Like I needed C.S.I. or N.C.I.S. when there was a real canine conundrum waiting to be uncovered here at my house? “The Mad Mystery of the Mutts Missing Mainspring” or “What Kind of Dog is He Anyway?”
At long last, the verdict is finally in on my pups. Their DNA test results have come back from the lab and yes, it did in some cases simply confirm the obvious, while other results were total shockers.
No surprise here; one parent was 100% Miniature Schnauzer and the other was so many generations of mutts breeding other mutts, that it is virtually impossible to narrow it down to anything more than “mixed” breed (at least through the basic DNA test). So as far as breed goes, we know exactly what we knew going in, he is Mini-Schnauzer mixed with “something else.”
Being vocal (barking) and a need to protect and guard the home: This is one hundred percent true! He is a bit Napoleonic at times, thinking he is much bigger than his 13 pounds.
Smart and Treat Driven: Well, he’s smart enough to know that he doesn’t care about treats or learning any stupid tricks. Luckily, he has the important basics like stay, come, sit, and down, under his belt. Quite frankly, I think he knows want’s important and what is merely human amusement. As far as Buddy is concerned, if we want entertainment, we should go read a book or turn on the TV! I am actually surprised that his DNA didn’t reveal that he is part cat!
Big surprise here! We were sure that he was at least “part” Bichon for two reasons, one; he looks it, and two; we were told by the people who surrendered him, that he was half Bichon and half Shih Tzu. Test result show that although one parent was at least “part Shih Tzu, he has absolutely no Bichon in him at all. He is however also mixed with Lhasa Apso and Chinese Crested! Yes, Chinese Crested. Who knew? His other Parent was an amalgamation of Cocker Spaniel and Rottweiler. Also, like Buddy, one of Theo’s parents also possessed a concoction of so many generations of diverse breeding that it can only be call “mixed” breed. I guess that’s the politically correct way to say mutt these days.
This special blend of breeds should have Theo showing some of the following traits:
Loyalty: 100% true of my Theo
Smart: Also true. No this is not the ranting of a proud papa, the dog is smart, there is just no way around it.
Hunter/Scouter: SO very true! Theo loves to lead the way, although he totally “heals” during our walks unless I give him the okay to relax. I have often said that had I waited to learn about his personality before naming him, I would have wound up calling him Scout! That same characteristic is also responsible for his desire to retrieve, which makes him enjoy fetching things. Whenever Theo gets board, he brings me his “toy de jour,” so that I can throw it and have him “bring it” …over and over again. If I am dumb enough to pick up the previous day’s toy and throw it, I get a look that says, “are you freakin’ kidding me? That’s so yesterday!”
Treat Driven Pleaser: I’m glad there’s proof that it’s genetic; I was beginning to think he picked it up from me! Theo unlike Buddy is happy to learn silly dog tricks. He plays dead when shot with my finger, gives me a high-five on command, sits, lays down, gives his paw, then switches when I say, “other one,” and best of all, kisses me when I say, “give daddy a kiss.” This is only a sampling of what he has learned to date. I soon plan to work on a “hug” command. How cool will that be?!
So now I have an idea of why they look like they do but does this make them what they are? I think not. Just like with children, it’s the old nature verses nurture debate. However what uncategorically is true about them is that they are 100% my little boys! And because they are, they’re so full of love that they greet me with wild adoration as though they believed they were never going to see me again, whether I’ve been away on a trip for weeks or because I stepped outside for a moment to check the mailbox! I love how they stop whatever they’re doing to come charging the moment they hear me say, “wheeeeeeere’s my boys?!”
Both will sit perfectly still and allow me to give them total head-to-tail haircuts with a small hair-cutting scissor. I believe they would rather do this than go off to a groomer. Buddy thinks that getting his morning grooming (by me) is the highlight of his day and only has to hear me tap his brush on a surface to come skidding into position with his head held high and I swear; a smile on his face!
Neither dog likes the water but they both tolerate their weekly baths and actually think that they are all that and a bag of chips when they’re all done. They even walk into the shower on their own when I declare it “bath time!” Knowing that I am caring for them, my boys happily let me clean their eyes free of “sandman” goo and brush their teeth daily.
They sleep in bed at our side, always making sure that some part of them can feel us, even if it’s just a back paw against our leg. I know that they do this because they feel protected and secure under our care.
Theo was three months old when he came to us. He had no story of misuse other than being the runt of the litter, most likely due to having been born with a twisted paw. This made him the “pup with the problem” that no one wanted to take on. At least he was loved by the young woman who fostered the surrendered mom and her pups. At this point he was still basically being cared for by his mother.
Buddy was an entirely different story; one I can’t even get into because it hurts me too much to think of all he had to endure the first 13 months of his life, before animal rescue finally came to take him away from the abuse. So, Theo was a surrender and we literally saved Buddy from being euthanized, a mere four hours before he was scheduled to receive the shot! For these reasons, my canine kids are referred to as, rescues.
I agree that it was a rescue, but it is my belief that they rescued me. After years of dealing with chronic, acute pain and the frustration that accompanies it, these two little guys give me a reason to fight threw it. I can’t allow myself to get caught-up in a pity party when they need my care. There is no getting around it; they depend upon me for their wellbeing. Seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, regardless of holidays, birthdays or how much my body hurts, they need to be fed, walked, groomed, and loved. It’s a lot of work but what they give me back, cannot be measured; the loyalty, company, trust, and unconditional love is like no other and never, ever waivers.
I guess I really always knew everything I needed to know about my guys all along. They are a little bit of this and a little bit off that and… 100% love.
Until next time,