Heavy Hearts

sprinkles the shihpoo as a puppy and older

Have you ever noticed how situations, circumstances and lives can be changed in a matter of minutes? Life is fleeting and this was brought home in a very real way to our family this week through our little shihpoo, Sprinkles.

For our family, Tuesday began like any other day. We woke up and began preparing breakfast. While breakfast is being prepared, our 5 yr old feeds the outside dogs, Snowball and Cotton, both Great Pyrenees. This particular morning, Sprinkles was also outside and decided to help Snowball eat her food. This was never a problem when she shared the dish with our cat Lolli. As you can see, they would both plunge their heads into the bowl at the same time!

A Shihpoo and cat eating together

Unfortunately, Snowball saw things differently. These two dogs, Snowball and Sprinkles, vastly different in size, had played together daily as best buddies.

Shihpoo and great Pyrenees playing

But, this time, food was involved – Snowball’s food and she went ballistic. Snowball jumped Sprinkles and unfortunately, there is not a happy ending. I will spare you the details but, Sprinkles had to be put to sleep.

One of my favorite pictures of Sprinkles is one you might recognize from Butchering a Cow that I posted a few weeks ago. I show it again because it captures Sprinkles quiet loyalty and patience. She was on the sidelines for the whole process of butchering, not only to be fed any choice morsels, but because she loved being with us as a family, no matter what we were doing.

Sprinkles waiting for choice morsels

It is amazing how much a part of the family a pet becomes. I know, I just said a few weeks ago in Butchering a Cow that farm life is a practical life and that we were teaching our children that not all animals are pets – some are meant for food. But, the ones that are pets definitely touch your lives and become part of the family.

As humans, it is our nature to think we are invincible. Sprinkles was just a dog. She was probably the best family dog we have had and everyone loved her. But just in the matter of minutes, her life and ours were changed forever. At times like this, the realization of our mortality hits hard! Are you living each day as if it were your last? After all, it could be and we never know when it will!

Looking forward helps heal the hurt of loss. While Sprinkles was the perfect house dog, I think a larger breed might hold its own a bit easier with the great Pyrenees. So, the younger children and I have been looking at puppy pictures and thinking about a new dog.  Do you have any recommendations?

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  1. Carol G. says

    So sorry for the pain from the loss of your sweet Sprinkles. It is never easy to lose a pet as they give their love so fully and freely and never judge you or ask for anything, but love in return.

    The one thing you have to consider with any breed is what purpose they were bred for and can you fulfill or tolerate accomodating their instinctual drives. For instance working dog breeds like a GSD, Austrailan Shepherd or Border Collie are fun dogs, but if not provided with “work” can become pretty obnoxious. If you are looking for a lower maintenance breed then look away from the working class dogs. Remember these inbred instincts were chosen by selective breeding tactics so each breed has a strong drive towards those tendencies. Do your research and look for a responsible breeder who will also tell you the responsibility you need to fullfill for the breed you gravitate to. That way you will know what kind of energy you will need to put into a specific breed. I have a German Shepherd Dog (GSD) and they must have a lot of physical and mental challenges work to keep them from going bonkers. Sadly, many end up in the rescue system because people did not do their research and could not handle the responsibility necessary to result in a well trained, happy dog.

    I hope you have fun on doing your research and making a well informed selection that will bring you years of love and pleasure. Please share pictures of your new addition when you bring your new addition home.

    • says

      Carol, thank you for the info! You are right, deciding on a breed the type of dog is a responsibility. With a large family, we have a lot of energy to devote to a pet and I will definitely share pics when we get one!

  2. Angela J. says

    Oh, I am so sorry for your loss! My heart just breaks for you. Losing a family pet is so very hard.

    We have a Wheaten Terrier mix, and he doesn’t shed much (it’s the “mix” part that is probably the shedding part) and he is so cuddly. He makes a fantastic indoor dog. Yet he is 35 lbs, very muscular, and can really hold his own with the big dogs at the dog park. He LOVES being outside and is a real pro at catching rabbits! In the summer, he will hang out with me in the garden all day, but he is equally happy when he is inside curled up next to me!

    Best of luck as you navigate your world in this new reality without Spinkles. My thoughts are with you and your family!

  3. Susan says

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your darling little doggy! So adorable! May your sweet memories carry you through this difficult time.

  4. Terri C. says

    Just came across your blog Dina-Marie. So neat to see a family similar to ours. We also butcher our own livestock for meat and raise chickens for eggs. Our five children have shared the responsibility of helping on the farm as we also have full time jobs. I am also always looking for ways to budget and save. Thank you for sharing.
    P.S. I’m so sorry for the loss of your dog. We had to put down our beloved German Shepherd we had for 15 years. He was truly our children’s best friend.

  5. Karen says

    Just came across your site. Wondered what puppy you’ve decided on :-) I agree that a larger breed may deal better with your Pyrenees. A mixed dog is always great, but I’ve fallen in love with our smooth coated Collie. Think of Lassie with short hair, lol. We get more questions about his breed (German Shepherd cross?) but this purebred has been the sweetest dog. Never had a male before (numerous females over my 50 years!) but he’s just great. Good with children, doesn’t nip like other herding breeds (altho will try to “body block” you to go where he wants, haha), responsive to commands, etc. Good luck!


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