Just A Mutt

What type of dog is she?

That’s what I usually reply when asked “What kind of dog is she?” It seems most people are disappointed by my answer. Risa is a very unique-looking (aka weird-looking) dog. I suppose everyone expects her to be some rare breed or some new designer dog. Alas, no. She is simply a mutt.

Perhaps it’s my word choice too. I always call her a mutt. To most people, this is a derogatory term. But it matters not to me. Mixed breed, mongrel, All American Dog. . . Whatever you want to call her doesn’t change what she is. She is a dog without a purebred pedigree. A mix of this and who knows what.

I have, at times, toyed with the idea of making up a fancy name for her along the lines of goldendoodle or puggle. There’s only one major problem with that: I don’t know what type of mix she is. If I knew, I would probably answer “border collie cross” instead of “mutt!”

Border collie + greyhound = Risa? I think there's more to it than that.

At one point, I decided to call her a “Western Montana Herding Dog.” I’ve always suspected she has some herding breed(s) in her and she was born in the western part of Big Sky Country. However, I had to stop calling her that after I took her herding. She had no herding instinct at all and preferred chasing sheep rather than trying to gather them up and move them somewhere.

I suppose I could answer “lurcher” as I’m fairly certain she fits that description. A lurcher isn’t a breed of dog, but a type of dog. It’s a cross between a sighthound and another breed of dog (historically it was a herding breed or a terrier). However, that requires more explanation than “mutt” and still doesn’t give any definitive answers. I have no idea which sighthound or other breed(s) are in her background.

It is certainly human curiosity to want to know. I do not blame people for asking. I wish I knew what she was! Honestly, I would love to give a straight answer and one more descriptive. But I cannot. I will never know for certain what breeds are behind my dog. People can continue to guess what she is. I like when they play the guessing game with her mix. I have heard some combinations that sound plausible and others that are out there in left field. Her uniqueness is something I treasure.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what she is. It’s clear to me that she’s certainly more than “Just a mutt.” She’s my friend and my close family. My exercise partner. My social life (I meet the best people through my dog!). Risa has helped me be a better person and has taught me many things. She’s a one-in-a-million dog. And she’s all mine. 🙂

About Jamie

I'm just a traditionally-trained artist with interests in dog training. I currently teach classes at the local obedience training club (tricks, freestyle, and Rally-FrEe) and I also teach classes professionally for an organization who helps veterans train their own service dogs.
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