Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bao stepped on the remote last night, and I suddenly found myself watching a National Geographic documentary about dogs. (An accident? You'd have to ask Bao)

It wasn't what I'd planned to watch, but the sight of a gang of Dogos Argentinos all suited up in Kevlar vests and hunting wild boar in Texas totally captured my attention. Dogos Argentinos hunt in packs, like wolves. They've been specially bred -- they started with a mix of Bull terrier, Mastif and Bull dog, then added Pointers (for superior noses) Great Danes (for size) Irish Wolfhounds (for ability to follow a scent) and Boxers (for gentleness) Which I suppose is great for hunting wild boar, but I'm not sure I'd want to meet one in a dark alley. Or even in a well-lit alley.

Amazing, isn't it? Especially when you think that 130 years ago, 80% of the breeds of dog we know today didn't even exist.

Every wondered about that dear little wet nose? The reason it's wet is because the moisture on a dogs nose captures odor molecules. And of course, dogs have 220 million ofalactory receptors. (We only have 10 million of the things)

Egyptians bred the first hunting dogs -- the ancestors of today's Saluki, which can reach speeds of 40 mph and turn on a dime. The Saluki is the Formula One of dogs.

Apparently, canid DNA is capable of more physical and behavioral variation than the DNA of any other animal on the planet. This gives dogs a real evolutionary edge. We may not survive global warming, but they probably will.

It was all quite fascinating. Much better than The Ghost Whisperer. Bao thought so, anyway.


Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

Ah, there is knder, gentler television out there!

10:48 AM


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