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Monday, April 11, 2016

Why Buster looks like he does

The story of why Buster looks as he does is a slightly shameful one, one that we hid from, to some extent, when it happened. To go back to the beginning, my husband and I, for many years since we got our first Schnauzer in 1987, spent much time showing, and then breeding pedigree dogs, first schnauzers, and then pharaoh hounds as well. Then we realised our hearts weren't really that interested in the pure bred dog game, that seemed less and less like a fine way to spend our weekends, and we gave it all away.

Before we gave up dog showing, something happened that made us stop showing for a while, half a year in fact. That thing was something that purebred dog people should never be involved with, and that is cross-breeding. We had two different breeds of dogs at the time. We had Schnauzers and we had one Pharaoh Hound, our first. The Pharaoh Hound was a handsome thing, and one of our schnauzers obviously felt the same about him.

Nena was having her first season, and was at theat stage when she really, really, really wanted to do something about it. She went through two fences to get to Kharis, he did what came naturally to him, she did what come naturally to her, and Nature did what comes naturally to animals when they mate ... Puppies arrived around 63 days, as is usual, and we then had to find homes for what were certainly not as sought after as our usual pure bred puppies.

So these puppies are exactly what Buster is, a Pharoah Hound, Schnauzer cross. A lean dog, built a little like a greyhound, with a mostly smooth coat, but with a slightly bushy face. Slightly like a Pharoah Hounds face (big pointy ears), slightly like a Schnauzer face, bearded. It was a mistake that we didn't keep Nena locked up, but it was certainly not done by us, it was done by the dogs.

We certainly make sure we keep our in season girl dogs well away from out male dog, who is the son of Kharis. We still have Nena, but she is desexed now, and far too old for puppies now anyway. She had some litters of lovely pure Schnauzer puppies after that mistake litter, puppies that had proper Schnauzer ears, not big stick up in the air ears!

The litters are all over now though, and the dogs just lounge around the house, or race around the yard, with no need to prance around the show ring. Life is good.

We still have more dogs than the average person (four of them), but we are happy to have our weekends back so we can do the things most (non-show) people do. Being involved in dog showing is the kind of thing that can certainly take over your life.

Anyway - we just have pet dogs now, so being involved in that bit of cross-breeding is no longer something we have to keep hidden. It was never our idea anyway, it was the dog's idea.

So, if you were to name the offspring of the mis-mating that happened, you would call them Pharaozers perhaps. Whatever you call them, they were cute enough. Having shown dogs for about twenty years, I was against cross breeding of dogs, and looked down on those who had puppies without pedigrees. I've settled down on the idea about that now, to some extent.

I have friends with beloved pet dogs, of various shapes and types, and I can see these little bits and pieces pets bring much joy to the lives of their owners. I'm thinking about Cathy's Bess, and Suzanne's Mozart, and I know these dogs are absolutely perfect! Oh except for Mozart's shoe fetish ...
So many shoes chewed ... But he's so cute and loving!

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