a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Oh, For a Little Dictionary Help--or Some Common Sense--

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Oh, For a Little Dictionary Help--or Some Common Sense--

Entries from this week's Pets classified in the San Jose Mercury News' The Guide:

Under Cats: "Cheetohs! Wild/domestic hybrid." Do they mean cheetah? Do they mean cheeto? Huh, no, here's what I found: "the Cheetoh is supposed to be a unique, new breed blending Ocicat and Bengal. Unfortunately, it's not unique, new, or a breed. The Cheetoh is just a mutt. It is not recognized in any registry, and is no different genetically than a Bengal, albeit an unregistered one, because the Ocicat was used to develop the Bengal" Now you know. And they want $1000 each. (Quote from this site.)
This breeder (note, site plays music everywhere), identified as the "Cheetoh founder", feels that I am being unfair by posting this comment without talking to a breeder first. Feel free to do a web search on "Cheetoh", read a bunch of the pages, even call some breeders, and form your own opinion. (Addition posted 10/29/04)

Under Dogs: "Alaskan husky-wolf pups." You can *always* find wolf hybrids in the ads. In California. The last time there was a wolf in California was 1912. (A fact that I just made up.) (Oh, wait, I just found some true information; 1924 is more factually accurate.) In the whole mainland U.S., there aren't more than a few hundred wolves, mostly in Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Michigan, and that kind of neighborhood. Where are these wolf hybrids coming from? Why or how do people go out of their way to get their dog bred with a wolf? Or are these Nth generation wolf hybrids (so that they're essentially 99% domestic dog) but it sounds cool to have a wolf hybrid? Inquiring minds want to know.

Pit bulls for sale, from--yes, you see it in print--"Bully Kennels." Yes, officer, we breed these dogs as pets; oh NO how could one even THINK of these as fighting dogs? Also listed: Argentine Dogo pups and Dogue de Bordeaux pups. Not familiar with the breeds? No one was familiar with the Perro de Presa Canario, either, until two of them killed Diane Whipple.

"Austrian/Shep" also for sale. OK, if we assume that the slash means a mix or cross--what is it a mix or cross of? There ain't no Austrian anythings that I'm familiar with ('cept the Austrian Brandlbracke, which as we know is an American breed that is so common that familiarity breeds contempt so it could easily be ignored by its owners such that it's out cavorting with Shepherds and getting a little too cozy). Could this be (no, not working for a NEWSpaper) someone who took the ad by phone and had no clue about what an Australian Shepherd is?

"Chihuahuas:" There are twelve--count them--a Baker's Dozen minus one--ads for Chihuahuas. The next closest are Labs with 9, then Poodles with 7. Chihuahuas make up a full 10% of the ads! Do you ever see any Chihuahuas? No one ever sees Chihuahuas! Where are they hiding these dogs? Is it a conspiracy to take over the world? Most of us think that Labs are the dominant canine force, but we can easily control them because they're essentially agreeable and amiable. Chihuahuas are clever; they don't want you to know that they're slowly becoming the most common pet next to probably only husbands.

"Dolmation:" Also for sale. Is this, like, a toy Dalmatian (Doll + Dalmatian)? Or are they confusing it with Doll Motion? Or is it the fact that more American homes have Chihuahuas than have dictionaries, and Chihuahuas are notoriously bad spellers?

"Golden Ret/Malpoos/Labs AKC $550 to $800." OK, I'll give them that Golden Retrievers and Labradors are registerable with the AKC. But Malpoo?? I'm guessing: Malamute plus Poodle? Was it a toy poodle? What is it with Poodle hybrids? There's nothing else so commonly mixed, at least according to what people call their dogs. For a partial list--not including Malpoos, BTW, unless perhaps the Maltese/Poodle is it)--see here. Would you pay $550 to $800 for a mutt?

"Golden Retreiver:" How's that go--I before E, except after C...? You don't even need a dictionary for that! Or you could just look at the ad right next to it, "Golden Retriever". Maybe they spelled it both ways to be sure they'd be right at least once. Maybe that's why most are listed as Golden Ret, Golden Retrvr, and so on; can't spell it? Abbreviate it!

"Great Dane puppy: Harliquin." Oh, yes, a dictionary would be a nice thing to have. At least it wasn't Grate Dane.

"Lab, AKC, Yellow, Spaded." Do we have to dig our own?

"Labradoodle. Sacrifice $800/900." There are two ads for Labradoodles. Same price range. I ask again--how much would you pay for a mutt? Is it a breed? Is it a scam? Here's a brief overview of the so-called breed.

"New Foundland puppies." I wonder how much they want for Old Foundland puppies?

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