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VON SPEARS’ CANINE HERITAGE RESULTS

My adopted son, Dr. Wesley Von Spears, was found roaming the streets of Carson City, California, and was taken in by the dog shelter there when he was just a few months old, which is where he and I first met.  I didn’t at first adopt Von Spears because he was, to put it mildly, a fucking maniac.  I went into the cage with him for a few minutes and he freaked out, unable to stop wriggling around and jumping against anything he could – me, the walls, etc. 

At the time, I was married and we had an older cat and I was afraid Von Spears (who at the time was just "cute, insane puppy with dark black face") would harass our kitty. 

While I was at the Carson City Shelter, I met Kathy, who runs an organization called Rover Rescue.  She actually adopted Von Spears from the shelter to spare his life and adopt him out.  Kathy liked us and said she’d help us find a dog to fit our needs. I have some mild allergies to some dogs (like my favorites, bulldogs) and needed a dog that didn’t shed.  

Kathy introduced us to a couple of dogs that just didn’t feel "right."  (When I look for a new dog, I put a lot of work into it.  I look at dozens of dogs, because I know I’m picking a member of my family, and I don’t want to ever have to return a dog or find a new home for one.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the biggest choices in life.)

Anyway, Kathy called me one Saturday morning and asked me if I remember the cute, black-faced puppy from the shelter.  I said yes.  She said she had found a home for him, but he was more than the family could handle, and they were giving him back.  She asked me if we wanted to take one more look at him.

I don’t know why, I knew this dog was a freak, but I said I would go check him out again – truth to tell, I had never totally forgotten about him.

So we went to the family’s home and checked out the little fellow.  He wasn’t at all like he was at the pound.  He was active like a puppy, sure, but he was also very sweet and gentle and not at all crazed.  He must have just been whacked out in the confines of the shelter, I guessed.  I knew this was the dog I wanted, and I took him home with me.


The day I brought Wesley home.

Little did I know, the whole gentle-dog-thing was A TRICK!  Dr. Wesley Von Spears was DYING!  We took him to the vet the day we got him, in part because he had a runny nose, and they said he had kennel cough – which is pretty common for pound dogs.  However, that night Von Spears’ kennel cough went into viral pneumonia.  Luckily, I checked on him at 2 a.m. in the morning, because he could barely move, his eyes were rolled into the back of his head, and he had a temperature of over 106.

I rushed him to the emergency animal hospital, and they told me there was a good chance he was going to die.  However, the little fucker didn’t.  I was able to take him home about 24 hours later.  And, about 24 hours after that, he transformed back into the crazy little son-of-a-bitch I originally met at the shelter

He started harassing the cat, jumping onto and off of the kitchen table, barking at air, attacking my pants leg almost constantly throughout the day, and so on.  But it all seemed a little better than I feared.  Because I knew that if we hadn’t picked him up from the family that day, it would be unlikely that they would have been awake at 2 a.m. to bring him to the emergency animal hospital and, even if they had, being non-experienced pet owners, there’s a good chance they would have just let him sleep.  Either way, Von Spears likely would have died in the night at the age of five months.

And who then would have eaten through my 600 dollar Tumi bag to get at a piece of chocolate, or swallowed a pantyhose footy and had his stomach pumped, or tossed around numerous dates’ purses when they’ve come over to the house, emptying them, because he likes new toys?

Frenemies 4ever.

He’s my arch enemy and my best friend, but I can’t imagine life without him.  It’s funny how life can trick you into giving you exactly what you need when you think you don’t want it at all. 

This isn’t what I came her to JamesGunn.com to write about.  Instead, I wanted to write about Von Spears’ Canine Heritage report.  Because Von Spears is a mutt, I always wondered what his breed mix was.  To me, he looks a lot like a monkey fucked a dog, but that was unlikely.  I also wondered if Von Spears could possibly be a rare breed called a Tibetan Terrier. He’s played with Tibetan Terriers in the park and his looks are almost identical, and his personality is similar.  I know it would be unlikely that a Tibetan Terrier was in the pound… but with his energy, you never know what early home he could have escaped from.


Von Spears, earlier today.

