Our dog has us very well-trained.
I’m sure she tells the one or two dogs that she’s actually friends with, ‘My hoomans are so clever, you know. I swear they understand every word I say.”
And to some extent, it’s true. In the (nearly) two years that we’ve had her, the pair of us have built up quite the communication system. That’s a vampire thing. An affinity and ability to communicate with animals. No turning into canines, just a knack for chatting with them.
She’s great, though. She has basic manners, better road sense than many humans, and we can carry on some great conversations, she and I. The intellectual content was never going to be devastating, but she can ask for things, tell me when she does or doesn’t like things. Oh, and she finds farts hilarious.
We’ve often been asked what breed she is. We simply say ‘Staffy Cross’. “Cross with what?” is the inevitable second question. We have absolutely no clue. This reply has so far left everyone unsatisfied for, instead of walking away and letting us get on with our day, they then spend the next ten or so minutes suggesting breeds.
Isn’t ‘Staffy Cross’ a good enough term anymore???
The Furball herself has never been able to tell me any details of her parentage. Dogs really don’t care about such trifling matters. To her, dogs are dogs. She doesn’t care about breed, colour or pedigree. All she cares about is whether they’re going to be nice to her or not.
So, we’ve decided, as this obsession with crossbred dogs seems to show no signs of abating, to refer to her as a Staffy-Noi, as in Staffy crossed with No idea.
Can someone please explain the current need to create strange names to describe simple cross-breed dogs?
Jackabee– A cross between a Jack Russell terrier and a beagle. A dramatic little dog with a fondness for Old English tragic theatre. Needs training to wear a collar, as it prefers wearing ruffs. Not to be mistaken for the Old English Poo (which is what a lot of people think of Jacobean tragedies). Also known as a busy little dog.
Bichpoo – A small, fluffy dog (Bichon Frisé/Poodle) with a penchant for doing its business wherever it dang well pleases, and then getting in your face should you dare challenge it about it.
Zuchon – A Bichon Frisé/Shih-Tzu mix that just loves courgettes and mining for gold.
Cavapoo – A silky Spaniel/Poodle mix that should never be taken potholing/spelunking due to its nervous bowels.
Borador – A beautiful, loveable mix of Border Collie & Labrador that will send you sleep with its stories.
CacaWhattaPoowoo – part Cavalier, part What-The-Heck, part Poodle, part Wouldn’t-Know-The-Breed-If-It-Bit-Me. It’s an amazing all-purpose gundog-hound-lapdog, specially bred for its bemused expression and skill at helping fill in tax forms.
Okay, so that last one wasn’t a real one. But it should be.
And another thing.
Obscure pedigree dog breeds. Why? You have these people who one-up everyone by having a dog that nobody’s ever heard of – only to be insulted because nobody’s ever heard of it.
ME: Beautiful dog.
THEM: Thank you.
ME: Is it a Shih-Tzu?
THEM: (horrified) NO! It’s an Ecuadorian Abacadrabrian Water Terrier.
ME: Oh. It looks like a Shih-Tzu.
THEM: (disgusted) Ugh. You clearly know nothing about dogs.
ME: I know what a Shih-Tzu looks like.
It’s like with designer clothes – you (generally) only get the kudos from people who know that designer. So unless you’re prepared to have the designer’s name splashed all over the item, I’m afraid your genius and superb taste are doomed to go unnoticed.
And by the way, pal, that pup’s definitely a Shih-Tzu.
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