She’s Not Who We Thought She Was

They said she was a Lab mix. And she looked like a Lab mix. We’ve had many rescue dogs over the years, most of them Labrador Retriever mixes, and we loved them all. From a disposition standpoint, Labs are sweet, gentle, friendly, warm, and loving. And we were thrilled two months ago to adopt yet another Lab mix.

But when our daughter came over a few days after we brought her home, she said, “I don’t think she’s a Lab mix. I think she’s more Boxer than Lab.” So, I did what any responsible pet owner would do. I ordered a doggy-DNA test.

It took a while to get the results back because, as I wrote here, the first sample I sent in got lost in the mail and the DNA lab had to send me another kit. Finally, though, on April 20th, I received an email with the results.

What??? She’s mostly Pit Bull and Bulldog with a little bit of German Shepherd! No way! What happened to our Lab mix? Clearly the doggy-DNA company got it wrong. Or they mixed up our dog’s saliva sample with some other dog’s sample.

So I ordered a second DNA test kit from a different doggy-DNA company. Surely this test would prove that our 16-month-old Lab mix is, indeed, a Lab mix.

I received an email today with the results of that second DNA test.

I had to Google “American Staffordshire Terrier” to find out that it has much in common with American Pit Bull Terriers and is considered to be a “Pit Bull” breed. Also, one article said that “the American Staffordshire Terrier is one of the breeds that gave origin to the American Bully. Nonetheless, it is more similar to the American Pit Bull Terrier. They share almost identical features.”

Bottom line, our “Lab mix” dog is mostly Pit Bull Terrier with hardly any Labrador Retriever in her genes. What a shocker!

Well, she is what she is, and even though she’s not not who we thought she was, we love her nonetheless.

SoCS — Rin Tin Tin

34DE33F6-1316-493E-AC93-6015B1AB2E3AFor this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has asked us to use the word “tin” as a word or to find a word with “tin” in it, and to base our posts on that word.

I immediately recalled one of my favorite TV shows when I was a kid, “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.” It was an American television program that ran from 1954 through 1959. The show about a boy, Rusty, who was orphaned in an Indian raid and who was being raised by the soldiers at a U.S. Cavalry post known as Fort Apache. Rin Tin Tin was a German shepherd dog that helped the soldiers establish law and order in the American West.

Most episodes involved overcoming bad guys, often American Indians or white desperados. Whenever Rusty needed assistance from his trusty dog, he’d call out “Yo Rinty,” and Rin Tin Tin would run after and leap on the bad guy, pinning him down until the cavalrymen could arrive.

3F9DE41C-AF18-4D7A-A6E6-E8EAC6A378A2A contemporary of Rin Tin Tin, but a more popular TV show with a dog as its star, was “Lassie,” a “smart and fearless” collie. The show aired from 1954 through 1971. It followed Lassie’s adventures in a small farming community. Each week the dog’s young owner would find himself in some sort of trouble. Lassie would then run off and get help or rush in to save her master’s life herself. After being reunited with family, the boy would received a light lecture on why he should not have done what he had done.

I preferred Rin Tin Tin because I thought the whole Lassie thing was kind of lame. Rin Tin Tin, on the other hand, was a military dog apprehending bad guys, which to me was much more exciting than watching a dog save a kid who fell into a deep well at least once a month. Stupid kid.

For Starters


By nature, Carl is an introvert. He’s not very sociable when it comes to interacting with other human beings. That is the primary reason he has few friends and never married. He’s always been better able to relate to dogs than to people.

Buster, a mix of German shepherd and rottweiler, is a large, somewhat intimidating looking dog. But despite his seemingly menacing appearance, Buster is a real sweetheart.

Carl loved taking Buster out for his daily walks. They would often head to the city park, which was about four blocks from Carl’s small house. The park had plenty of trails to follow and open fields on which Buster could run around off-leash.

As Buster explored and sniffed and peed on nearly every tree and most bushes, Carl would let his mind wander, daydreaming about one thing or another. The only time Carl had to pay attention to what his dog was doing was when Buster took a dump. Carl felt obliged to pick up Buster’s mess using a biodegradable poop bag and to deposit the bagged waste in the nearest trash receptacle.

On one particularly pleasant day, Carl was walking Buster in the park when the dog saw something that attracted his attention. Carl thought it was just a squirrel, a critter that always seemed to mesmerize Buster. But when Carl looked to see what his dog was gazing at, he saw a tall, slim brunette woman with a large dog, although not as large as Buster, on leash at her side. They were slowly heading toward Carl and Buster.

Consistent with his shy, introverted nature, Carl’s instinctive reaction when he saw the tall, slim brunette and her golden retriever appproaching was to yank Buster’s leash and head off in the opposite direction.

But Buster, the large and stubborn mammal that he is, would have none of it. He stood his ground, four feet solidly planted and eyes transfixed as he watched and waited for the other dog to get closer. As the woman and her dog neared, Buster started wagging his tail, tentatively at first, and then with more vigor when they arrived.

The woman appeared to be a little concerned by the size of Buster. She asked Carl, “Is your dog friendly?”

“For sure,” Carl responded, avoiding eye contact with the woman. “Yours?”

“Oh, she’s a sweetie pie,” the tall, slim brunet answered as she bent down and patted her dog on its head.

The two dogs started circling each other in order to stick their noses in each other’s butt and to take deep sniffs or licks or whatever it is that dogs do when they cozy up to other dogs’ butts.

Carl and the woman had to maneuver so that the dogs’ leashes didn’t get tangled. Feeling that he should say something, Carl thought for an instant, and finally blurted out, “It’s a good thing that’s not how humans greet each other.”

Immediately regretting having said that, Carl grit his teeth as his eyes darted around searching for a quick escape route.

The woman was kind enough to laugh at the idiocy that emanated from Carl’s lips. “Well, it certainly would be an interesting way for us to get to know one another,” she said. “Maybe we should give it a try,” she continued.

Carl heard what she said, and he thought he noticed a mischievous wink, but his lack of interpersonal skills made him unsure about how to respond. So he simply said, “Huh?”

“I said that it might be fun to get to know each other in the same way our dogs are.”

“Are you saying that we should sniff each others’ butts?”

“For starters,” she said. A broad, engaging, and slightly naughty smile lit up her face, while the two dogs continued their butt-sniffing ritual.

Today’s one-word prompt is “grit.”