Tuesday, January 06, 2009

F&FF: An Epiphany

For Feline and Furball Friday: I have a Finnish Lapphund! Maybe.

Cayenne hogs Pepper's photo op - they both want dog treats!

As you probably know, the default photo host for Blogger these days is Picasa. Although I do have my own domain with a fair amount of storage (mavarin.com), I keep nearly all my posted photos on Picasa. It's set to send me an email if someone leaves a comment, and today I received one:

"Finish Lapphund?"

Aside from the typo in the word "Finnish," Shaz may be right. I looked up the breed on Google, and Pepper certainly has the size, shape, coat and typical markings. I'm amazed - we figured she was a chow / border collie mix. But it seems more likely now that she's at least half Finnish Lapphund.

Yes, she needs a grooming.

One of the most interesting sites I've found is from the Finnish Lapphund Club of Canada. The "Lappie" is a medium breed of the spitz family that's apparently been herding reindeer for thousands of years. It was only in the twentieth century, however, that the breed became well-known outside of Finland and was standardized by the American Kennel Club as a "new" breed. They are supposed to have an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, and have a genetic tendency for a type of late onset gradual blindness.

Typical behavior when I get the camera out.

As John points out, Pepper is unlikely to be a purebred Lapphund. She has a partially blue tongue, which would seem to indicate that she's part Chow as Tuffy was. In temperament she seems halfway between Tuffy (shy and easily alarmed by large objects and loud noises) and the reported Lappie character ("neither shy nor aggressive, quite intelligent, friendly toward people and other dogs," and "possesses an independent streak." Lappies are supposed to be easily trained, but frankly I've seen more of that "independent streak" in Pepper! Still, this is a motivator to do a better job of trying to train her.

One other thing turned up that was a little disturbing. The first result on Google was a sponsored mink (uh, link; thanks, Julie, for the copyedit!) that wanted to show me an eight minute film about the dog food manufacturers' conspiracy to keep owners from knowing that 87% of Finnish Lapphunds die prematurely and it's all the dogfood makers' fault. The site wanted my email in order to show me this film. Pass. I did a little digging, and there was no indication from reputable sites of any endemic problem other than the blindness (progressive retinal atrophy).

I was going to show you pictures today of my clean desk and reorganized display shelves, but we'll leave that for later. I've got to go see what I can do about my epiphany cake ingredients for the cakes I'm making today. And if possible I want to work in a trip to the dog park so my mixed Lappie and as-yet-unspecified mixed breed (lab and setter?) can go herd dogs together as usual. I'll probably add more photos later.

Having a good run.

Pepper and the puppy.

Sharing a drink.


Portrait of a Happy Dog. Note the blue tinge on the tongue.



barrettmanor said...

A sponsored mink?

Guess who has been editing. All. Day. Long.

If I see another curly quote, I'll end up dreaming in inverted commas.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you certainly have a Lappie in your dog. We had the very same thing happen. We adopted our Katy from the Austin,TX pound and we were told she was an Australian Shepherd mix. As her distinct marking began to appear, my husband looked up the Spitz dog family on the internet and found that she was a Finnish Lapphund. She also has blue/black in her tongue. She has all the characteristics of a Lappie, especially her two double coats a year, which take forever to brush out (very necessary, as you don't want to leave this double coat on her). She leaves hair EVERYWHERE.

We don't know how a Finnish Lapphund found its way to Austin. And she is very willful. But we love her playfulness and she loves to run off lease and chase deer in the woods.

Polaris - Bolt x Mittens 4ever ;3 said...

What is your other dog? Looks like a carolina dog... I got one just like her ^^