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Mutts’ breeds to be revealed this week




My dog is not the dog I thought he was.

Some of you may remember that, a year and a half ago, I had the DNA of my shelter dog Ace tested as part of a series I did about trying to determine his heritage.

Rottweiler and Chow were the breeds that showed up, as we reported in the seven-part series for the Baltimore Sun, “Hey, Mister, What Kind of Dog is That?”

We used the Canine Heritage breed test, which had just come out on the market and whose makers said they could, with a fair degree of accuracy, pinpoint which — of the 38 breeds that they were able to test for then — were in your dog.

About a month ago, given the rapid pace of technological improvement in doggie DNA testing — they can now identify up to 150 breeds — we decided to test Ace again, this time with the Wisdom Panel MX, from Mars Veterinary.

The results are in, and they’re different, and — even though I no longer work at the Baltimore Sun — a correction is in order. And, we think, a party.

Seeing as I have lost my identity (after 30-some years, I can no longer call myself a newspaper reporter) and seeing as Ace, has lost his (being no longer a Rottweiler-Chow), and seeing as Elliot (the dog on the right) has never known his, we’re proud to announce the “ohmidog! Identity Crisis and Breed Reveal Party,” to take place this Wednesday night at the Idle Hour Tavern at 201 E. Fort Avenue.

If you’re reading this, you’re invited. Come as you are. (We ain’t exactly purebreds and this ain’t exactly Westminster.) To the contrary, it’s a celebration of mutthood.

It all goes back to a couple of months ago, when Mars Veterinary was kind enough to send us two complimentary Wisdom Panel MX breed test kits. We saved one for Ace, but held a “What’s in Your Mutt?” contest for readers to determine who would get the second one.

Readers were asked to tell us about their mutt and explain why they wanted to know what breeds were in him or her. The winner was Elliot, owned by Kelly and Andrew Gould.

Earlier this winter Dr. Johnny Slaughter, of Camden Inner Harbor Veterinary Services, drew the blood samples and sent them on their way. So far, only he knows the breeds that make up Ace and Elliot.

On Wednesday, you’re invited to check out the dogs in person and write down the two breeds you think are in each. The winners get ohmidog! sweatshirts, or caps (your choice, please allow two weeks for delivery).  In the event of ties, the guesser who made the correct guess first wins. So come early. The losers get thrown into another raffle and one will be drawn as a winner of a treat basket from K-9 Kraving Dog Food.

You can guess as many times as you want — though we ask that for each guess, you make a donation to the Franky Fund for sick and injured animals at BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter). BARCS is the shelter Ace was adopted from.

The festivities begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, and the reveal will take place at 8 p.m.

Until then, we can only tell you this much — both dogs contain only two breeds, or at least that’s how many showed up in each test. For the Goulds, and for me, the muttstery remains.


Comment from Mary Schmidt
Time February 9, 2009 at 11:09 pm

The gathering sounds like a blast. What’s not to love about hanging out in a bar raising money for the care of shelter animals, meeting canine celebrities who seem much more interesting than the typical celebrity. Have fun!
Looking forward to hearing about the results of the latest DNA tests, of course.