These two "Gentle Giants" are Great Pyrenees, a breed originated in the Pyrenees Mountains of northern Spain. They are used as shepherd dogs in the sometimes steep and rocky terrrain, tasked with providing security for sheep grazing on the slopes. God even outfitted them with dewclaws attached by bone, not like the floppy dewclaws seen on some other breeds. They help with balance and fast turning, critical in the mountains that was their natural home turf.
Val and Sal sometime disappear during the day, finding a place on the property to rest. But come late afternoon, they show up at feeding time and start their night shift of duty on our rural homestead. Any living thing that is supposed to be here, including we two legged ones, is subject to their watchful eye and protection. They station themselves separately where they can listen to all the sounds emanating from outside the fence and are ready to move if need be.
They love the out-of-doors and have no desire to come inside. In winter they frolic as their double coat keeps them both warm and dry underneath. In the summer, that same coat protects them from the Florida sun and they find a shady place for their daytime rest. But whenever my wife or I come outside, they are at our side quickly.
They are lovable and love attention, but woe be it to anyone who enters the property with mischief on their mind. Be it a coyote, a raccoon, or a human, they go into a serious mood, alternating growls with an eerie look that acts as a warning. Having seen them when a coyote gets too close, they are a force to be reckoned with.
When we have visitors, once the dogs know they are friend and not foe, they are gentle and lovable with them. And it's a very comforting thought to know that our living alarm system is always on the look out. And as for all the wild critters that abound in this area, they now know that there is no "Chicken Delight" awaiting them as these two wonderful dogs are standing by as needed.
The dogs came to us courtesy of my wife almost four years ago and they are now a full part of the family. Sure they might dig a few holes and walk through a flower bed once in a while, but that's a cheap price to pay for the love, affection and security they provide. We wouldn't have it any other way.
Dogs: Truly a wonderful gift from God. And we thank Him every day for bringing them into our lives.