French beginnings

Today (14th July) is Bastille Day, the national holiday in France, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to acknowledge my French roots. Us Pyrs originate from the Pyrenees Mountains that separate the southern part of France from Spain, where we’ve been guarding flocks of sheep and goats for thousands of years. That’s the job we were originally bred for, and we worked without the benefit of instruction from our shepherds, who – being less sure-footed – did not accompany us high into the mountains.

We’ve even been upgraded to royalty, for in 1675, the Dauphin in the court of King Louis XIV declared Pyrs the Royal Dog of France, and we spent many subsequent years guarding the estates of the French nobility. King Kobe has a rather nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Fast forward to 2018, and many of us now live in domestic settings rather than up high in the mountains. We may not be responsible for large flocks and our double dew claws may get rather less of a workout, but I think we find new ways to demonstrate our Pyr-ness. I think my Pyr-ness is why I came up with Kotes by Kobe.

Even without a flock, Pyrs still retain their guardian instinct. In my case, I’m not protecting against wolves or bears like my ancestors did, rather I want to protect my pupper friends from shivering their way through winter. Since both the fur on one’s back and clothing can help in that endeavour, I thought making clothing out of spare fur would be the perfect solution. Rather more steps involved than chasing off a bear, but ya know, Pyrs are a rather cerebral doggo.

And despite not having my own flock, sheep still play a significant role in my life. All the fur in our Kotes is blended with sheep’s wool that we source direct from Australian growers. Wool is like the glue that keeps our special blends of fibre together. Also, and I’m not sure if this is just coincidence, humans often tell me I look like a sheep, and border collies try to round me up. Personally I do not see the resemblance, but there you go.

So, as the world celebrates all things French today, I’d like to tip my beret to my French roots. They will always be part of my me-ness.

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