(photo courtesy Mid-Day Play )
I’m related to the wolves/I’m related to the wolves/I’m related to the wolves/ I sing their song!
(Or alternatively, “Please sing along!”)
Yep. That’s my boy. There likely is some bird dog thrown in there for grins and giggles. But mostly Great Pyrenees and hound. He was listed on the Petfinder site as Beagle and Brittany. How they overlooked the Pyr lineage is beyond me. It comes out in his tail, his rear double dew claws, and the black eyeliner, nose, and lips. His coat lands in the middle between the short and sleek of a hound’s and the fluff of the Pyr. He was just groomed, so he feels silky right now. He abounds in the smarts and sensitivity of the Pyr line, too
Originally, I referred to Oakley as an Aquitaine hound. That region is on France’s west coast and back in the day its ownership was hotly contested by France and England. It was also a nod to Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of my favorite queens. One day as we walked at the forest preserve, we met another walker with a cute little pedigreed pooch. The pooch was fine; however, his human felt compelled to recite his family lineage. When she stopped for air, she stared at Oakley, still scrawny, semi-feral, sporting an expression like Inigo Montoya in “The Princess Bride” getting ready to exact vengeance on his father’s behalf. She asked, “And your dog? What is he?”
Boldface emphasis on “what.” Well, if you’re going to be that way about it…”He’s an Aquitaine hound.”
“An Aquitaine hound? How interesting! I’ve never heard of them.”
Very well, madame. “They’re pretty rare. Only four known in the US, just him and his sisters and his mother.”
Oakley and his sisters look nothing alike. In the pictures I saw on the shelter’s website, Olivia has one ear the same color as Oakley’s markings and resembles a Lab; Odette is black and tan and very hound-y. If a human woman had given birth to a set of triplets that looked that different, she would be asking the fertility clinic a lot of questions.
We chitchatted a little more, then parted ways. I’m sure she had a consult with Professor Google when she and her darling arrived home.
I did feel guilty for about ten seconds for giving her BS back to her, but then decided to let it go. Perhaps a short video detailing the Aquitaine Hound, a bit of humor, maybe in order? No. Bad idea since some nincompoop would take it seriously and create the second greatest disaster in canine history since the Doodle variations.
Sometime later, an article about a rescue organization made the rounds. Their unique spin involved creating breeds for dogs of mixed lineage. Perhaps time for a breed more descriptive of Oakley’s ancestry and charms? Ms. Judi, his first day care teacher, has a Quincy Snuggly Terrier (Kochi is a beagle-cairn terrier mix pulled from a shelter in Quincy, Illinois).
I turned it over in my mind as I drove off to do errands. Snuggly was a good descriptor of Oakley. Pyrenees. Loves to howl; people who live on the road to day care must wonder why first responders pass their homes every Wednesday between 7:15 and 7:30 AM. Singing.
And so the breed Pyrenees Singing Snuggle Hound came to be. Still rare, still unique, but just as loved as anyone with paperwork.