I mentioned a while ago that we were going to have Max DNA tested. As he was a rescue dog we had virtually no idea of his heritage. People would ask us his lineage and we could only respond with a Bart Simpson-esque “I dunno”.
OK, I might mention that we have no hangup on pedigree or that sort of highfalutin’ nonsense. We are absolutely satisfied with and gratified by the company of our mutt, mongrel, feral, pariah dog, whatever you might categorize him as. But, we sought to know to at least give folks an idea of what he was, since the question was regularly asked. Also, we wanted to know in terms of potential health concerns, longevity, etc.
So, for a few bucks (and thanks to our ever-friendly pet food emporium – Bosley’s (Max’s second favorite place in the world after home) who had the kits, we did a couple of cheek swabs, sent them off and then waited very impatiently to see what we had in our pooch.
We had our own ideas, of course. Mainly, due to his appearance we thought variations on the themes of collie; English shepherd, German shepherd and maybe a tad of husky thrown in.
So, we finally got the results back. It was like Christmas in October. We were simply wetting ourselves as the thing downloaded – sorry, my beloved computer is getting elderly and sometimes it seems like a message would be conveyed more rapidly if it were handwritten.
And then we had it. We changed our knickers and had a look. Omigod! (as every 14-year-old girl is wont to exclaim), our boy was nothing like what we thought he was.
On one side of his gene pool we were mollified. He was collie – as in Lassie Come Home and “Oh no, Timmy’s fallen in the &*%$#@ well yet again” type. We got that. And that was combined with mixed breed and malamute. All good. And in the mixed breed categorization he was flatcoat retriever, shelty and something called the Catahoula Leopard Dog, in various proportions. For the Catahoula we said “huh?”. But we looked it up and he has a resemblance to that Louisiana breed. Man, Max’s mom got around.
But on the other we were a bit dumbfounded. He was Chow. “CHOW!”, how could he be Chow? I never even liked Chows very much, but adore him. Aren’t Chows the dogs the Chinese used to eat, hence our name ‘chow’ for a meal? Might be so.
But, we’ve mentioned his heritage to others and have noted the Chow finding. And some have said that they get that. They can see it.
Anyway, now we know what he is. Chow and all. It’s good to know in a way and we’re happy we did it.
But Chow, sheesh. We haven’t told him yet.