Our Dog Family
Brodie & Steven
During the same time period that we were searching for and then buying Lucy, we had a surprise visit in our barn one Saturday morning in June 2005.  I heard a whimpering noise coming out of one of the stalls...and it definitely wasn't a donkey!!  Peering inside the stall I saw two white balls of fluff jumping up on the gate in delight to see me.  They were Great Pyrenees puppies!  I picked up the smaller one and the larger one followed me back to the house to show Jerry.  We later found out that they belonged to a neighbor that had bought them to protect his horses (they were only 10 weeks old at the time).  They ran away two more times...right to our back door and then Jerry told the neighbor that it looked like they wanted to be with us and now they are Brodie and Gus.  Gus,the smaller one then, now equal in size, that I carried from the barn, is with us and he is solid white and now weighs about 130 pounds.  Brodie is white with dark markings around his face and lives with our daughter Shannon and visits often.   Each of the Pyr brothers has his own distinct personality...Gus is laid back, loves to find a shady spot in the backyard (and maybe a loose limb or two).  Brodie is a "street kid"...all fun loving energy and has a position when he lays on the floor that we refer to as the "Lieutenant Dan" position...his front leg just disappears!!  Kinsey is Shannon's little adopted girl..and Brodie's sister....she's sweet as can be and loves to be picked up and held shoulder high!  Jake joined Shannon's brood at Christmas 2008...a real cutie and loves the pool.
Our sweetheart Harley left us on August 19, 2013..one day before his 12th birthday.   We "inherited" Harley from our daughter when she was in law school and HAD to have a puppy.  We immediately fell in love and were puppysitting on a regular basis.  A too-busy schedule and torn up apartment resulted in Harley coming to live with us permanently and we wouldn't have it any other way! Harley is an entertainer and a psychologist!!  He'll either make you laugh or lick your tears..whatever works!  We love you and will see you when it is time
Our second is 11 year old Chance (aka Chancer, Chanearooni, Bulldog, etc).  We found Chance on a rescue group website.  He is a Chow/Golden Retriever mix and has the Chow black tongue and tight curly tail.  He was eight weeks old and had an eye condition that required plastic surgery immediately.  We adopted him the day after his surgery and provided his recovery.  He also had titanium pins and screws implanted surgically to correct back leg problems when he was only one year old.  Chance is the leader of the pack and has his own particular way of doing things. He is definitely a Dad's boy and adores every move Jerry makes!
In the summer of 2005, we decided to add to our dog family and purchased an AKC registered, German bloodline, German Shepherd female puppy.  Her name is Maxwell's Silver Hammer Lucy in the Sky..."Lucy".  Her dad is a grand champion winner!  She is gorgeous and after many months of concern over her left ear not standing up , Lucy decided that now was the time and she now has a matching pair!
Dedicated to Lee Mannix..our friend*
Tuff..aka Tuffy... June 22-28, 2008  Humane Society of the U.S. Pet of the Week!
Tuff is our new addition to the family!  Tuff arrived in our donkey pasture in early February 2007...face swollen, eyes shut, and sick as a... well sick as a dog.  He looked to be about 6-8 weeks old.  Shannon took him to our vet and was told that he had head trauma and a possible skull fracture...looked like abuse!  His face was swollen because of the trauma and resulting infection.  After a couple of shots and a week's worth of antibiotics, Tuff came home to stay.  Just like Gus and Brodie, Tuff found his way to us for a reason....we love him already.  A week after he arrived, Tuff is bursting at the seams with energy and enthusiasm!  The others are gradually accepting our new little friend...they're just not sure WHY he's here!  Jerry says that the person who did this to him had better not show up!  Tuff has a BIG, new best friend ! The week of June 22-28 2008,Tuffy was selected Pet of the Week by the Humane Society of the United States!  And he made an appearance on Oprah's website as well...We're so proud of our little boy!
"bang, bang...."
Maxwell's Silver Hammer Farm Dogs RULE!
Brothers Brodie & Gus...two wild & crazy guys!!
Kinsey...Shannon's little girl!
A Gus a Bus BLOG
January-March 2009
Our sweet big, white puppy Gus is in a life threatening situation right now.  In January 2009, we took Gus to our local vet and then to the best veterinary orthopedic surgeon in the world.  He had been limping and it was getting worse.  Turns out he had an ACL injury and needed TPLO surgery on his right rear knee.  All the vets thought the surgery would be an easy one and he would recover in eight weeks.
Immediately after his first surgery, he started limping on his LEFT back leg!  We took Gus back to the surgeon and low and behold...he had not only reinjured his right knee but had pulled his left hip out of socket.... he would need surgery on both legs.  At this point, we had taken Gus to Texas A&M where our surgeon was on the teaching staff.  They performed surgery on both legs and three days later he had torn out both fixatures.   He would need to have surgery again...... We were told that they would attempt to repair the right knee first, but if there was not enough good bone left to repair....there were no more options and he would have to be put down.  

