The most often question I have been asked when walking my dogs is "What kind of dogs are they?". I have to admit, for a good while my answer was "One with four legs". I was clueless what exactly my dogs were, other than "My dogs" - shared with 'Pop' also known as Jim. All of our dogs came from the rescue we photograph the most for, Maxx and Me Pet Rescue - all of them are mutts. They are mixed breed, who knows what they are - but they are our little fur kids.
Here's each one the day we met them as we were asked to photograph each of them for the Maxx and Me Pet Rescue.
Abby was approximately 6 - 7 months of age. She came into the rescue from Starke County, Florida. Known for the jail - a town located in central Florida that we have passed through many times travelling Highway 301. She came to us because it was thought that she might have kennel cough, she didn't have a foster lined up and with the possibility of having kennel cough, she could not go to boarding. Our sweet Jimbo was kind enough to let her come to our house and stay - but he made it clear - you have to train her, I'm not (and yes, this was Jimbo, our dog, telling us this).
A litter of 4 puppies came into the Maxx and Me Pet Rescue. They were little - real little. They came from northern Florida, areas where often a good number of dogs are not given an opportunity to live. Maxx and Me Pet Rescue grabbed this little litter of puppies, having survived parvo and brought them to Tampa. They didn't have a foster - they were all placed in a boarding facility. In September (just after Hurricane Irma) we were asked to photograph these cuties. As there were 4, and Hurricane Irma recently came to our area - Irma has 4 letters - each letter was used to come up with names for these puppies. Ollie was first known as "Irma". Rue was named Rue (and stayed as Rue). The other two puppies took the letters M and A (I don't recall their names). I couldn't call a little puppy "Irma" so in time with various fosters - she was renamed to Ollie by someone else and oddly enough that is my father's middle name and the name my grandfather went by. Strange circles.....
Abby is definitely hound - look at those ears? But what are the various breeds that make Abby "Abby"? Well, everyone knows she has some form of hound(s) in her - her looks say that. She loves the water, she is very good at tracking us and even better at tracking Jim! She doesn't let her Pop get to far away and if he does, well it's nose to the ground.
So what is Abby's DNA telling us? No surprises for the most part for me!
10% Treeing Walker Coonhound
9% Bluetick Coonhound
8% Chow Chow
What was a little more surprising is that Abby has a sister that has tested (also lives in Florida, sharing 55% of her DNA) named Madison. She also has 2 other close relatives named Charlie and Utah!
These two girls are from the same litter - and they look very similar. People ask how we can tell which is which. Here's the rundown of the differences.
1) Ollie has an extra dew claw on her hind foot
2) Rue appears to have broken her tail as a very young tike because the end of it has some little bends that aren't normal
3) Ollie is redder than Rue
4) Rue has white socks
5) Ollie is shorter and stocky; Rue has longer, thinner legs
Oh - and Ollie usually has a red collar on and Rue has a yellow green collar. I as the "mom" can tell my twins apart just like any other parent can tell their twins apart - they each have slight differences.
Any guesses on what these girls are? Everyone says they are unique - but no one guesses what their DNA hides....
33% Australian Shepherd
19% Miniature American Shephard
11% Bichon Frise
5% Poodle (Toy or Miniature)
While Rue and Ollie did have a few relatives listed they did not have any close relatives :(
Just in case you are curious, the girls have one surviving brother who has fur similar to the shephard breeds they have in their DNA and they also have a sister that has piercing blue eyes!
Vacation photos from our hikes in North Carolina! The first group photograph is on a hike in the Nantahala Forest. The second group photograph was taken at Dry Falls near Highlands, North Carolina. (Yes, you take photographs of your kids on vacation - and we take photographs of our fur kids).
My dogs DNA was tested using the Wisdom Panel. This is one of several companies that perform this particular type of test. Another company, Embark, does DNA testing for dogs (and cats). In the near future, I would like to try Embark to compare the results and determine how similar (or dissimilar) they might be. Hopefully, the results will be similar, otherwise I might question exactly how the process is being performed and what the accuracy of the results is.
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If you would like to discuss or book a custom pet portrait session, send an email to [email protected] or give us a call/text Linda at 813-610-2671 in the Tampa Bay area (Hillsborough/Pinellas/Pasco/Polk counties in Florida). We have flexible rates and packages to fit most everyone’s budget as we believe that having wonderful photographs of your pet is important to so many people.
This is a personal project that I try to participate in each week (as much as possible). This post is part of a 'blog circle' which is with several other Professional Pet Photographers around the world. Each week a different theme is provided to the group and we, as pet photographers, interpret the theme in our own way. Follow the link provided at the end of each of my blogs to the next pet photographer's blog - and when you arrive back at my blog - you've completed the entire circle of blogs for this theme. For more pet photographers sharing their take on this theme, head over to Massachusetts dog photographer Darlene Woodward of Pant the Town Photography shares the DNA ancestry results of her rescued mutt, Kota.