Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to Make a Rosie (Giveaway!)

Have you all met my dear canine companion?

Of course you have; she's always staring at you from among the blades of grass at the top of this page!

Rosie's been with us for four years now, and throughout that whole time, I've been fielding the same question, over and over: what kind of dog is she?

Now, a clever answer would be something like "short, black and hairy."  But, being a lifelong (well, almost lifelong) dog lover, I've always offered my own guesses.  The Humane Society listed her as a chow/lab mix, but she doesn't have a speck of the purple tongue typical of chow mixes, and I thought she was a little on the short side to have a lot of lab in her.

As I got to know her behavior a bit more intimately, I noticed that she naturally fell into a head-down, tail-down, low-legged stalking posture when we came around by the ducks at the pond.  "That's a border collie pose," I thought.  On the other hand, she's never shown any herding instinct, aside from trying to herd me  toward her bowl at breakfast time.  Frankly, she'd much rather eat the ducks than circle them (same goes for cats, as it turns out.)  Still, it would help explain why she's so dang easy to train.  It wouldn't, however, quite explain why she occasionally freezes into a lovely little point!

So my answer varied as the years went by, depending on what she'd been doing most lately: sleeping, shedding, stalking, noodging for belly rubs...and no matter my response, the questioner would say, "You can tell she's part chow/lab/collie/pink puffalooloo."  In other words, we all saw what we were familiar with!

I am Rosie; I am Dog.

I've enjoyed the guessing game, but I have to tell you, I'm pretty strong-willed, and I like to be right!  It was starting to really bug me, not knowing if Rosie's intelligence, responsiveness or quiet nature was due to inherent breed traits, or if she was just a happy accident.  Plus, as I often told her, "I wish we could figure out what you are, because then we could make more of you!"

Seriously, I think the world could use a registered Black Rose breed.

Well, I finally gave in to my ever-growing curiosity, and put a doggy DNA test on my Christmas wish list.  And Miss Chef came through--even though I suspect she thought I was being a little silly.  No, I'm not going to love or treat her any differently if I find out she's 100% mutt, but who knows?  I might get some insights into why she is the way she is, and learn what not to expect from her!

So today was the big day; when I got home from work, I pulled from the mailbox a large white envelope from BioPet, with her Ancestry Certificate inside (suitable for framing...really?  Who frames these things?)

But don't think you're getting to the bottom of this mystery that easily!  Oh no, what fun would that be?  Nope, I've decided to let you all play along in this guessing game.  That's right, you could win a prize if you correctly guess Rosie's ancestry!  And here's what you'll win:

This book was another item I received from my Christmas wish list.  I've read Jon Katz' Slate columns and one of his books, about figuring out border collies, and I really enjoy his sensitive writing as well as his "dogs are dogs" view of their behavior.  This novel was inspired by one of his current collies, coincidentally also named Rose.  It turned out to be just as good a read as I expected; even Miss Chef finished it off in a day and a half.  I would love to share it with the winner of my little giveaway (not my copy; I'm gonna read it again.  You'll get your own, brand-new copy!)

Now, this is not going to be easy--the test found five different breeds, one of them less strong than the other four.  So go ahead and list five breeds; if anyone guesses all five, they'll be an automatic winner, as well as making me wonder if they're reading my mail!  I'm still hoping at least one person will guess four out of five, which would be pretty impressive.  But the highest number of matches will win.  If I get more than one answer with the same number of correct guesses, I'll do a drawing to determine the winner.

So let the game begin; leave your guess in the comments with up to five different breeds (one entry each, please!).  If you want any specific info about Rosie to help you out, I'll answer in the comments as well.  (She's about 2 ft tall at the head, and weighs approx. 50 lbs, to answer the basics.)  The contest will be open until 5 pm Eastern Time next Friday, Feb. 4th.

I can't wait to see what you come up with!

And if the winner happens to already own this book, there are two other dog-related books I received for Christmas that I would be happy to let you choose from instead.


  1. This is going to be fun! I'm going to give it some thought before the deadline, but I'm going to include flat-coated retriever.

    Whenever anybody asks hubby David what breed Clifford is, he answers "What breed do you like?".

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  3. I'm no good at this kind of game, but I think I can easily eliminate one breed:

    the pink puffalooloo!


    Rosie reminds me so much of my first dog, Francie. I always enjoy seeing pics of Rosie and reading stories about her.

    My guesses are:


    Or maybe she's a brand new breed?

    The Flartopian!