Obviously heartbroken and scared....we visited him before his February 24 surgery and prayed that he would make it through the surgery.  We loved him and talked to him and got him to eat some of his favorite treats (his appetite had not been good).  After five hours of surgery, we received the call....GUS HAD MADE IT THROUGH THE SURGERY!  We could breathe again....they didn't repair his left hip because of the length of the surgery....more to come on that.

Updates to come....the main thing is....we get to see him again on Saturday..February 28....we weren't so sure we would ever see him again.  Thanks to all that prayed and had him in their thoughts. 
Late April 2009.....
Update on Gus...our boy has made it through his left hip surgery (that's a total of FIVE surgeries) and has been making huge strides in physical therapy.  Below is a picture of him in his hoist...he is completely off of it now!  He is walking on four legs and has come home on "furlough" two weekends in a row!  He loves coming home, but I think he likes to get back to his friends in Aggieland too.  We think he should get a degree based upon the amount of "tuition" he has paid!!  Way to go Gussie!

Mid May 2009...
Gus has been home for two weeks now!  He is going to physical therapy with Sandra Hudson in Austin and is bravely making progress ...he does underwater treadmill work and Sandra uses laser and ultrasound as well!  He'll be going twice a week for the next few weeks!  What a brave big white puppy!

Early June 2009
Gus has regressed a bit....not sure why.  We have decided to work with a mobile rehab specialist, Deborah Carroll so that he can have more frequent sessions.  Bless his heart, he continues to work hard and we continue to be optimistic that he will have a successful rehabilitation!  Deborah created a swing/sling for him on the front porch so that he can stand, assisted for massage and icedowns....see picture!

Early July 2009
Gus's test results are back and it's good and bad news....some neurological damage, but also some metabolic causes for his back legs problem.  We are continuing his rehab twice a week and about to have more blood tests done to see if anything metabolic can be corrected.  He's having persistent diarrhea.....but in between his appetite is back now that he's off the antibiotics.  His attitude is great and he's still our Gussie.

Late August 2009
Gus is doing better!  Thanks to Dr. Witsberger and Dr. Fitzgerald his diarrhea is over...turned out he needed Fortiflora once a day to correct the damage left over from all the heavy duty antibiotics he had taken for so long.  So, now his appetite is back in a big way and he is gaining some weight back!  Still using his two wheeler wheelchair and we're going to use back leg splints to see if this helps correct the knuckling problem.  High hopes for success...Deborah Carroll is seeing him once a week now and uses the laser therapy on both legs.  Evaluating his pain level to see if he needs any pain medication....more to come on that!  Gussie gets to come upstairs to sleep with us on Saturday nights...he is ecstatic about this development!  And Jerry, well not so much..he has to carry him up!

November 2009
Gus, sweet brave Gus, is continuing to improve.  He is still working with Deborah Carroll, his mobile rehab speciialist...he always scoots to the door to greet her!  Gus's right leg is just about weight-bearing ...just need to get the left leg (the one with the FHO surgery) to start improving to help balance his attempts to stand up.  His attitude is incredible....always cheerful and wanting to play with Tuffy, still loves going out to the backyard to explore.  Gus is on two fairly new pain medications....so we're ready to intensify his daily workouts.  He has gained almost all his weight back and all of his glorious coat is back as well. 

January 2010
Well, it's been a year since Gus's first surgery...the right knee surgery that started our journey.  In some ways it seems longer than a year...and in some ways shorter.  Gus enjoyed the holidays..we had our family out for Christmas Eve and Gus was the primary entertainment, especially for our grand-nieces Shelby and Elle.  The new pain medications seem to help him move around more easily.   He continues his rehab and we are still confident that Gus WILL walk on his own again..for right now he's happy and well and as always....brave.

