Meet Charly.

May 29, 2013

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We added a new member to our family.  Meet Charly:
She is a three year old St. Bernard/Pyrenees mix and we’re head over heels.  A true, gentle giant. You can really see her size in this photo I snapped with my phone:
We have talked on and off about getting a dog, but I wasn’t so ecstatic about going through the puppy stages of chewing and house training, and we wanted something on the large size so Greta could comprehend he/she wasn’t a toy.  We hit the dog lottery with Charly and completely bypassed the puppy stage, and she weighs 4x what Greta does.  It’s no secret we have been anxious to expand our family with no luck in the baby department.  While infertility has been tough on Chris and I, we feel even worse for Greta–who desperately needs a friend, a companion, someone to play with!  As I was searching our local online classifieds, Charly’s former family was looking for a new home for her with a spacious, fenced-in yard (their new place was tiny!) and just like that, we jumped at the opportunity to learn more.
She’s calm, 100% house trained and amazing with kids.  And to see her and Greta together.  It melts my heart.  Greta has a friend and live-in play mate.
While Chris grew up with dogs, Charly is my very first. Eeee!!! So when she breathes heavy, I worry. When she coughs, I ask if it’s normal.  I’m learning, but already in love.

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What do you think?

  1. kate says:

    hi! i’m commenting belatedly, ahem, on this post because i just found your blog! but i think your house is just gorgeous (both old and new, actually) and wonder if you have ever posted about keeping the house clean with a large dog? we have a bloodhound who slobbers like a maniac and the shedding, all the hair! wondering if charly (who is adorable) has a drool problem and how you cope?! any tips are appreciated!

    • Julia says:

      Hi, Kate! We don’t have too many drool issues with Charly but the hair is insane! She has two big shedding times a year, each lasting about two weeks and it is impossible to stay on top of. I could vacuum three times a day (and I do during those times!) and it’s still just hair everywhere. The other times we use a Furminator which helps a lot and just try to keep things swept. We’re not perfect though.

      • kate says:

        thanks! we recently bought a furminator too and love it! so far, i have found no good tips for the drool. i think our dog needs a maid ;) thanks for the reply! good thing they are so cute!

  2. Love Love Love, that you adopted, it’s the best way since so many need a good home. He is adorable and I love that picture with Greta, I am sure she is ecstatic. Enjoy every moment!!
    Natalie @ DRB

  3. Kate says:

    Congratulations! We adopted our two Black Labs about a year ago and haven’t looked back. You, Greta and Chris have many years of happiness ahead with your wonderful new furry friend — best wishes! Kate of Peonies and Power Tools (

  4. Anonymous says:

    What a sweet looking pooch! We adopted a retriever/Pyrenees mix about a year ago – hair aside :) it’s been a fun ride. A couple weeks after adoption she was less docile but she had been in a shelter/foster. so once she settled in she’s gotten in to some mischief but watching my son (5) with her makes it all worth it. Our pack wouldn’t be complete without her…have fun!!!!!! ~Jamie

  5. holy moly me oh my! he is a big pup :)

    I grew up with cats but my husband really wanted to add a dog to our family. After a lot of research, we ended up getting a boston from a friend of ours. I’m amazed at how much I’ve grown to love him [even if I’m not his favorite]. Just wish the cats felt the same way ;)

  6. No words, just: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Jennifer I. says:

    Charlie looks absolutely wonderful! What a beautiful dog. I have two dogs of my own and my husband is pining after a third but I think two doggies is plenty as we plan to try to start a family in the next year or two. I am hoping that goes accordingly for you as well, as I’ve read your blog for a while now. I, myself have health issues and consider my dogs my babies. Enjoy Charley!

    • Jennifer I. says:

      P.S. I forgot to welcome you to the world of dog hair if this is your first! Just remember how much you love ’em when you’re vacuuming up those giant dust bunnies ;)

    • Hahaha. Thanks, Jennifer! I grew up with 4 sisters so I am used to a lot of hair. Thankfully, because Charly sheds like 5 girls.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What wonderful news! Such a bonus that you got a calm, kid-loving dog while bypassing the puppy years. Beyond the endless love and companionship big dogs like Charly (and my own dog) also make sure that you get out walking every single day rain, shine, snow or sleet :-) Yesterday, after a slight tumble himself, our not-yet-two year old made sure to tell our dog “careful on the stairs, careful on the stairs!” (on repeat). I wish many wonderful new memories for you all together as a unit.

  9. Steph~ says:

    I can’t imagine EVER being in a situation where I couldn’t keep my dog! She is my little buddy! Yay for you for adopting a bit older dog! And such a large one! Dogs teach so much; love, manners, responsibility and even about death. What a great addition to your household! And like a above commenter said, Great security!! :)

  10. Susan M says:

    oh, I know you will have many wonderful years with Charly! Dogs are such a wonderful addition to a family…congratulations!

