Pyrenees of the Pen

Steve Whitford Barbara Rowland and Mindy the pooch. Photo by Steve Whitford

In September of 2002 Marvin and Barbara Rowland moved to a 103-year-old farmhouse located between Key Center and Home.

The Rowlands enjoy raising a myriad of farm animals including goats, chickens, ducks, turkeys and others most fowl. Two 1964 pink single wide trailers also came with their farmhouse. The trailers had been conjoined and were originally used as a residence. The Rowlands converted them into a makeshift barn for their numerous fowl friends until this last May when the trailers met their demise via a large tractor, which crushed the mess that the decaying trailers had become. Surprisingly the absence of the trailers created a new problem that no one could have possibly foreseen.

Oddly enough some of the Rowlands neighbors began complaining about the loss of the pink trailers. It seems over the years folks used the trailers as a landmark for navigation when they gave directions to visitors. With the trailers gone, they lost a valuable reference point. Barbara Rowland thought long and hard about the problem and finally came up with a pink solution. She decided to dye her big white dog pink.

The Rowlands own two Pyrenees dogs named Buck and Mindy. The dogs guard the Rowlands' many animals from coyotes and the like. The breed was created in the mountains of France and Spain in the 1400s for the sole purpose of guarding livestock, a job they were well suited for as they are large dogs up to 120 pounds and are nocturnal.

One fine day in May the Rowlands took Mindy, a three year old female to Bayside Animal Lodge LTD, located at 12615 134th Avenue KP N, Gig Harbor. The business is owned and operated by Robert McProssin and provides grooming, lodging, and supplies for most domestic pets. Groomer Rebecca Sheppard and her assistant Becky Stacy took charge of Mindys transformation. Being pink doesnt come easy –– or cheap.

First Mindy was bathed, brushed, and air dried, no easy feat for a dog this size sporting fur long enough to make clothes out of. Then a special dye was applied to Mindys fur. The product is made by a company called Manic Panic and the color was Hot Hot Pink. Sheppard uses only vegan products that contain no chemicals or drugs. Mindy got eight- four and one half ounce bottles in all, $80 just for the dye product.

Mindy soaked in the dye for one half hour then was rinsed with cold water, brushed, then blow dried again.

“The entire process took about six hours.” Sheppard said. “This was a very big job for us, but we had fun doing it.”

To complete the transformation, Mindy spent the night inside a climate controlled room. How long Mindy stays pink is pretty much up to the weather, but for now the Key Pen has a new landmark and its pink. For more information go to Bayside Animal Lodge, LTD on Facebook, or email at