Best Christmas Gift EVER

We spend a lot of money on dogs throughout the year… between vet visits, food, new beds, medicine, noms, and toys these dogs want for nothing. As a special treat for ourselves this Christmas, we bought Lylee and Enzo dog DNA tests. NO REGRET, guys. We found Wisdom Panel 3.0 kits on Amazon (on sale!) and they’re 100% not sponsoring this. The results were both amazing and surprising.

The hardest part is swabbing your dogs cheek for 15 seconds twice. OOF. Enzo just laid there but Ly wasn’t a huge fan. We got the job done, though.

So we submitted our kits between Christmas and New Years and the results were emailed to us this past week. Not bad.

Ok… On to the results. Any guesses first??


Lylee

K and I pinpointed Ly as a husky-boxer mix and that’s usually what we tell people. Turns out she’s got quite a bit of dog in her… (but also we weren’t wrong).

The test goes back to her great-grandparents. There’s a potential for 8 different purebreds. Turns out Ly had seven purebred grandparents and one mutt.

She’s an equal part staffie, shepherd, boxer, husky, (American) bulldog, chow, & lab. And then a misc. mutt mixture.

Wisdom Panel

Lylee’s results weren’t too surprising. I think I was most surprised that there isn’t MORE husky and boxer in her. I assumed she had some pit (American Staffordshire Terrier & American Bulldog). I wasn’t expecting Chow Chow, but I totally see it now.

Appearance: In my opinion, Ly is built like a husky/shepherd. She has a square head and slight under-bite like a boxer/pit, though. Her fur is thick and she’s got endurance and strength for days. I imagine the yellow coloring come from the Labrador Retriever.

Personality: I could go on for weeks about canine personality. I think it’s fascinating. Lylee is probably one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever met (holla’, German Shepherd) but she’s also incredibly headstrong (boxer, chow, husky). She’s not necessarily territorial, but she’s extremely bonded to us and Enzo, and she definitely only chooses to listen when she admires the human talking to her (chow). She’s energetic, hyper, talkative, an escape artist (husky), and a digger. She also loves to play fetch (lab) and she can sniff out any toy. Many of these breed descriptions said she might not be good with other dogs- especially those of the same sex. BINGO. They also said she is potentially great with children. Not so much… lol.

Overall, it’s kind of reassuring to know why Lylee is so bonded/protective of us and why she tends to dislike other dogs. I knew there was some boxer and husky in her, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that she’s got purebred pit, too. Obviously we love her regardless of the results, though.


Enzo

We thought Enzo was some kind of whippet/border collie/weimaraner mix. Or even a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever mix.

So. Wrong. I’m almost upset over Enzo’s results. I feel bamboozled.

I love all dog breeds the same- I’m just confused about E’s results. I mean, he’s more of a husky than Lylee is! I 100% see the beagle. The other two purebreds perplex me.

My best guess is that those mixed-breed ancestors have some small terrier in them (like a Russell) and some sighthound (like a whippet). Honestly… I just don’t know. Haha.

Appearance: After getting E’s results we googled beagle-husky mixes and beagle-shepherd mixes. I guess he looks similar to some of those dogs. I’d say his small size and floppy ears and face structure is pretty beagle-like. We think the husky ancestors had to be brown/tan huskies, not black/grey ones. Enzo has NO black fur or skin and we known black is a dominant color in dogs, so we’re fairly confident in our assumption. Enzo is muscular but I don’t know where that comes from. I guess the mixed-breed plays a large part in E’s appearance.

Personality: Enzo is the sweetest soul in the world. He has a laid back personality and he’s ridiculously good with other dogs and children and almost everyone. He’s the least aggressive dog in the world BUT he does love to give chase (husky?). Also, if we’re on a walk and a scary-looking unfamiliar stranger (hood up/baggy clothes/has a quick or aggressive walk) gets too close to us Enzo will keep his eyes glued to the person (typically male) and growl  at him. It’s super out of character for him but he’s done it multiple times so it’s not a fluke. E is extremely bonded to us (esp me). He was a dream to train and he still lives to please us. Whatever he is, I feel like he got all the best qualities of those dogs.


Kyle is obviously pumped. He’s been walking around the house calling the dogs “my two pretty huskies”, lol. I’m happy to know what the dogs are but it doesn’t matter one bit. Haha. Our dogs will always be mixed rescue dogs 🙂

If you’ve ever thought about doing a DNA kit for you pup, I say DO IT. Especially if you can get a kit while it’s on sale!

But also- did you guess right??

* It completely got past me that Wisdom Panel is a Mars Inc. company. Mars is not a cruelty-free company. If you decide to DNA test your dogs, do more research than I did and spend your money in a way that keeps your soul happy.

