Though there will be many important issues to address on this blog in 2015, I wanted to make my first post of the New Year on a truly significant subject:
What sort of dog is our Zu Zu, a mixed breed of unknown origins? (we adopted her from a shelter)
We have learned a probable answer thanks to the Wisdom Panel 2.0 DNA Test. It took us several years to decide to do this.
For while we are frequently asked, "What sort of dog is she?," it's been sort of pleasurable to preserve her air of mystery.
Generally we'd reply, "A Shepherd mix." In this photo Zu Zu certainly projects an attitude of German Shepherd'ness (aside from her floppy ears).
However, her head tells the tale of other genetic origins. It is overly large for her fifty-pound body, giving off a different stockier vibe.
So it seemed to be worth $70 or so to order a Wisdom Panel test kit from Amazon. My wife scraped Zu Zu's cheek with some swabs, which were mailed to the Wisdom Panel folks. After several weeks we got an email saying the test results were ready.
Laurel and I gathered around my laptop so we could each get the DNA news at the same time. After clicking on the downloaded PDF file, we learned that Zu Zu is...
Well, two out of three made sense. But it's difficult for us to see any Springer Spaniel like the one above in Zu Zu. Her estimated family tree clarified things a bit.
When my wife and I got married in 1990, she brought into our family her purebred (and semi-psycho) German Shepherd, Tasha. Living with Tasha for quite a few years allows me to recognize Zu Zu's Shepherd tendencies.
Notably, a certain aloof detachment at times.
Zu Zu likes to be patted, but not cuddled. And often when we pat her while she is sitting, Zu Zu will gaze off into the distance, looking anywhere but at us. She also isn't big on bringing thrown objects such as a ball or stick back, typically preferring to drop it a considerable distance away from the thrower with a look of "Maybe you want me to retrieve it, but I'm really not in the mood."
Which is just what Tasha used to do.
On the positive dog-training side, my wife has taught Zu Zu numerous tricks, demonstrating her prodigious German Shepherd intelligence. I'm not sure how well Facebook videos can be viewed by non-Facebook friends, but here's a link to a short video Laurel made of Zu Zu's "put your toys away" trick.
We're so proud of our German Shepherd mix!