Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The DNA is in! (Part 1)

This is my boy. My beautiful, beautiful boy (yes, I sing it to him, thank you, John Lennon), Sgt. Thomas Tibbs. Look at those brown eyes! And his gorgeous mane! Oh to have pretty hair like he does!

It's hard to believe it's been almost three years since I adopted him. But what a mess he was.... This is what he looked like when he was first rounded up in Apple Valley, along with 130 other dogs:

That's not "fluffy from a bath" as my grandson thought when he saw this photo posted on Facebook. That's "missing half his hair" due to mange. This picture is hard for me to look at. Let's look at him two months later:

By the time he was transferred to Upland Animal Shelter two months later, he was already beginning to recover from the mange. He had not, however, begun to recover from all the bad things that had happened to him, and he was very frightened. The great folks at Upland, though, began to work with him, and slowly over time, they taught him how to walk on a leash and how to trust enough to accept a treat from the hand of a kind human. They spruced him up, took his glamour shot, and crossed their fingers that someone would fall in love with him.

Someone did. This is how he looked, still at Upland Shelter, in December of 2013. I didn't see this photo until after I'd adopted him a month later. One of the volunteers sent it to me. Isn't he darling?  And this is my boy now:

His coat is soft and healthy, his eyes are clear, and those ears are as floppy as a good dog's ears get, especially when we're walking in the morning.

So, the question is, what breed is he? When he was originally impounded, San Bernardino Animal Control labeled him "German Shepherd and Golden Retriever." There's that GS face... and his golden hair looks like that of a retriever. But in fact, he is not a Golden. Not at all. Nope. No Golden Retriever in this boy whatsoever, I discovered after recently doing a doggie DNA test on him. I was shocked and amazed. But then I read the accompanying information on what breeds he did represent, and several things about his personality and behavior came clear to me. I will explain those traits in Part 2 of this post. For now, if you'd like to try guessing for yourself (and perhaps win a copy of my memoir, The Dogs Who Saved Me), click here to go to the Facebook page for Dogs and give it your best shot!

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