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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A Dog Rescue Kit

I wasn’t going to mention this story here, but it fuels my motivation and drives home the importance of a “rescue kit.” It’s not a happy story… Scroll past the image of Lylee and Enzo if you want to skip it.

. . .

Last Tuesday I saw a small tan dog get hit by a car and die. The entire scene has played through my head numerous times. When it happened I was so frozen in shock- I just stood in my driveway stupidly. The driver of the car immediately pulled over (bless his soul) and raced back to check on the dog, but he knew it was too late. Another car also pulled over to stand next to the body while the man went door to door to find the owner. I was 50 yards from this entire scene and just too shocked to move or help. The driver found the owner, who carried the dog out of the street, and the two cars went on their way. And I just stood there and tried not to cry.

I hate that I couldn’t move. I hate that I wasn’t closer to the scene so I could’ve warned the car (who wasn’t speeding or anything) or grabbed the dog. I HATE that the dog was loose outside without a leash or a tether or supervision. I hate everything about what I saw.

…I can’t imagine losing my dogs that way. I can’t imagine anyone losing their dogs that way. And that’s the reason I pull over or stop what I’m doing when I see a stray dog. (I also share “lost dog” posts on FB.)

Ly and Enzo got out of the backyard once and I am forever grateful to the girl who stopped what she was doing and brought them home.

I can’t tell you how many dogs I’ve stopped for, but it’s a lot. K pulls over, too- both when I’m with him and when I’m not. It’s an easy thing to do and you’re saving a life.

Rescuing a dog is as simple as stopping the car, opening your car door, and whistling. That said, sometimes it goes better if you’re prepared. To help you out, I put together this little kit as an example.

Box includes: Sterlite box (94 cents), large or medium collar ($4), leash ($5), wet wipes ($3), dog treats that won’t expire or spoil in the heat (training treats or Milk Bones $3), an old towel (TOTAL COST: $15.94)

Excuse the dirt… I own dogs + I went flower shopping.

Please note- you absolutely don’t need these things to rescue a dog; I’ve only just put this kit in my car.

Also, here are a few tips:

  • If the dog seems friendly but won’t come to you for a milk bone, try something more tasty to coax them over. K once used a blueberry muffin from his lunchbox.
  • Do not immediately reach for the dog’s collar. Let the dog smell you and warm up to you first.
  • If the dog has dog tags you can call into the county/use their website and get the owners information. In Ohio it’s on the county auditor’s page.
  • Get a picture and description of the dog to local veterinary clinics, radio stations, and shelters. Also, take the dog to a vet to see if there is an embedded chip with the owner’s information.

Sometimes you’ll pull over to help a dog and the owner will pop out the front door of a house 25ft away and yell at you. Shake it off- it’s their fault for letting the dog wander away. And honestly, sometimes people are just shitty and you come across a dog that’s been dumped. (That happened to us and we ended up keeping Melody for her remaining years. She was a lover.)

Sweet girl was roughly 11 years old when she wander into our lives…

If you’ve never stopped for lost pets I hope you’ll reconsider. And if you’re the kind of owner that lets your dog run all over the town PLEASE stop doing that. I firmly believe we make it through life because we look out for one another, and that includes animals.

Keep an eye out for lost fur-babies during these warm summer months.

For the Love of Dogs

Yesterday I got to talk with a sorority sister about her new dog and dogs in general. Dogs (particularly mine) are my favorite thing to discuss. Since I enjoy the topic and I’m a self-proclaimed expert, I figured why not dedicate a post to my favorite domesticated creature.

[ Note: I am not an expert. I am not a doctor or a breeder. I have had dogs all my life and draw my “facts” from the experiences I’ve had with them. ]

 Ly

Dog food companies are out to make a buck and you’re better off doing your research, talking to your vet, and monitoring your dog. Our dogs don’t have a scientifically formula-ed, organic, all natural diet. We feed our dogs a grocery-store dog chow and the vet is 100% ok with it. Lylee has a sensitive tummy and Enzo is a picky eater, but they both love their food.

If you’re trying to cut costs or looking for a healthy alternative, skip the dog treat aisle and instead go for some baby carrots, bananas, green beans, and broccoli. All these things are great for dogs and most have little to no calories. Plus, a $15 bag of Beggin’ Strips doesn’t even last as long as a $2 bag of miniature carrots. Broccoli is known to reduce the risk of certain cancers in dogs by 60%. Sign me up!

Speaking of risk reduction, did you know that with every heat cycle your dog goes through her risk of cancer increases? Get your pets spayed/neutered! If you’re worried about money there are a ton of organizations and shelters/humane societies that will help with costs. Please, please, please protect your dog!

IMG_3842
“I’m neutered and still cute as a button!”

It sounds a little heartless, but if you have a puppy crate-training is your best friend. Both of our fur-kids sleep with us, but they started with crate training. There are plenty of how-tos and tips on the internet so I won’t go into that, but when your dogs thinks of his crate as his bedroom it will help you with feeding, house-breaking, and even bed time. Never ever ever use the crate for punishment- it should be associate with good things (treats, personal space, comfort, etc.). Our dogs aren’t allowed in the other one’s “bedroom.”

All dogs are different so it’s really important to be able to read your dog. I have been bit multiple times because I couldn’t take a hint. (I was very young and unsupervised.) Like people, dogs get irritated and fussy, so it’s important to understand their body language.

In my opinion, mutts are the best! Obviously this isn’t a fact since all dogs are great, but I like to think that mutts take the best qualities from their ancestor’s breeds and combined them to form the perfect dog. It has been proven that mixed breeds tend to have less medical issues.

Letting your dog choose you is really important. I have had 6 main dogs in my life. Three of those dogs were strays or spontaneous decisions, but the other three were dogs that we actively sought out and contemplated adopting. With each of those dogs we knew it was imperative to “click” with the dog. (You wouldn’t invite someone to live in your house if you didn’t get along with them, would you?)

My parents adopted our first family dog (Bruno) from the pound and decided on him when he was the only puppy to ignore the food bowl and come trotting over to Mom for snuggles. We also knew Enzo was the one when he wouldn’t stop climbing all over Kyle. I love the feeling of “finding the one.”

"Thanks for loving me, Mom. Even though I ate the entire garden last year."
“Thanks for loving me, Mom. Even though I ate the entire garden last year.”

I’ll wrap it up for now, but look for dog related posts in the future. I hope some of these stories/experiences/tips were a little helpful! Did I miss anything?

Do you have a dog? What’s his/her/their name(s)? Have you picked up any pet parenting tips along the way?

-Louise

** I’m a big advocate of rescuing dogs and not going through breeders and ESPECIALLY not buying from a pet store or puppy mill. You can also find purebreds in shelters/pounds/rescues- as always, DO YOUR RESEARCH!