Canine Heritage offers a DNA testing service to help decipher what breed your dog is.  I ordered the test back when they only processed 38 breeds.  Now they have over 100.  Although I got the test about a year ago, I didn’t get around to sending in Von Spears’ DNA until a few weeks ago.  I swabbed the inside of his cheek with a Q-tip type thing and sent it in.

Today, I received my results.

For some reason I find these results, fucking hilarious:  Von Spears has large parts COCKER SPANIEL and SIBERIAN HUSKY with a little bit of GREYHOUND thrown in.  He has no "Primary Breeds" — meaning he isn’t 50% or more of any one breed, but he does have significant parts of Cockers and Husky.

Some of this I see: He definitely has the floppy ears and bouncy gait of a Cocker.  And he even has the long legs of a greyhound or a mini-greyhound. 

BUT his muzzle is shorter than any of these breeds and, especially, these are all shedding breeds and Von Spears doesn’t shed.

Anyway, it’s an interesting first step.  I think I might splurge and buy the Canine Heritage pack with over 100 breeds and see if those results are any different.  When I find out, I’ll let you know.

Snaggle tooth in action.

 

MEANWHILE,

You can still watch PG PORN: HELPFUL BUS HERE.

 

James

© 2009, James Gunn. All rights reserved.

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  • caffeineandpixels
  • Dennis Spears

    Where did the name Dr Wesley Von Spears come from???

  • Von Spears is a freak in many ways. Some of those things are good. For example, he has very little separation anxiety. When I leave and come back sometimes he doesn’t even get off the couch — he just looks at me and wags his tail a little. It’s extremely unusual, especially considering he’s a smallish, high energy dog. When he was little, and being crate-trained (he won that battle as the crate is in the attic and he sleeps in bed with me), I used to wake him up in the morning and it took him a few seconds to get out of bed, stretch, etc. He just doesn’t have that anxiety other dogs seem to have.
    My dog before VS, Aubrey, did have an unusual fear of my baseball glove. She was terrified of it and wouldn’t go near it. She also LOVED the broom. She’s run around it while I broomed, and she’s go and sit next to it contentedly if I left it out of the closet. That was exceedingly weird.

  • highonjoy

    We adopted a pound puppy a few years back. We’ve discovered something that we think is unusual. He has a tremendous aversion to slinkys. The first time he saw a slinky in action we weren’t sure if he wanted to run and hide or vomit all over the deck. He was obviously visibly upset by the slinky, which we assume he mistook for some kind of a repulsive dog-eating serpent. It is not our wish to torment the dog as we have restricted any future slinky usage in his presence. Out of curiosity, does Von Spears do any little things that are out of the ordinary? (BTW-I love his distinctive little snaggletoothed grin!)

  • Lol I’m surprisingly interested in this.

  • Yes, Von Spears is the one who chewed up and partially ate the cheapshit Target toy.

  • TromeoLover

    This is the most majestic blog post ever created. Back when I quit Jesus in my teen years I spent my weekends at the humane society walking dogs. We heard a shitload of horror storries about kennel pups that were sick and feverish once placed. It warms my heart that you saved this little champion.
    That’s sooo weird that no ‘dominant’ breed was even listed. Good luck with the ultimate breed results.

  • It’s funny how DNA works. To me Von Spears looks like a giant Shitzu. Those are a good breed of dogs, alot of energy too. I could see why you would suspect a Tibetan terrier. Is this the same dog that chewed up the cheap Target toys? My memory is off.

  • Maddy_Bauer

    My Spanner is a Cocker Spaniel and Jack Russel mix. There’s something about that Spaniel part, eh? Spaniel = crazy fucker?

    Spanner turned out to be quite a nervous dog despite how excited and manic he appeared when we first saw him at the shelter. So little accidents became quite frequent in the first few months and my dad was getting pissed off (no pun intended :P). Thankfully they let me handle it and he’s fine now :).

    There’s no way I’d have let him send him back. I heard he’d been taken back before because he whined and barked through the night. Well, yeah, he did! However, I instructed the whole family to ignore him each night and within a couple of nights not only did he not whine or bark, when we retired to our beds he’d go to bed at the same time! I’d pull up his blanket and he’s take the hint and lie in the lower half while I covered him with the top (it’s fucking freezing on the coast of Scotland where we were staying when we got Spanner).

