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.