One year later and YES you can love an outside dog.
It is December 20th and about one year since Brad traveled to the Washington/Canada border to pick up our Roxy.
I have so many thoughts running through my head when I think about what we have learned in a year. I think it could be at least10 blog posts and better titled "what I continue to learn".
They say dogs are the biggest teachers in life. After our two Maremma's, I can see that. We are not new to dog ownership, both Brad and I have had dogs as children, young adults, and together as a family. Our Maremma's have been the biggest teachers in patience, love, loyalty, fun, and just being in the moment.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that even though these two are outside dogs, and you would think that a relationship wouldn't develop because they are working dogs, IT DOES! I can still remember thinking to myself in disbelief when I started researching "wow, these people really love their dogs". I wanted Maremma's for our farm for their low wandering instinct, loyalty, low barking scale, overall perceived openness to strangers. Brad and I have young children. We are social. People come to our house... often. This was important for us. And our dogs have exceeded our expectations in every way. Most importantly, how much our family has grown to love them and they are a part our family, even with them being outside dogs.
I love how they always greet us excitedly at the front yard when we come home from a long day at work. I love that Merlin practically climbs into the truck to say hi and get some pets. And then watching Roxy tell him what to do and boss him around. love how Merlin is by my side and with me during all my chores while Roxy is a bit in the distance with a watchful eye on me. I love watching them run and play with each other in the snow. I love that they demand for pets during chore time, to make sure that I am remembering the "why" of the farm. I love the safety I feel at night when going to check on one last chore and knowing they have my back. And most of all, I love the peace I feel knowing my chickens, sheep, goat, and rabbits are safe at night. That even though I can hear coyotes in the distance, I sleep soundly knowing they have got it all under control.