Success Stories

It’s always good to hear stories about our rescue dogs and how they are doing in their new homes. 

Please send your pictures and stories to


Excerpt from a recent email sent by Carolyn Larson, Kaia’s new family.

“When I read Allen your e-mail his remark was “She fits here like an old shoe!”.  She was wonderful in that long drive home which I thought was amazing.”   “We had her with us in Lowe’s recently and happened to encounter a woman who is a dog trainer.  Have her card and are planning to get in touch for some training.  She’s had a great time chasing the squirrels but when she jumps on the fence her front feet at the very top!!!” “She sleeps in our bedroom at night on the “cool” bed and found at Costco.  But she also likes the travertine tile in our bathroom so she’s in there part of the night!  We have not yet left her by herself.  She went to church with us Sunday and stayed in truck.  Thank goodness it was a cool day.  We will start working on leaving her for short periods this week and keep you posted.”


The Evans Family from Covalis, Oregon adopted Kelly in April 2012. They say that she is more than they could have ever asked for! “She loves our children, our dog, and everyone she meets. This is a picture of Kelly helping us fold the laundry on our bed. As you can see she is truly a member of our family!”


Rocky and his girls are surveying their domain from the raised deck on the back of the house. They love it out there as they can see the whole neighborhood and keep an eye on everything. Rocky has become a huge hit in the small town where we live in the few short weeks that we have been lucky enough to have him.

He joins me and the ‘guys’ at the local motorcycle shop for coffee most mornings, and he has designated himself as the store ‘greeter’. He is having a great time patrolling the park across the road from our house and has several new friends that he enjoys hanging out with.

His personality is starting to come out more as he gets more comfortable and confident in his new home. There is nothing funnier than a Great Pyrenees playing with two tiny little dogs — what a gentle giant he really is. His leash manners are impeccable, and he is so mellow and well-behaved that I am going to start the certification process as a therapy dog — for nursing homes and troubled youth in particular.

His presence in our home has lowered the anxiety level all around when my husband has to work away during the week. I sleep like a log knowing my gentle giant is on the job. He is loving the beach walks each day, and he has appointed himself as the “lunchroom monitor” at the local dog park — and scuffles or arguments and he is right there — separating the offenders and restoring peace to the park — even if they were just playing!!!!

We love Rocky
Jane and Eric


I heard about Abby through friends who had discovered her in their Battleground back yard last winter. She was thin, and her beautiful coat terribly matted and dirty. They fell in love with her, but without a fence were unable to keep her, so they took her to Shady Hill in hopes she would find a good home. They sent pictures of their kids playing with Abby, and I was a goner. My last dog had died a year before, and I was sorely missing a dog companion.

I went to meet Abby and was stunned at the sadness in her. Never having met a Pyr before, I asked Kathy Liles if this was normal temperament. She explained that Abby had been abandoned and had been wandering for a while, no one knows how long. Kathy was in the midst of grooming her, and the white cloud hair was piled in mounds all around us. Abby simply stood unmoving, unsmiling while being tugged and pulled. I went down on my knees and looked up at her. She held my gaze without being changed by it. My heart broke.

I took her home that day. I will never forget the day (a few weeks later) when she came up to me while I was sitting in the living room drinking tea and reading; she put a paw on my knee and looked up at me with a penetrating look. I put my hands on her head and said, “Yes, Abby. You are home. Is this okay with you?” She simply put her head on my knee where her paw had been and leaned her whole body against me. I cried as I put my head on hers and my arm around her; we sat there like that for some time.

Abby (full name: The Duchess Abigail Pi) suits me perfectly: in the evenings we sit on the porch listening in the stillness; in dog parks she romps and plays with other dogs (of her choosing); if an aggressive dog comes along, she simply turns her back. Several times she has managed to calm the nervous ones or bring into play the shy ones; and she will turn her body sidewise in front of me if she senses any danger. She walks quietly on leash and romps with her two-year-old energy when off leash. She comes now when I call or whistle. The trust and love between us grows daily. She smiles all the time now. I am so grateful to have Abby in my life.



Last summer I lost my best canine friend, Shadow, and was heartbroken. I knew I couldn’t go long without a dog’s presence in my home, but wanted to wait until I was ready. I’d always been attracted to Pyrenees but had never met one in person, so I thought it a good opportunity to do some research. I found Kathy Lyles on the Internet and asked if I could come meet her dogs.

At the time Zeus was at Shady Hill in rescue, and he was so sweet and gentle. Since I wasn’t ready yet for a new dog Kathy suggested I foster him and get to know the breed. As I loaded Zeus up into the back of the car Kathy says, “And just think, this winter it’ll be cool enough for you to take him everywhere with you.” That was July. And, in a few weeks I’d adopted him.

It took a few months for Zeus to relax, explore the house, and feel comfortable visiting new places. Since he’d been moved around so much, I’m sure he was biding his time to see what was next. Now he’s often sleeping at my feet or curled up on the couch next to me. He asks to go outside every few hours to patrol. When we’ve been away from home the first thing Zeus does is take a quick patrol around the house to make sure all is ok.

Zeus is fun and playful and loves rolling in the yard, kicking his feet up in the air. He’ll take his rope toy, tennis ball, or bone, shake it and toss it up into the air; once it lands he pounces on it. He seems to really like dirt/mud, from digging to rolling in it to eating it. Occasionally we go to the dog park (fenced of course) where he enjoys chasing and being chased. He especially likes the big, male dogs that enjoy wrestling and a good body slam. If we go to the dog park too often he gets a little territorial and begins to manage the gate as if it’s up to him who comes and goes, so we limit our dog park visits.

Mornings we go to a local park and walk for an hour or two. I can’t believe how his endurance has improved. Initially we would walk about 30 min and he would sleep all day. Now… I rarely tire him out fully. Zeus especially enjoys the parks when he lucks upon the scent of a coyote or raccoon. If he does catch the scent of these animals his whole behavior changes and he’s super focused , sniffing so hard he snorts.

Zeus is a big love bug. He loves affection, always ready to wrap a big paw around my leg if I stop petting him too soon. Zeus loves the attention he gets when we’re out. I think he’s learned what “Can I pet your dog” means, because when he hears that he wags his tail and goes prancing over for attention.

Zeus has been a fantastic addition to my life. He is much loved.


I dreamed of my girl Pyr Phoebe, whom I recently, sadly, lost. When I woke I thought “Luna” would be a great name for a girl Pyr, as it means “moon.” I have always called Pyr’s moondogs, because they glisten so beautifully in the moonlight. Later that afternoon I received my Pyrmania newsletter, which included the tribute I wrote for Phoebe. I turned the pages to see that puppy Luna was up for adoption. How unexpectedly perfect! I made arrangements with Kathy to meet Luna the following weekend. Harv, Chloe our Berner, and I made the 4-hour drive to Amboy, where Luna greeted us with huge hazel eyes eyes and a sweet smile that immediately captured my heart. She gave me her giant puppy Pyr paw with a firm wallop, then leaned into me with a sigh of relief, as if she knew she was going to her forever home. Luna came home with us that day. She is a happy, goofy addition to our family, and we have all bonded easily and well. Surely she has rescued me as much as I her.