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The Origin of Dogs

Today I want to talk about dogs. If you’ve been around these parts for any length of time you might know that A) I love dogs and B) our two babes- Lylee and Enzo- are mixed breeds & rescue dogs. (Ly came to us from friends, but they originally got her from a shelter.)

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December 2013

Please note, I do not hate or judge purebred puppy parents as long as you buy/bought from a reputable breeder. It takes time and patience to find a breeder that loves their dogs, treats them well, and has all the proper medical information/paperwork. If you decide on Tuesday that you want a boxer and you buy it on Wednesday from a “breeder” then we’ve got a problem. Puppy mills are a real thing and they’re deadly, corrupt, and dirty. Google “puppy mills” if you don’t believe me. If you truly love dogs and want to add a family member, please take the time to research your breeder. I’m not trying to be controversial- I just want to promote ownership responsibility.

Alright, back to shelter dogs.

I want to specifically talk about mutts, so before I do that let me just share this PSA:
You can find purebreds in shelters and pounds. Beagles and pitbulls are very popular pound purebreds. Also, there are COUNTLESS purebred rescues around the country that specialize in re-homing specific breeds. These dogs find themselves homeless because of owner death or divorce, moving restrictions, or lifestyle changes. We have many friends who have purebred dogs that came from rescues or shelters.

Ok, moving on.

This week my county’s dog pound posted a Facebook album with +8 dogs in it that had to be adopted, otherwise some would be euthanized. I shared the post and talked with K about it, but I really don’t know if or how many dogs were adopted before the cut off time. I do know that three dogs lost their lives: Gus, Buddy, and Louie. All three were described as friendly and happy and long-time pound residents. I know there’s war and poverty and hunger in the world, but this kind of thing crushes my heart into a thousand pieces. I cried when I read that three dogs didn’t get to find forever homes.

I want to address the two biggest arguments against rescue dogs/mutts:

  1. I want a specific breed. As I mentioned, there are purebreds in shelters. And I get the struggle- I see videos of corgis or retrievers and my heart actually spills over and I want to nuzzle my face into a puppy. But I challenge you to look into Lylee’s eyes and not fall in love with her. Have a conversation with her and tell me that she’s not exactly like the videos of purebred “talking” huskies. In my opinion, the best part of mixed breeds is the mixed bag. Enzo has herding instincts like a collie but he’s so fast like a whippet. And we’re not even 100% sure that’s what he is! Unless you’re using your dog for their breed-specific-purpose (hunting dogs, herding dogs), rescuing a mutt is 100% in your wheelhouse and you have the opportunity to save a life or two. (And mutts can be trained for herding or hunting or service, too!)
  2. They’re unpredictable. People lean toward golden retrievers as a family pet and others buy German Shepherds or Rotts because they are protective breeds… but you can never be 100% sure that’s what you’re getting. And I can guarantee that you can find a family dog or protective dog in a shelter- it might just be a great dane/lab mix or a pitbull/husky combination. Two of the gentlest dogs I’ve had the privilege of knowing were mutts- one (Enzo) is a whippet/I don’t really know and the other (Bruno) was a collie/shepherd mix. Amazingly gentle, kind, people-pleasing dogs. Have I been bitten by mutts? Yes. Have I been bitten by purebreds? Yes. They all have teeth; they all have personalities. Mixed breeds tend to be of mild temperament, actually. That’s in comparison to purebreds that have somewhat strong (albeit predictable) personalities.

*Also, many shelters and pounds take the time to get to know the dogs there. They can tell you if that dog gets along with kids, cats, other dogs, etc. Typically it’s not a guess- they’ve figure out if the dog is trained or house broken, hyper or calm. A breeder can tell you about a puppy’s parents, but when you adopt an adult dog from a shelter you’re typically getting exactly what you’re told.

Let me reiterate that I do not look down my nose at people that buy their dogs from a reputable breeder! My best friend has a purebred dachshund and I love her and I love Ernie. My other best friend adopted a 6 month old lab mix from the shelter. Our friends and family have taken both paths and that’s ok. Personally, K and I will always get rescue dogs- it’s something that’s important to both of us.

Blog Photo 3

So here’s what I’m saying: If you are thinking about adding a dog to your family, please check out your local pound or shelter first. Thousands of good, loving, intelligent dogs are killed every year because they had the bad luck to end up with crappy humans that dumped them at a shelter or left them to fend for themselves and they ended up in the pound.

And if you’re still hellbent on a purebred, please check out specialty rescues first. And then research, research, research top-notch breeders. Do not contribute to the nasty puppy mill market. (And report puppy mills when you come across them!)

AND if you are a pet parent or you have family members that own pets, please don’t abandon those animals if something terrible happens to the humans… Please. As gruesome as it is, we have homes for Lylee and Enzo if anything were to happen to us. And I can guarantee you that if something happened to my parents their two dogs, four cats, and one rabbit would not end up in a shelter or a pound. Same with my in-laws’ kitty. Please remember that as a pet parent, you’re responsible for that life- they 100% rely on you.

