Two Polish Lowland Sheepdog brothers in Italy - now about to head to France
Saturday, 3 January 2009
Digby - The Polish Lowland Sheepdog arrives at the kitchen door.
Digby has been outside for the last hour - sniffing around the olive groves and generally doing farmyard things. He loves to be with the family but sometimes he takes himself off round the fields, flower by flower, tree by tree in his own sweet solitary journey of communion with nature. In the winter his feet are constantly covered in grass and other detritus that the long hair manages to trap as he sweeps through the fields alone with his thoughts. His big brother by contrast is not much given to reflection. He would much prefer to be chasing after a ball or tracking down a porcupine - anything as long as it involves the expenditure of inordinate amounts of energy and incessant scurrying too and fro accompanied by yelps of enthusiasm.
When I look at Polish Lowland Sheepdogs in books they always look like Kennel Club adverts - groomed to perfection, not a hair out of place, and with no hint of dirt or twigs poking out of their fur.Our boyz manage to maintain a groomed appearance for all of five minutes before they revert to their more usual feral look.
On a practical note even in the depth of winter when their coats are at their longest and least controllable we've found that it helps to trim their fringes so that they can see what is going on around them. Before we did this their hair was so long over their eyes that they would often be startled by sudden movements or the appearance of visitors . As a breed they can be quite suspicious of strangers, even if well socialized as puppies, and can be rather nervous in new situations. They make not look as cute as the textbook PON but the shorter facial hair certainly helps keep them calm and out of trouble.
2004, we sell the rain drenched farm in Scotland and move to the warmth of southern Europe. Two very lively Polish Lowland Sheepdog brothers - Wilf and Digby - accompany us. Fluffy,patient and comical . Forever attracting laughter and new friends . After a year in Provence we moved to Italy to restore an ancient Roman watchtower . Somethings are meant not to be. Following a rather unpleasantly violent 'housejacking' ( the third in our little village ) we left Italy in late 2009 for new adventures in the rolling countryside of south west France . We are now getting to grips with a large rickety old farmhouse. Life after the violence of Italy has a gentler tempo. Digby passed on from piroplasmosis in May 2010. HIs brother, despite being diagnosed with cancer and having become blind ,soldiered on for another two years. We now embark on the next part of our journey with two new PON's - Bob and Sophie. This blog records all those little things about living with dogs that are too unimportant to make it into a diary but which make life, life.