Joan Reynolds

Real Faith, Real Life & Real Joy

What’s The Big Deal About A Pedigree?


I was thinking today about my dog, Gypsy. I know many people prefer to get a dog from a breeder, someone they know who can assure them their new little fur ball will soon exhibit all the fine traits characteristic of the lineage from which he descends. There is almost a guarantee of that, by the AKC registration of his name and his birth certificate.

I wonder how many of those dogs turn out to be the black sheep (a little out of control or feisty perhaps, or a little more laid back than expected?). Do they get returned if they are somewhat of a disappointment to the breed?

Personally, perhaps partly due to cost, I have always gone to the Humane Society for my dogs, unless perchance they showed up on my doorstep (think Gus, a wonderful Shepherd/Doberman mix, as best we could tell) with a kind of “you’re meant to be my family” look in their big brown eyes.This has always brought a kind of fascinating mix into the life of my family, or just now, into my midst.

Those of us willing to take a chance on the unknown often reap the rewards of the best of several breeds, randomly combined by nature and the crossing of eight feet during heat. Gypsy’s background certainly had some very interesting characters. There must have been a hound, perhaps a greyhound, with the long and very swift legs he uses to reach the base of the tree where Mr. Squirrel is counting his days at this juncture.

A shepherd may have stopped in briefly along the way, because his markings and black/caramel coloring are certainly obvious. The scrunched up wrinkly forehead could have been a Basengi,  his curled tail and somewhat different speech patterns are also leading me in that direction.

A lab of some sort may have been a party to this transaction some where way back, because he retrieves beautifully, much unlike Jet, our black Lab mix who could never be taught to come back with the ball. There is a softness to his fur which might match the beagle mentioned in his veterinary paperwork, but besides his wistful expression, I don’t see so much of that.

He has the deep bark of a large breed, the weight of a medium breed and the lightness of a small breed, all wrapped up in one completely undefinable package that suits me…I can spend hours just observing him and watching him reveal who he is, and who he is not. I guess that makes him a kind of muse, and so much more interesting because I do not expect him to live up to any expectations of his breed. I got what I wanted, a dog delighted to be rescued and determined to find a way to become a permanent part of my heart.

Makes me question, do I really want a man who comes with papers? How about one who is just grateful to be appreciated for the mix he already is? I think that is all I want, too. After all, if you love a dog, you learn to deal with the dog hair.

One Comment to

“What’s The Big Deal About A Pedigree?”

  1. Avatar December 17th, 2010 at 9:32 pm Sherri Robinson Says:


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