Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ancient Puppy

So Penelope (also sometimes called New Poops, whereas The Lolly's name was sometimes Little Poops - which, now I've run across Pen's monster leavings, seems as appropriate as ever!) fleetingly appeared to me similar to Sidney, but it was immediately apparent to me she was no husky mix; she has no cat-hatred.  People ask from time to time what breed(s) she is, and I was at first incurious on this point, being busy just getting her at all settled in.  But my pesky curiosity can't be idle forever, and Wikipedia happened to fan the flame a little today.

Source:  Wikipedia

One of the featured articles today is on Abuwtiyuw, perhaps the most ancient known domesticated dog in the world.  He was guard to Pharaoh, and an image on his article intrigued me.  The image is not of Abuwtiyuw himself, specifically - but of a Tesem type dog, one of three breeds known from ancient Egypt.  Though the body is slimmer than my girl, the tail and ears are pretty striking, as is the size of the feet.

Penelope is blunter than the Tesem, but that tail seems to be Egyptian.  Her stronger resemblance to the Basenji doesn't much shorten the lineage - their own resemblance to animals found on ancient stelae is documented.

What I find most interesting, though, is her resemblance to another ancient hound, in my neck of the woods now called a Carolina dog or several other dingo variant epithets.  HERE we start to see Penny's inexplicable, utterly charming ears, and the insouciant set of her jaw/underbite.  Still showing some of the wrinkle-headed traits of the Basenji, but with coats more like hers and the much boxier face, there's more variety in these dogs' body style it looks like, but still much to share with my new baby girl.  The very very black nose is familiar, too.

These breeds are all called "primitive" - I prefer "ancient" myself - but the sense intended is basically that this dog has not been much modified by human interference (breeding for looks and traits).  It looks like there's one little whip-smart, little-adulterated African blonde in my house.  She's got a Carolina head and a Basenji butt, that kid, but I see a lot of these beautiful beasties and not a lot of bloodline-mucking-about in her.

Whatever she is, she's taken out a pretty long term lease on me, and I hope I will make it worth her while.  Aww.

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