May 2010
I've been recovering from ankle surgery earler this year....sorry for not updating.  Gus is doing fine!  His middle name should be "Scooter" now!  He has figured out his best way to get around and can now go outside, front and back, using ramps....all my himself!  He still wears a walkabout harness so we can assist him when needed.  He is bright, alert and always ready to play.  We'll update with pictures soon. Gus continues to be an inspiration to friends, family and me.....one can be physically challenged and still make a comeback to be a very important and vital part of the family.

August 2010
Welcome to Brenda Knoll of Lost Pines Mobile Grooming....as a new member of Team Gus, she is in charge of making Gus even more beautiful and comfortable!  She has gone above & beyond to bathe him in her customized grooming van and he LOVES it!  That white hair goes "a flying".  Gus is continuing to do well...still on a couple of medications but that's to be expected.  He gets around most of the time w/out his walkabout rear harness...Jerry assists with the"wheelbarrow" method when needed!!  And..he has decided that he does NOT want to use his wheelchair...he gets around better with his own method!!

October 2010
Gus has perfected getting out the front door, down the ramps to the front yard for "business" trips...all on his own.  Only does it when Jerry is not available for assistance to the back yard.  He's fast too!!

January 2011
Gus meets everyone that comes to our front door...our first line of defense, I suppose!  Dr. Guynn visited him last week and he welcomed her and then realized that a blood test was coming up..he did a quick 180 degree turn and was off to his "cave" in the dining room...alas, he was caught!  He loves Dr. Guynn...just not the needle!

March 2011
Dr. Guynn had suggested that we start Gus on a supplement...Glucosamine, Choindroitin, MSM...not only has it helped his pain level...but I started using the human version...and it helped my ankle tremendously!!  On advice from my back surgeon, we both added ASU (avocado, soybean,etc)...we'll see how that works!  Gus is moving better and I saw him lift his right leg to inspect his "goods" the other day....that's the leg he pushes off with when scooting, pooping, peeing, etc, etc.......I hadn't seen him do that since before his surgery!  

April 2011
Gus continues to improve his mobility with the supplement schedule he is now on.  He has improved so much that because of his "rapid" moving around, he has irritated his back double dewclaws and has been put on antibiotics.  It hasn't seemed to slow him down much!!  After letting him out in the front house/barn area, he scooted over to the well house (about 150 feet away!!) and was grinning about his "adventure" all day!  Of course, then...he had to come back all that way and that wasn't as much fun...hopefully lesson learned???  See pic below. 

July 2011
Gorgeous Gus is doing just GREAT!!  He is finally over his dewclaw problem.  Jerry put in a new carpet grass backyard and Gus loves to scoot around the entire yard...have to go looking for him!!  Gus has had several visitors recently...including some very small little children that just love him and he loves them back...as big as he is, he never licks or pushes ...just some slobber damage at times.  Gus's brother Brodie vacationed with us at the farm...see new pic below.    Everyone loves Gussie!

August 2011
Meet Gus's new best friend...our great-niece Shelby...see pic below!  Gussie loves children...they are just the right size to hug!  Gus's dewclaw problem is back...Dr. Gwynn was here and re-bandaged the foot and he is now on antibiotics and antifungal medication.  He's not too happy about the whole situation...but a few heart to heart conversations with Jerry are lifting his spirits.  What a dog!  What a hubby!

September 2011
Sunday, Sept. 4 at 4 p.m., we discovered that our place was on fire!  Our first priority was our animals.  We immediately loaded up our dogs in one vehicle....Jerry picked Gus up like he was a 5 pound Chihuahua instead of his 130 pound self and set him on the back seat.  He stayed in that same position for the 40 minute drive to our daughter's house.  Jerry stayed with the donkeys to make sure they were ok..they were blessed.  Our house and barn survived intact....all surrounding buildings, decks, fences, trees...gone.  We were VERY lucky...and Gus was the happiest to return the very next day!


