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.

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