Dobie Hound

Nearly three weeks ago, we finally got the results for Gambit’s DNA test, which we won in a giveaway from Oh My Dog! over the summer.  Unfortunately, life’s been getting in the way and we haven’t had time to share!

It turns out that our purebred shelter mutt is 50% purebred shelter mutt, 1/4 of one purebred, and 1/8 of two additional purebreds.

The big question all along has been, is Gambit really a Dobie hound?

For a long time, we’ve believed that Gambit is part Doberman.  He’s annoyingly brilliant, energetic, affectionate, stubborn, dominant, and a good guard dog. has super long straight legs, deep chest, slim build, tiny paws (Nellie’s must be nearly twice the size of his, and she’s only an inch taller!), a thin coat, well-defined cheekbones, and loathes cold weather.  As an afterthought, he’s also black and tan, but it’s a very light tan with less definite edging at the back of the legs and the chest than on a Doberman.


Oh, and then there’s the fact that we’ve seen him next to an uncropped Dobie before.  Whenever that’s happened, he looks exactly like a smaller version of them with a curly tail.  There is no standard for Doberman tails since they’re typically docked – which means sometimes they are curly like Gam’s.


Pretty uncanny, right?

The DNA markers found by the Widsom Panel 2.0 DNA test indicated that Gambit is not at least 1/8 Doberman.

The DNA test results also list 5 breeds that could potentially make up the “mixed breed” portion.  They do note that it is unlikely that the dog’s mixed breed portion contains all 5 of those breeds, and those are not necessarily the only breeds that make up the mixed breed portion, either.

So what was on that list of 5 potential breeds that make up 50% of Gambit’s DNA?

Once again, not Doberman.

So maybe our Dobie hound isn’t really a Dobie hound!  Then again, genotype and phenotype aren’t the same, so it’s possible that he could be the teensiest bit Doberman yet exhibit a number of Doberman characteristics.

Oh, and then there’s this mind blowing article – recent findings on human DNA that make me question the validity of DNA testing in humans.

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Tummy Trouble Treats

Whenever a dog is sick, I never seem to have any canned pumpkin or sweet potato on hand.  Okay, so we picked up sweet potato once, but it turned out to be in syrup which is a no go.  Last time Gambit was on a bland diet, I finally managed to pick up a can of pumpkin purée.

The problem?

It’s difficult to use up an entire can of pumpkin when your dog is only on a bland diet for a few days.  Not wanting to waste it, I used the leftovers to make these treats for Gambit.


The recipe?  Mix 100% pumpkin puree with equal parts water, pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.  Serve one with a meal or as a treat.  Purebred shelter mutt approved, with great enthusiasm.

Now we will always have treats on hand for tummy troubles – whether it’s nausea or potty problems!

…or at least we will until I decide a few more times that frozen pumpkin treats are perfect for fall.

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What kind of dog is Gambit?

The kind that happily crushes his birthday tennis balls in 60 seconds tops.


The kind that has long, lanky legs.


The kind that has a very thin, short coat except on the back of his neck.


The kind with chiseled cheekbones, relatively short nose, and an extremely expressive face.


The kind with a lean build, deep chest, and curly tail.


The kind who can barely keep his nose off the forest floor long enough for a picture, and who sniffs the air to search for his kibble when we play “find it” at dinner time, even if every single piece of food is easily visible, then ignores half of each newly found food pile because he’s enjoying the game.


The kind with black (not blue!) tongue spots that change from time to time.


The kind that will lay on top of you if you refuse to give him space on the couch, and never ever cuddles face to face.


…and the kind that tells his Momma that he’s still too confused and embarrassed to reveal his DNA test results… but those mini test tube brushes swabs sure were lickable!


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Happy birthday, Gambo!


At three, you’re supposed to be a real, fully grown up dog and completely through adolescence, right?


One and two brought some changes.  Maybe three will mean learning to control that cold nose of yours!


Soon, though, we need to reveal your DNA test results that left us baffled. We’re not quite convinced of results.


Any more guesses about what breeds the birthday boy is according to his DNA test?


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This time next week…

In just seven days, we should find out whether our Dobie Hound with a curly tail is really a Dobie Hound with a curly tail – and maybe his bruise will heal by then so he can start curling his tail again.

What do you think might show up in our purebred shelter mutt’s mix?


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One of these things is not like the others






Roadside Pups






They all have forever homes, so that’s not it.

One’s a different species, right?

Okay, so not wrong, but only one of these things is still sitting in our home!


He is bored to the point of having turned into even more of a drama queen than he was previously.  The itchy paw is finally healed, he just had his first fully kibble meal since his day of upset tummy (okay, kibble and pumpkin, but no chicken and rice), and his tail is occasionally curling although it is definitely still a bit tender.

My husband is also bored.

I am getting closer to having this place in an acceptable condition that doesn’t involve as many boxes on the floor, thanks to some storage items we picked up over the weekend.  It’s not there yet, but we’re closer.

And, um, on the way to the yard sale where we got furniture for storage, we accidentally ended up in the Tractor Supply parking lot where a rescue was hanging out.  Obviously, we stopped at their stand to see who they were on our way back.  It was a foster-based pit bull rescue… that pulls heavily from South Carolina, including the Upstate!

I’m pretty sure our lease says no pitties – not our favorite, but there were very large dog friendly rentals in our price range and the reality is that it is not a hard and fast rule. The person who handles our property likes pit bulls, there is one a couple doors down, and it is realistically more of a case-by-case deal.

We’ve got the foster itch, and badly.

The next step is to see if our property owner will allow pit bulls and what his stipulations are fostering – I had said I understood if they wanted to put any restrictions on us.  He was open to letting us foster, although it was agreed that it would be discussed when the time came rather than when we moved in.