January 2012
Gus had a wonderful Christmas and is looking forward to a real great 2012!  He loves his new bigger back yard...we took his advice and expanded the fence when we rebuilt it after the fire!  Now he's all over the place!!  Looking forward to the new pool (another rebuilding process) and sunning himself on the new deck!! Gus's adventures include a trip to the barn one morning...check out the sign in the pic below.
May 2012
Now that the swimming pool is rebuilt in the back yard...Gus has a brand new ramp to his new grass!  He's always had a ramp to the front yard, but Jerry always had to help him down to the back.  Problem is...Gus doesn't like it much!!  We had a standoff yesterday...I won, but he's been giving me nasty looks all day!!  Gotta love him!!
July 2012
Gus is enjoying his updated backyard with the pool and is getting used to his new ramp.  He had his nails done the other day by his friend and professional groomer Brenda Knoll.  They get along great and Gus includes her in his circle of trusted friends (us too!).  She comes to visit us...there are FIVE of our four pawed family members!!  See Gus by the pool picture below.
October 2012
Gus loves the cooler weather!  He is from the Great Pyrenees mountains you know!!  Gus will hang out in the backyard...one day we couldn't find him..panic...then...look at the picture below to the right...can you find the missing dog in this picture!!  Disabled....hah!!
December 2012
Gus has decided that he wants to be an outside dog...well part of the time anyway!  He goes out and will move from spot to spot and when he decides to come in....up the ramp to the back door and barks like "I NEED to be let in PLEASE!!"  Gus rules the roost!
February 2013
Gus is now spending up to 6 hours a day in the backyard protecting his family (barking at anything that moves!).  Good thing our neighbors have dogs and love listening to donkeys bray!!
April 16, 2013
Our beloved Gus passed away today.  We will love him forever and he will always protect us which he always did.  Our tears are streaming, but we know that he is strong and running on four legs in Heaven...and we will see him again one day.  Love you Gussie...more than anything.

                                                                     Thanks to Deborah Carroll....Gus's rehab specialist   Thanks also to Bastrop Veterinary Hospital for their ongoing assistance with Gus's overall health and pain management.  Thanks to Dr. Cheryl Fitzgerald....  Friend and Gus team member Brenda Knoll with Lost Pines Mobile Grooming  keeps his toes looking, and feeling great!
Kudos to Dr. Tige Witsberger at Texas A&M ! We couldn't have done any of this for Gus without all these folks' help...and it means the world to us!

Gus with our grand niece Shelby....the gentle giant!
Gus and brother Brodie...chillin'!
Jerry and Gus on one of our weekly visits to Aggieland.....what a pair!
2009..Gus with one of his vet students on his way to walking on his own!  Never has walked on all fours...but scoots on three like a real pro!
Welcome Jake...Shannon's new puppy...December 2008..what a cutie!
Gus in sling/swing designed by Deborah Carroll of Canine Rehabilitation....June 6, 2009
Deborah Carroll working with Gus in the fourwheeler wheelchair...he can now use just the rear support!  July 2009
Gus decided it was easier to get around without the wheelchair...his decision!
Gus in his Walkabout rear end support...hanging out at his favorite outside place! July 2009
Another big step...using his two wheeler!
August 2009
We need to donate this to someone who needs it!
Who's that??  That's Jake..chillin' by the pool!
*Our friend and trainer, Lee Mannix well known in the world as "the Irish dogfather " and human behavioralist passed away on May 2, 2010.  Lee entered our lives in 2009 as we tried to find a way for Lucy our female German Shepherd to blend socially into the family.  Lee taught Lucy, her four brothers and us that she was not an isolated problem but a symptom of problems we all needed to correct.  God bless you Lee...you will be forever missed!
JUNE 2010...The day Jordan went back to LA after taking care of all of us during my ankle surgery recovery...who adores who the most??!!
Our beautiful boy...loves the fall weather..November 2010
Alpha dog, Chance says "Hook 'EM Horns"....so cute!
Our "grandson" Brodie (actually Gus's brother)...so much stress being himself!
Paintings of Gus and Lucy...by Jan Cawthon
"Gussie's Big Adventure"...see story above..April 2011 update.
Brodie and Gus....two brothers who have each other's backs!  Too cute!!
Meet Gus's new best friend...our great-niece Shelby!  She is four years old (now she's 5) and LOVES Gus and the donkeys!  Two REAL sweethearts...BFF! See August 2011 update!
Gus right before the NEW and BIGGER fence!  He was giving design suggestions! You can see burned fence and some burned trees in the background.
Gus's travel to the barn one sunny January 2012 morning...note the sign that he parked himself next to!  Since he has no idea he is disabled, we figure that he is adding to barn security!!  What a dog!!
Gus and brother Brodie on Christmas 2011 morning
Christmas pictures 2011...Chance, Harley & Tuffy.....Lucy wanted nothing to do with the Christmas collar!!  Gus wasn't into it either!!
Gus by his new pool....spring 2012!!  He loves it!!
Fall 2012...couldn't find Gus in the backyard...then...can you find the Great Pyrenees in this picture!!  We laughed so hard...that's Gus!!
Look at these beautiful faces!!
Sweet recent pictures of Harley!!