Saturday, January 26, 2008

Back to the microscope


How is doggie DNA identified, anyway? It's probably with something much more powerful than the microscope I'm imagining. You know, the one we used in junior high to look at epithelial cells from our cheeks and onion skin from mom's pantry. Anyway, we finally got the results of Libbie's DNA test and they were inconclusive. Apparently she's more of a mutt than we thought. I called the folks at MMI Genomics in Davis, California this week to see what had become of our DNA test. We were a week or so past the estimated six weeks that it would take to identify Libbie's breeds, and Scott and I were getting quite impatient.

"Ah, yes, it's Libbie you're calling about?" the man on the other end of the phone inquired. Yes, what happened to my dog's DNA test?

"It looks like Libbie has a touch of Akita in her, but we couldn't identify any other breeds in her makeup. We'll be expanding our DNA test in late February or early March to include more than the 38 most popular dog breeds. At that time we'll retest her DNA without extra cost to you and see if any of the expanded breeds are in her makeup."

Seriously? No Basenji? No Lab? No Border Collie? Thank God, no Pit Bull...not that I thought there would be, but it was my recurring nightmare. I didn't sign up for an Akita (which, in Japanese is actually pronounced AH-kee-tah, I've since found out). None the less, Libbie is now our dog and I can't exactly take her back just because she's not the mutt I was expecting. And, I wouldn't want to. Yes, her potty problems have recently re-appeared after a much needed vacation, but she's really a sweetheart. She's such a happy dog and she is SO patient and gentle with our girls. She obeys well in the absence of non-canine animals and, as Scott says, she appears to worship me. Which, of course, is why I got a dog in the first place. I couldn't expect much more out of her. Well, maybe she could stop chasing Nacho and Anna, our bedraggled kitties, but other than that she's nearly perfect...and for the time being, perfectly mysterious.

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