Tuesday, December 14, 2010

italian cheese hounds.

Earlier this evening, I was fixing a lovely dinner of prosciutto-stuffed pasta, and giving Claire a piece or two before I dressed it up with spices. I laughed while thinking that my sweet puppy apparently likes Italian food as much as I do.

It got me thinking back to when I first adopted her from the shelter. Her tag simply said that her name is Claire and she is a lab mix. Post-adoption, while we went shopping in Petsmart for everything she needed, I had called my uncle to tell him about her; he used to breed dogs years ago, so he's my primary go-to for information. He was so happy to hear that I had just adopted a puppy, and was more than happy to venture some guesses as to what exactly her mix might be. I informed him that she is black with little white paws and a white chest, and her fur seemed like it would stay pretty short. Honestly, I could have been describing ANY kind of puppy - I mean, you certainly can't tell what a dog will look like until they get older. But my uncle said immediately, "Oh! Well, it sounds like she has some Italian cheese hound in her. Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if that is what she is mixed with." Sounded good to me!

I went to Banfield Pet Hospital to register Claire with the veterinarian and proudly informed the tech that Claire is a labrador retriever and Italian cheese hound mix. The tech looked at me with a blank stare and said, "Hmm. I've never heard of that kind of dog before. Who told you that?" I told her that my uncle, a former dog breeder, was pretty sure that was her mix, based on my description of her. The tech was quiet for a minute and left the room. When she came back, she said, "So, your uncle... Does he like to joke around a lot?" Well, yes, I thought. "Because," she began, "I just asked the vet, and she said that there isn't an Italian cheese hound breed registered with the AKC."

The pieces all fell into place. Of course he was kidding. And in my excitement about Claire, I completely disregarded all of the indications that he was not serious. So there I was, prancing around town, announcing to the world that my new puppy is a lab/cheese hound mix. And looking like a complete fool! When I told my uncle that I finally caught on, he thought it was hilarious that I took him at his word. And to this day, he asks how the Italian cheese hound is doing...

A few months after I got Claire, I managed to contact the people who brought her litter to the shelter. I wanted to tell them how fantastic she is, and wanted to find out about any potential health problems that her parents may have had. They said that Claire's mother was a lab and her father was a border collie. And now, having spent the past year and a half with her, it's plain to see that she has a good mix of both with her looks and her personality. Although, after letting her try some of my pasta tonight, I'm thinking that maybe she really does have a bit of Italian cheese hound in her...

No comments:

Post a Comment