Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I don't normally think of Chows as being black; my experience has mostly been with red ones like Harlan. In fact, the only black Chow I've ever had any prolonged dealings with was a much-less-than-friendly neighborhood bully who lived downstairs from me many years ago. Shasta, probably a Chow/Border Collie or Shepherd mix of some type, falls about as far from that as a dog can.

When we first met, I wasn't sure what to make of her. She was frightened and uncertain, and wrinkled her nose oddly when she sniffed my hand (I later realized that her nose just does that). I had to pick Shasta up and carry her outside because she was so afraid; but after getting the feel of grass under her feet, she did a complete turn-around. Inquisitive, adventurous and affectionate - a far cry from the shivering, cowering bundle of fur in her kennel.

Shasta's a girl who knows just what she wants, too. When I had to run out to my car to look for some kitten-feeding supplies, she vaulted up into the car, hopped over to the passenger seat, and curled up in anticipation of a road-trip adventure. And when it was time to go back to her kennel, she sprawled on the floor in protest. I picked her up, and she wrapped her front paws around my neck, licking my cheek imploringly. She hammed her way dramatically all the way to her door, where she calmly hopped down for a drink of water. I half expected her to take a bow.

UPDATE: Shasta got to take that road-trip today when she was reunited with her owner. We're so very glad that she found her way back home!


Krista said...

OMG!!! She looks just like my girl Sassy! I was looking on Google for dogs and come across this pic! I thought OMG, who has been taking pics of my dog and posting them online without my permission! Then when I realized this was an adoption website I looked closer and notice this dog has more white on her chest then my Sassy does! So neat! BTW I see where you said that she might be a border collie/chow mix but my Sassy is a border collie/blue heeler mix! You might want to check that out cause they look too much alike to be one chow and one blue heeler!

Krista said...

Oops just seen where she was returned to her owner! Sorry about not reading all the way through! LOL!

Shelter Diaries said...

Now that I have a couple of years' more experience with dogs, I realize that Shasta was probably a Border Collie/Labrador mix instead (based on her build and the texture of her coat). One of the reasons that a lot of dogs get mis-labelled as "chow mixes" is due to black on their gums and tongues; turns out, that's kind of an old wives' tale. Since writing this, I've learned that many breeds can get black tongues. Most retrievers, along with the Samoyed family (Huskies, Malamutes, etc.) carry the recessive trait of freckled mouths. (One of our dogs is a Husky/Retriever mix, and he has freckles aplenty.) And since I'm confessing here, I'm pretty darned sure that the other "Chow mix" mentioned in this entry was really more Golden Retriever than anything else.

It all goes to show, you gotta' take each dog on their own merits, not generalize just from what the kennel card says.

Shelter Diaries said...

By the way, Sassy sounds like a great girl! I bet she's never the first to run out of enthusiasm for anything... well, anything but a vet visit. ;)