Wow, that was truly a warm welcome and lots of good advice, luckypenny and the rest (really wanted to call you Money Penny for a second there!). Well, I'm glad to hear that my idea of using my new dog as a dump truck dog (versus the dumpster diving dog she was previously) wasn't taken offensively! When I first thought of it I thought it was just a funny side thought, but the more I considered it, the better of an idea it seemed. And she is really a doll on the leash, and doesn't do much more than look at other dogs and people, or sometimes stops to just look at them before ignoring them. The only time she lunges a little is for those pesky squirrels, but a gentle tug and a "leave it" command has her acting as though they never existed.
I got to see first hand what insane intelligence those Pyrs have. She started realizing that sitting meant tons of extra praise and the occasional treat, so she decided in her regal way to obey our sit commands, and even do it automatically if we were standing and facing her, without a command, all for the extra love. On top of that the more amazing thing is a couple times when we stopped petting her, she would raise her paw to catch our attention, and we would catch the paw and tell her "good shake!"... today, she's been shaking on command. Amazing. She learned in one night from an accident how to do a new trick.
We will be careful to not let her become the owner of her room, but I'm glad that most people are of the opinion it's as good as a kennel. For such a large dog even used ones are expensive... and big. Our cat is still adjusting to the dog, although Ysobel generally ignores her, or just looks at her and looks away, so Ysobel only gets to stay in there when no one's home (which is almost never) so there isn't a misunderstanding between Deci Cat and her. Other than that she's being very socialized.
By the way, does any one have ideas on helping a cat adapt to the dog? Deci has figured out that the dog isn't threatening her, so the cat has been stalking her, at times (we mostly put a stop to it by rotating their outdoor times and making the basement a "dog-free" zone and my room her sanctuary in the basement). But the cat will posture and even confront the dog, or sit under the couch and growl and hiss and then swipe at the dog when she passes by. So far the dog has completely ignored her, and was fine with the foster mommy's cats, except for once when Ysobel bounded down the hallway at Deci because she thought she was a shadow (all black fluffy cat and all white fluffy dog). We don't want Deci to finally have her claws make contact and the dog not react well. Is time the best solution? Slow acclimation and familiarizing? When we brought Deci to live with us it took a month for our dearly departed prissy Uzi cat to accept her, but it happened. I'm just not as good with dog-cat relations. I just want the cat to tolerate the dog in the least. Does any one have any tricks? Or with cats is it basically just a wait it out thing?
Thanks for the advice with the food aggression. We'll try hand feeding, though some of it will still have to be in the bowl because Ysobel needs to gain about ten pounds. She's a little too boney, and she has the lower appetite than most big dogs Pyrs can have. She eats just fine, but it takes her a little while to finish the third cup she is supposed to eat with her twice daily feedings. Hopefully once she's gained the weight, if the vet says it's a good idea, we can decrease the food a little (not much), which would make it easier to hand feed it all until it's resolved.
Sorry, I don't have pictures at the moment. They're all on my mother's phone, and she's out at the moment. I didn't know you could upload them. I have a great picture of her wearing a red and blue checkered headscarf like an old Russian Babushka and as a dashing neck tie. But thanks for all the hearty congratulations! It's nice getting sound advice for an adult rescue Pyr, because, honestly, most resources just assume that you've bought a puppy and focus their advice towards very young dogs without ambiguous pasts. I wish you and your pets well as well!