About a week ago, I was pretty much minding my own business, sort of, in the office doing paper work. I was killing a few minutes waiting for an upload when I just kind of accidentally, or intently, looked up 'Maremma puppies'. With that, I felt a pit in my stomach. I wasn't ready, and I really didn't think another pup was the right answer. I let it go. Went back to work. But that same day, a tech from my vet clinic-they all loved White Dog-sent me her friend's farm info since she had puppies. That sort of got me to snorting around the internet at puppies and adult Maremmas. Still did not feel right. None of them looked like White Dog.
I realized what I wanted I could not have-I wanted White Dog back. Impossible.
In the coming days, I spent more time with Marcella, seeking answers about if, or how, to fill the hole in the barnyard left by White Dog. I talked to White Dog everyday when I walk over his grave. I told him if there is a dog out there that needs me as much as I need him, please help get the dog to me.
Well, somewhere in there I had an exchange with a nice farm woman with Maremmas who wondered about a rescue. She said, "It's a risk, but look how it worked out with White Dog." Hmmmm. There are so many Maremma and Great Pyrenees that get bought as pups, end up in a house without proper jobs, and they end up in a shelter. The story is old, it is repeated over and over-they don't have the space, time or understanding of the needs and DNA of this breed, and the cute puppy turns into an LGD without a job. I knew it was a huge risk and I wasn't interested, nor did I think it was wise, to start looking at all the sad ads in rescue groups or shelters.
But I stumbled on a farm that takes in Great Pyrenees, and helps decipher what kind of job the dog needs and wants. They also raise pups and have goats and is very knowledgeable about the needs of a working dog.This is like Horses with Hope, the two equines we adopted from them were worked with for months to determine the best home for them. I knew what I was bringing home.
I looked at the face of this dog...in the photo you see here. He had been living on a farm so knows life on the farm, but appeared to be sterile, and that was one of his jobs. He was treated well there I believe. But he was placed with the farm that helps Prys. For the past year, the farm tried to find what job would be best for the dog, and even though he did well around goats and it appears other animals, they found that he loved people, and everyone loved him. They began taking him everywhere, and he even showed him a few times at AKC shows just to give the dog a new experience and see how he'd do.
I walked away. I had to separate my feelings of missing White Dog, with everything I thought I needed now, or wanted now. And one part of my grief was that White Dog had just started doing therapy visits and was a natural. I wished I'd started sooner, but that wasn't his main job then.
But I finally contacted the farm, and the more I told them about our set up, our therapy work, and how White Dog had just started doing that when he got his bone cancer...it all became clearer that I was pretty sure this dog could become an Apifera Ambassador. I had no doubts he was the one. But after much chatting back and forth, there was a span of days where I heard nothing, and I thought maybe I had fooled myself with magical thinking.
But each time I looked into the eyes of this dog, I just felt he wanted this new job here, and I wanted him.
I went to White Dog's grave that night and I said, "Look, I thought it was going to be right, but maybe it isn't, and I'm scared. Can you help, if it is right for him to come here." I cried too. And that very night I heard again from the farm.
And so...he is coming to live with us, and I will immediately begin walking him in the village. He loves to ride in the car, which also was a plus. He has been to restaurants and outdoor shops. In time, I will take him out with Harry to the village too. Imagine that, walking down the street, and there comes two beautiful white creatures. And of course, my goal is to share him with the elders on visits.
He is 20 hours away and I negotiated a very fair fee for them to bring him directly to us which is so helpful, and I thought best for the dog too. I hope it will be soon, but I will keep you posted. It is winter of course.