Blog Photo 2

And now I’m stepping down from my pulpit to snuggle on my babies and convince the husband that we need a third 🙂

Tell me about your fur-kid(s)! Mutt or purebred, rescued or bred- I want to know about the dog that has your heart!

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Meet the Canine: Enzo

I like to save my favorite posts for Friday! Today I’m joining the link-up with Erin from TexErin-in-SydneyLand for Meet the Canines.

Without fur-ther ado (get it?), I hand the reins over to our youngest, Enzo.

Hey, folks.
Hey, folks.

Mom has given me strict instructions to introduce myself and then answer a few questions about my likes and dislikes. Under no circumstance am I to get off topic or talk about things that I just remembered like the kibble I left in my dish to eat later since my breakfast was interrupted by a rabbit in the front yard where I never get to play because the backyard is fenced in and… Wait. I think I’m getting off topic.

My name is Enzo Bugglesworth, but they call me Enzo-Bug for short… Anyway, I am a year and a half old- mom & dad adopted me when I was 9 weeks. People says I’m a “mutt” but my vet is convinced I have some weimaraner in me and my grandma calls me a whippet and the rescue said I was a collie mix. Regardless, I’m super fast and I don’t like being yelled at.

Ok. I think that’s enough. Time for some questions!

Step into my office and we'll begin this interview.
Step into my office and we’ll begin this interview.

What’s your favorite activity that doesn’t involve eating?
Eating things I’m not supposed to. I don’t do it often, but my resume boasts 3 blankets, a down comforter, the ugly pillow in the living room, and two TV remotes. So delicious. Wait…. not involving eat? Dang. Probably licking my sister’s face when she least expects it.

This is my sister, Lylee.
This is my sister, Lylee.

What’s your favorite dog treat?
Carrots. This is not a joke. I love carrots. Also, whipped cream. Sometimes I see mom and dad eat that stuff and I wonder why they’re eating dog food.

What’s your highest level of education?
I have completed beginner, intermediate, and advanced training. Mom is also working to make me a licensed therapy dog. I don’t want to brag, but when I’m paying attention I’m pretty smart. (Which happens 4% of the time.)

Graduation
Graduation from Puppy School! Mom was so proud.

Who is your best friend?
I mean, Lylee is my other half, but outside the family I enjoy a good game of chase with my friend Ernie the dachshund.

Action shot!
Action shot!

I also made a new friend last month; her name is Dr. Bones. She’s a year younger than me and she’s got some terrier in her, but I feel the start of something special there.

Would you like to have children some day?
Mom says this is impossible. I say if you can dream, it you can do it. But mom still says it’s scientifically impossible. Plus I’m not allowed to hump things which apparently has a direct correlation with puppies? I do love human children, though. I’d like to have a few of them around the house someday.

Do you have a favorite TV show or movie? Favorite band?
I prefer the music of my people. It starts with a soft growl and erupts into a horrendous yowl/screech. I think dad really enjoys that, too. He yells with me when I really get going. As far as TV goes, nothing puts me (and mom) to sleep like a NASCAR Race. My favorite movie is obviously Ghostbusters.

Tell us the story of your adoption.
This was the best day EVER. Before mom & dad took me home I lived with a foster dad, golden retriever, and my biological brother, Tanner (who was renamed Zedd). They were great but everyone kept talking about a “forever home.” I met mom and dad in a small room in the headquarters of Paws & Prayers. Mom liked Tanner because he had spots on his nose, but I really laid the cuteness on thick with dad and won that sucker over. He also liked my white racing stripe. (Stripe was my original name!)

They didn’t take me right away because they were also planning to see a boxer at another rescue so they left for a bit but pretty soon they were back (empty handed)! Another young couple also decided to adopt Tanner that day! Mom scooped me up and didn’t let me go until we arrive at my new home! Of course they bought me a nice leash & collar, food bowls, and a new sweater. On the drive home mom & dad tossed around names. They almost settled on “Nitro” when dad suggested Enzo, after the Enzo Ferrari. Yep, I’m named after a Ferrari.

The deal breaker was my soon-to-be-big-sister Lylee. She was very aggressive at that point and she had to approve me before it was official. Mom set me down in the driveway and dad brought Lylee out. Mom had been praying about this moment alllll morning so I did my best to sit still and let Lylee sniff me out. I was very brave, if I do say so myself. After a few seconds she decided I was ok and it was official!

Adoption Day!
Adoption Day! Dad’s pumped.

There you have it! Mom says I am one of the best dogs she’s ever owned. Although the pee spot in the spare bedroom this morning might have her reconsidering…

Stay tuned for a Lylee link-up someday soon!

-Enzo & Louise