Fast forward to today so many years later and my love for big dogs continues. Today, living on rural land in North Florida, my wife and I have two outdoor dogs, dogs that wouldn't come inside even if we wanted them to. Val and Sal, both beautiful Great Pyrenees with a double coat of fur, love being outdoors. The coats protect them for the cold and winter and the sun in summer and on hot days they find a good place to avoid the heat by day, romping and pulling their guard duty by night. It's what they were made for and they serve as our family shepherd. Any living thing, including we humans, who they know reside here receive their guard services with devotion.
Before we made them part of our family, we had trouble with raccoons and coyotes taking egg laying chickens. Val and Sal took care of that and on those occasions when a coyote shows interest in coming through or over the fence, they think twice when they see these two small polar bears keeping a watchful eye. When their smiling countenance turns to something akin to a gray wolf, the coyote scampers away.
We love these dogs but they do have one nuisance habit which is normal for them but oh, so trying sometimes for us. So, whenever I hear someone talk of "The Big Dig," I don't think of that big Boston Harbor project but I think of what these big boys are doing today. The worst was when they tried to dig their "dog cave" adjacent to the house. I cured them of that but then they moved to other places. The most recent was a trench under the spot where the horse trailer is parked. They were smart, knowing that was some of the highest ground on our land and today I find a dog's version of a man cave underneath. It's just natural that big dogs, inheriting traits from their genetic background, want a den and what a den they have. But when we move the trailer, it will be filled in and they'll look for another spot. But, please, oh please, boys, stop digging right in the middle of the trail where the horses run in, will you?
Uh, oh, gotta' go. They're digging again.
If you'd like to learn a little more about Laddie pictured above, go to Amazon.com books and enter Summer at Old Nags Head. The Kindle version on Kindle Unlimited is now available for pre-order. A paperback version will be published shortly on Prime as well. For those of you who use Facebook, my author page offers a lot of information about my writing as well.
And here's a picture of the two big diggers. Dogs: They are a mess but you've gotta' love 'em.