Sunday, November 14, 2010

Who in the world am I?

In 2007, my family visited the Asheville Humane Society to adopt a dog. Yes, a dog, as in one dog. Within the first minute of entering the dog wing of the shelter, we had locked eyes with a small black puppy named Racer. Racer was a 4 month old puppy with the most soulful, honey brown eyes you have ever seen. Sarah and I did a quick cruise of the remaining dogs in the wing, but our hearts were set on little Racer. Unfortunately (but predictably) my mom had a similar "this dog is the one" moment during that same minute that Racer and I locked eyes. She fell in love with a beautiful dog who the shelter guessed to be a Saluki mix; her name was Sally.

Since that day, we have had a joyful three years with the best dogs anyone could ask for. During the three years we have lived with Parker and Sally, their breed heritage has been a constant topic of discussion. We know it doesn't matter, but it's fun to talk about.

My mom has defiantly held true to the (unfounded) belief that Sally is a Saluki mix. If you've ever seen a Saluki, you know they are lanky, huge, and fast dogs. Sally is none of things.  I will give her the fluffy ears, but many other breeds have this trait also.  Here are some gorgeous artistic renditions of Salukis from etsy sellers.

Now that you've digested that, here's Sally as a young dog (around one year old).  Her floppy ears vaguely resemble a Saluki, but they could also be from some type of Spaniel.  Sarah and I both agreed that she looks a lot like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  

We finally decided to put an end to the speculation by purchasing a breed test from Canine Heritage.  It's a little (well, a lot) pricy at $79.95.  We decided to go ahead and do it because the price wasn't so bad split amongst four people.  

It's a simple process:  once you purchase the test, you receive a kit in the mail.  You use the swab to brush the inside of your dog's cheek for 30 seconds, then you return the swab to the envelope and mail it in.  After the lab receives your sample, Canine Heritage says your sample will be processed in 4-6 weeks.  

Unfortunately, we didn't have such luck.  It took over 3 months to get Sally's results.  This was after several angry emails; I got a reply to the last email that said the company was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but I would get my results.  I was a little afraid we had been scammed, but many people have used Canine Heritage, and they were featured on Good Morning America.  

We finally got the results, printed out on an official looking sheet.  The certificate includes a picture of Sally which I sent in via the website:

It turns out she's a mix of Siberian Husky and Cocker Spaniel.  It seems so obvious now!  Though we were very pleased with the results, there is no way I would recommend Canine Heritage to anyone.  If you're considering having your mixed breed dog tested, please do!  Just don't use Canine Heritage.  Though Sally's results were spot on, the customer service was horrendous.  There are several other breed tests available, including one from Wisdom Panel (you can even get it at Petsmart).

Finally, here is an homage for Sally, made up of the work from fantastic etsy sellers.  Enjoy! 


littledeadmommy said...

First off, good for you for adopting a dog rather than getting one at a pet store. :)
That is one cute doggie. I wouldn't be able to resist taking her home either.

ajoeynamedroo said...

There are so many great dogs to choose from at the shelter, and we had a great experience with ours!

joeyandaleethea said...

This is just the sweetest thing! How wonderful of you and your fmaily to adopt two dogs that day, and also to do the DNA thingy for your dog. They are beauties!

Jaz said...

Your dog is gorgeous! Although it is disappointing that you had such a bad experience with the company ):