Today I am joining a “blog hop.” Participating bloggers submit pictures and a write-up of their mixed-breed dogs, so we can all play the game, “Guess Which Breeds?”
We play this game at the dog park all the time. I woke up Thursday morning to blinding sunshine reflecting off Wednesday’s big snow dump. To my surprise it wasn’t nearly as cold outside as it looked, and in order to ease the ever-present guilt, I walked Our Best Friend to the park.
OBF ran around like a rocket, so happy to be outdoors. Then he tried to play with the most interesting looking dog: big ears, long thin tail with a slight curl, and a black coat with an orange brindle barely showing through. With the “Magical Mystery Mutt Tour” in the back of my mind, I asked the owner what kind of dog she was. “SPCA special,” he answered. According to them, she was a black lab/shepherd mix. I shook my head. Not with those ears or that body type. If I’d brought my camera, her picture would be here as well.
Then another woman came up to me, pointed at OBF, and said, “Your dog looks just like mine, only brown!” And he did. Her dog was all shades of grey instead of brown, with the same curly tail and collie-like features around the face. The SPCA labelled him a husky/shepherd mix, just like OBF. Two dogs, with a variety of similarities and differences, yet believed to be the same blend. A mutt is, indeed, a mystery.
Here’s a picture of our boy. The muzzle is shepherd. You’ll have to take my word for the plumy malamute tail. The eyes are husky. The colouring is Australian shepherd (one chow owner at the park thinks the tail and colouring are chow, of course). And once, looking at calendar with a different collie for each month, we realized that OBF has a collie “mole” on each side of his face, and a collie-like ruff under the chin. He weighs in at about 65-70 pounds, but he’s slightly smaller than the average shepherd. And next to a collie, he doesn’t look collie at all.
When we walk as a family, he goes insane if the girls walk ahead where he can’t protect them. He gallops around them in circles at the park. He’s overprotective to an extreme, of us and other dogs he likes, and he’s super-intelligent (except when it comes to playing with other dogs). I say he’s German shepherd all summer and husky all winter.