Tuesday, March 28, 2017

DNA, Shmee N A

          Probably the hottest trend right now is tracing your DNA.  I have friends who are over the moon excited to find out that they’re part Cherokee or Russian or Chinese, when they thought were 100 % Irish through and through.  And it is exciting.
          So I thought I’d see if you can do this with dogs.  Because that’s how my mind works.  Of course, there’s no use doing it with AKA-registered show dogs; their backgrounds are already documented on paper. It would only be fascinating to do it with mutts you’ve rescued.
          And, as a long-time mutt rescuer, I have often wondered what accounts for not only the odd appearances of my pets, but their odd behavior. 
Because this is just a blog and not a book, we shall deal exclusively with my current dog, Mickey. I believe that if I traced her bloodline, it would lead directly to a muskrat, as she will burrow under anything she can.  Somehow, in a miracle of science, a muskrat and a dog must have bred centuries ago.
And as long as we're mixing species, her eating habits would indicate that she may also be a small percentage frog, chicken, owl, or snake, because she gulps her food down whole, as do those same creatures.
It’s also possible that her line includes a fictional, animated mouse, since there is a Mickey Mouse silhouette on her back-- nature’s way of shouting truth, right?
As for actual dogs in her line, let’s start with her breed.  The shelter said she was a Taco Terrier, a designer dog created by breeding a Chihuahua with a Miniature Fox Terrier.
          Now, Taco Terrier is a cute, alliterative name, but it is also the PERFECT RECIPE for a dog that cannot be housebroken.  If you look up a list of dogs tough to potty train, Chihuahuas will lead the list, followed by other toy breeds.  “Miniature” is a clue, and I believe actually refers to their bladders.
          In addition, terriers are known for being stubborn, independent, feisty, and not wanting to be team players with humans.  So, if you had the diabolical plan to create the perfect storm of an untrainable dog who piddles all over the house, you would breed a Chihuahua with a miniature terrier, hence Taco Terriers.
          Of course, I didn’t know this when we simply chose her based upon adorableness.  
          I didn’t even look at the paperwork from the person who surrendered her until years later, when I noticed that in the box labeled “Housebroken?” they had written, “Somewhat.”
          Folks, you cannot be somewhat housebroken. It’s like being somewhat pregnant.  Either you are or you are not.
          And so the housebreaking ordeal of the century began, and, despite her DNA, at long last we have a dog we can trust.  Somewhat.
          If you can take your eyes off your dog, settle down with a good book, or some short YouTube mom videos.  You can find them all here.


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