Keep your fingers crossed for us to have a foster snuggle party soon!


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So who was the dog?


No one took a stab at it!

It’s a young Daisy, with a much younger Ugly Boy.  She looked like Gambit to me in this one, which is really unusual.


Okay, in this one she’s a senior pup.

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Name that dog

Someone enjoyed this cuddle with Ugly Boy.  Can you guess who it is?


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Gambit’s new toy box

Gambit’s toy box has always had a case of the uglies.


Okay, sot quite like Ugly Boy, my sister’s male tortoiseshell with a cauliflower ear who used to think he was a dog, but pretty blah.  It always had to sit out because it didn’t fit in our closets or under the bed.


Yesterday, I mentioned that we picked up the base for a new toy box for Gambit at the steam show.

If you guessed that it was a shipping crate, then you guessed right!


It has a shipping tag that I’m pretty sure is going to fall off – it already started flaking off when I conditioned the wood. Any ideas for saving it if I decide not to peel it off, or should I just peel it?


As usual, I felt the need for a piece of functional furniture.  Now that we have access to inexpensive but nice antiques, of course it had to be repurposed as well.  With a little inspiration from Pinterest (here and here), Gambit got a shipping crate ottoman toy box!  It’s not quite sturdy enough that I’d use it as every day seating, but it should function well as occasional seating for smaller people like myself.


I gathered up a plywood sheet and 1″ board cut to slightly above the sizes I needed at Lowes, a remant of quilting fabric, sandpaper, fabric adhesive, and 2″ foam cut to approximate size at Joann’s.  Naturally, I decided to do this the hard way since circular saws terrify me and I don’t have a staple gun or electric knife.

First, I sandpapered one of my 1″ blocks of wood for an hour.


I finally it down to the size I needed – just small enough to span the short side of the trunk to keep the lid from toppling off, without messing up the crate by installing hinges.


Then I sent my husband to the store for a hand saw.  He came back with a bow saw with 3 blades, including one for wood.


We promptly broke the blade meant for wood.


Fortunately, one of the other blades was able to do the job.  Unfortunately, it is really annoying to saw plywood with a bow saw since you have to stop every foot or so and cut off the excess in order to continue.  And I didn’t cut it entirely straight, but it worked well enough!  I would highly recommend a hand saw or getting the wood cut by someone who knows what they’re doing.


Then we nailed the 1″ board to the plywood using drywall nails, because that’s what we had.  They bent a lot and we put them too close to the edge of the plywood a couple times.  Note to self: get a cordless power drill and real screws.  Here’s what it looked like upside down:


I wrangled off a little excess from the foam pad using scissors, used that to top the smooth side of the plywood, and covered it with the fabric.  Then I cut off the excess fabric so it wouldn’t cover up the 1″ boards and slathered some fabric glue to the edges of the bottom side of the plywood.


I stretched the fabric tight and glued it.  The glue worked surprisingly well.  The easier way to do it would have involved a staple gun.


After letting it dry overnight, we had a cushion top for the ottoman. I may still cover the bottom of the plywood, but I ran out of glue.  There’s also a possibility that I’ll just stain it.


Six hours of supply gathering and crafting later, Gambit has a toy box that’s not embarrassing and fits a surprisingly large percentage of his toys.




It fits nicely at the bottom of the stairs, and might even fit against the footboard of the bed.


Think he’d be willing to sleep on this instead of underneath the comforter?  No?  How about if he got to have the comforter draped over his shipping crate ottoman toy box and potential bed?


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Steam Show

Since our move back to Central PA, we’ve kept ourselves busy with all things rural.  Corn festivals, antiquing, hiking, eating the most delicious ice cream ever at a local creamery (this stuff surpasses Blue Bell and Hershey’s – quite a feat in my book!) and my hunt for the area’s best biscuits and gravy, homefries and coffee combo.  My husband keeps asking if I can be any more of a bumpkin (answer: yes).  We’ve also been making the occasional visit to places and events we’ve missed.

My father-in-law started a perfectly Americana family tradition: going to the annual steam show in a rural corner of Baltimore County.  He no longer lives in the area, but if he is in town at the same time as the steam show, he goes with whichever of his children are in the area.  I got to go once way back in high school, and a few years ago my husband got all of our vintage American-made cast iron skillets there.  While he wasn’t in town this year, we decided we were close enough to attend and invited my parents to go because it’s right up my dad’s alley.

The steam show has all things great: antique tractors and trains, antique cars, a flea market, Old Bay and vinegar fries, cheap comfort food, and funnel cake – which, as usual, I pointed out just before lunchtime and we forgot to have some before leaving.

As this picture I nabbed from my dad of his tractor shows, Nellie likes old tractors.  It's an early 1950s Ferguson TO-20.  Not Massey, just Ferguson.

Nellie likes Dad’s antique tractor. It’s an early 1950s Ferguson TO-20. Not Massey, just Ferguson.

I may or may not care how obvious when I gawk at passing antique cars while driving.

I may or may not care how obvious I am when I gawk at passing antique cars while driving.





All the signs said "no dogs," but we spotted quite a few!

All the signs said “no dogs,” but we spotted quite a few!



I cannot for the life of me notice whether a John Deere is old or new, except for realizing that something was not right with this logo.

I cannot for the life of me notice whether a John Deere is old or new, except for realizing that something was not right with this logo.




The hounds (or non-hounds?) didn’t get to go to the steam show, but Gambit did get some flea market goodies!  A collapsible baby gate like Nellie has, and the base for his new toy box.  What do you think his new toy box is made from?

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