  4. Ooh! Ooh! I just LOVE Jon Katz. Love him. And it just so happens I haven't read this book.

    I'm going to work on this. :D

  5. She looks just like my lab mix. Mine just passed away at the age of 13 and broke my hear more than I ever thought possible. Anyway....

    My guess is
    Flat coat lab
    Border Collie
    Springer Spaniel

  6. Terry: I love David's answer; I might have to borrow it!

    Lisa: Flartopian's good too...though it'll raise just as many questions!

    I'm really enjoying your guesses; so far nobody's hit 4! *evil grin*

  7. Kelly: so sorry to hear you just lost your girl. My parents' 15-yr old Golden passed last May, and I still have trouble remembering he's gone.

  8. chow (looked like it from a side view that I saw)
    black lab
    cocker spaniel
    border collie

    Don't think I've heard you ever comment on retriever instincts, does she like to swim?
    Is she very protective? Does she act aggressive when someone knocks at the door?
    My terriers DO NOT tolerate cats or anything little fuzzy things.
    Never heard you mention cutting her hair.
    Would you be able to free feed her or does she gobble food?

    I need more onfo. :-)

  9. Wow, Joanna, you're being very thorough! Ok, here are the answers:

    She'll go in water if motivated enough but isn't a big fan of swimming; is not in the least bit protective (must greet everyone so they can pet her, please); I keep the long hair behind her ears trimmed or it mats, and occasionally trim her hairy toes; she will eat anything she can, especially when I've got her at a healthy weight.

  10. I haven't a clue, so I'll just make a wild-assed guess...

    chow chow
    border collie
    teddy bear

  11. I think we need LOTS more pictures. :)

  12. Liz, scroll down to the tags section and click on "dogs." Your wish will be granted!

  13. Oh, I'm terrible at things like this, so I won't guess. But I will be staying tuned for the answer!

  14. Ummmmmmmmmmmm, uhhhhhhhhhhh, errrrrrrrrrr.

  15. Hmmm, I should *try* to think before I blog, but that's just not ME! ;-) So I'll blurt out;
    Border Collie
    and I haven't a clue so wil say... Beagle!
    Actually, in case I haven't said this before, she looks remarkably like my beloved "Shamrock." A stray adopted in Switzerland and brought back to the States when we moved. Shamrock killed 18 rabbits at a local farm, plus chickens, but was otherwise perfect!
    Thanks for your kind words on the BEST Kitty!

  16. There are all sorts of spaniels, terriers, retrievers, etc, so does it specify specific breeds? Does Rosie like to retrieve balls?

    Labrador Retriever
    Cocker Spaniel
    Gordon Setter
    Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

  17. Hmmmmmm. What breeds make a Rosie.... Hmmmmm.... Okay here goes.

    Cocker Spaniel
    Staffordshire Terrier
    German Shepard

    Yup, going to go with these five.

  18. I've no clue what Rosie' heritage is so, I will just list what is in her nature.

    Warm Belly
    Likes to smile

    Take care,

  19. Ooooh what fun! I know someone else who did the dog DNA test and was indeed very surprised. This one is a tough one though. I haven't seen a pink puffalooloo in ages. I should really get out more. Well, I think I'll get that book anyway because it looks like something I'd really enjoy (and I do believe those are sheep on the cover).

    border collie
    golden retriever
    Australian shepherd

    Wait no, not hyena, scratch that one. Switch it out with Black lab.

  20. I knew this would be fun! Nobody's hit four right, but several of you have guessed three--so it looks like we'll have to have a drawing.

    Joanna, Rosie doesn't show any particular interest in fetch, though she'll indulge me for a few rounds if she's feeling especially energetic.

  21. Hi there! I just popped over from another site and became intrigued by your post. Whatever Rosie is, she sure is cute! When I have a minute I'll read your posts about Rosie, and maybe take a stab guessing her lineage. I can't wait to read more about the DNA service. I have often wondered how they work and what information they provide.

  22. Flat coated Retriver
    Border Collie
    Brittany Spaniel
    American Eskimo
    I can't decide between Chow or Australian Cattle Dog for my wildcard (they're all wildcards!) - I choose Cattle Dog!

  23. Ohhhh what a beauty!

    My guess is a cross between a Noir Beautifuis and a Cutiepiea Wondercaninus.

    (Sorry to whip some Latin out, but I can't always hide my intellect--can I?)


Thanks for dropping by--please share your thoughts!

"Every time we get comment mail, Rosie wags her tail!" (Seriously, you should see that puffy thing go.)