about a week, he was completely back to his old self (actually, even more energized than he had been before) and he’s been doing great ever since then.
Taking care of a puppy is a lot of work. haha. We have been working on training him (biting seems to be his favorite way to show affection and we’re working to teach him not to do that) and he has to be taken out to play and do his personal business multiple times a day.
We all take turns having “Merv duty” where we are in charge of taking him out and feeding him and such for the entire day. Jershon covers the night shift, which thankfully he’s about done with as Merv is able to go the entire night (8:30 pm – 5:30 am) now without having any potty accidents.
He’s growing like crazy! He is barely 3 months old but weighs about 35 lbs already.