  11. What a gorgeous dog! Looking forward to pictures of he and Greta together! :)

  12. Congrats!! Our friends have a GP, they are really good guard dogs and especially love the children. I think they are incredible dogs. Happy for the whole family.

  13. Laura says:

    Oh I love dogs!!! What a big sweetie! Those dogs are such sweet, gentle breeds, too. Is she a rescue? There are so many sweet dogs out there who need loving homes who aren’t puppies anymore. Good for you guys for taking in an adult dog. :)

  14. So excited for you guys! And so so happy you took in a dog that needed a new home, Yay for adopting pets and not buying from a pet store/breeder! Julia you will definitely get used to all the new dog “stuff” and fall quickly and deeply in love!

  15. Congrats on your new baby! Charly and Greta together are adorable.

  16. So sweet! What a beautiful girl! We have a four year old boy (human) and a 5.5 year old girl (dog). The two of them play like siblings too. It’s adorable. Enjoy! I’m sure we’ll see more of her in your posts and instagram too so look forward to that.

  17. Erica says:

    I am SO excited for you!! What a wonderful experience for all of you – our very best pet was Moxin, our HUGE chow/akita mix we had when my kids were young. He was so sweet and obedient. He only had one flaw…he hated cats. And really, who can call that a flaw?! I wish we had kept him. It’s my single biggest regret as a pet-owner, giving him up. I cried for weeks. I’m envious of this new beginning. And that picture of Greta on all fours is priceless. :)

  18. People with dogs live longer and have lower blood pressure…..Clearly a sign that (wo)man’s best friends bring joy and happiness to a home. Congrats, she’s beautiful.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Will you please ask Chris to post an EASY lemon dessert? Made with very basic ingredients. Like lemon bars with pretzel crust or something.

  20. Emily says:

    Yay. So exciting. Nothing like the child-dog little buddy relationship :)

  21. Congratulations! She’s absolutely beautiful! We’ve got two dogs – a cockapoo and a terrier mix – and it’s amazing how fully they have become our family. I’m certain you will adore having such a lovable and loving giant around! Can’t wait to see more pictures of her!

  22. Julianne says:

    I’m so happy for you and Greta! We just had to give away our dog for biting our child’s face and we are all heart broken. Except the cat, she’s dealing fine. We hope to adopt a dog further down the line, one with proven kid-friendliness. (We got our rescue pre-baby and he never took to having a child around.) I can’t wait to read about all his and Greta’s antics:) Even after what we’ve been through I can honestly say that a dog improves your life.

  23. Patty says:

    I’m seeing a potential dog owners blog in the future: Chris Loves Julia Loves Greta Lubs Charly. Patent Pending. All Rights Reserved. TM.

  24. Oh she’s darling!!! Dogs are the best- you’ll love it!

  25. Amy says:

    Congrats! Beautiful dog!

  26. This makes me so happy!!! I’m even more happy that you decided to adopt vs. shop! <3 Yay Greta and Charly!

  27. Adorable! I have a Bernese mountain dog (also a super large breed) and she’s wonderful. Gentle giant is the way to go :)

  28. Carly Cleghorn says:

    She’s beautiful! Congratulations for your first puppy dog ever! :)

  29. Anonymous says:

    LOVE! We have 2 mutts and love them dearly. Although they are stinky sometimes and they make the house harder to clean, we could not imagine life without them. Our kids love them and I think G will love C too!


  30. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations! Charly looks like she is getting settled nicely. Such a beautiful girl. I know Greta must be over the moon. :-)

  31. That is such a big dog! He looks very loveable, though.

  32. I love this! Congratulations on the new member of your family, and good for you for adopting! We adopted an adult dog too, and were so grateful to not have to go through the puppy stage – I’m not sure I would’ve been able to handle it. :)

  33. Anonymous says:

    Getting her groomed (read:shaved and trimmed) in the summer will REALLY help with the shedding!

  34. goosefairy says:

    We always had a dog and a cat growing up. Sometimes there were two dogs or two cats but we always had animals. I think it is a wonderful thing for a family, especially a kid, to have animals in the house. I can’t imagine life without them. Heck, I even managed to smuggle a cat into my barracks when I was in the Army in Germany! I think you’ll find this was an excellent decision :)

  35. How cute! We have two pugs and our two year old runs after then all the time wanting to play. They do not like it at all. I think big dogs are much better at handling children than medium and small ones (speaking from experience. Good luck with your doggy and what a great added security system. For sure!

  36. Nora Rose says:

    Look at that fluffy monster. Is that a furminator in your/Chris’s hand? They are literally a life saver with furry animals (and reducing shedding). Very excited for you guys!

  37. she looks like such a sweetheart! (she is HUGE!)

    I’m excited for this new adventure for you guys. I always had a dog growing up and it really makes your childhood special. We are seriously wanting a dog, but I can’t handle not having a real house and a fenced yard. SO probably the first week we are in a new house, we will buy a dog. lol

  38. Lindsey says:

    Yay for Adoption!! Congrats on your new addition.

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