    On a weird note, Spanner LOVES his cage. Transporting him to and from Glasgow to Elie he’s put in a cage in the back. Now we’ve taken to keeping it in the house because he prefers sleeping in it! What the fuck? That’s like someone prefering to sleep in a jail than a bedroom. But hey, if he likes it, who are we to argue? However, to clarify, we don’t lock him in it and it’s a cage big enough for him to stand up and turn in, not a dinky little plastic box type thing! :P

    Spanner is a crazy, energetic little fucker, but he’s also smart! He learns super quick and if you just take the time with him, I’d bet he’s capable of learning anything. The fact that someone could take on a dog for a matter of days and then just throw them back as unwanted goods just because they don’t like one certain aspect sickens me. They should spend the time getting to know them before agreeing to take them on, and then put the effort into fixing anything that needs fixing! Anyway, it sounds like Doctor Wesley Von Spears is one lucky bugger! :)

  • UPDATE: I paid an extra 50 bucks to get Von Spears test results for 106 breeds as opposed to just 38. We’ll see how it goes.

  • The “part Siberian Huskey” made me laugh out loud. He doesn’t look at all like a huskey! I loved the puppy pics of Von Spears… It’s good to know how much thought you put into taking him in…

    How much does he weigh? He looks lean and mean…especially when you do the close-up snaggle tooth shot! Grrr!

  • Maggie

    He looks like a schnoodle I know – a wriggling, rampaging, lanky-legged fury that can weasel its way into your heart, while seeming to simultaneously gnaw on your knuckles and nibble your toes. Mixed breeds are amazing. My sister has a dog that is part German Sheppard and part daschund. He’s a very smart and determined dog (I think he gets the determination from his father…the daschund).

    Did they give you a margin of error? With so many DNA tests going on in the same lab, it always makes me wonder.

  • Kauritree

    How could I forget Miss Molly, a pure breed Welsh Terrier. She may have portrayed herself as a complete mental case, but Terriers are uber smart and are problem solvers. Swear to God, I will never have another one. Her blonde hair was deceiving. Yes she played dumb ALOT… but she was quick as a whip. Our little Houdini artist would put Einstein and Hawkins to shame. God whadda BITCH! Grrrrr. I wanted to change her name to NUTTER, but the family wouldn’t have it.

  • Kauritree

    I love the term “fremenies”. I think I’m going to have to borrow that. When we lost Dude (labrador, border collie mix) we were absolutely devastated. It took our family weeks (no, to be honest it was months) to get over his loss. It’s been about 4 years now since his passing and we still cannot bare to think about getting another dog. We loved him so much. And he was an important and integral member of our family. The love of a Dog and his humans is a beautiful and sacred thing.

  • Bill Pardy’s Deuce, I always thought PhD stood for Philip Davetas.

  • Tracy!

    I think Von Spears is adorable. If I had the choice I would choose to meet him over you.

  • Bill Pardys Doppelganger

    I always wondered what his PhD was for.

  • 1- Bitchy – honestly if you see Von Spears body he is very thin with very long legs. It is very similar to a large miniature greyhound’s body.

    2. The origin of Wesley’s name: it is a combination of:
    a) Wesley Clark, who I was supporting in the presidential primaries at the time (well, it was before he entered the primaries and kind of sucked, but I had great hopes for him and still think he’s a great man),
    b) A priest who taught me geometry in high school, Father Vonderharr
    c) And Britney Spears, because this is another element of Von Spears personality.
    He is “Dr.” because he has a PhD in macrobiology.

  • That is really interesting. I would like to know the DNA of my mutt. She looks like a Shar Pei with the wrinkles sucked off of her.

    I will put MUCH more thought into my next dog (if we get another one after these two leave us). I just saw the cute puppy at the pound and couldn’t resist. I was 21. Now, 11 years later she is a menace to society. She trusts only us and a short guest list. But, like you said, she is a member of the family. The member who has to hang out in the room behind the garage when guests come over, but a member nonetheless.

  • sooo_yeah

    that is one of the cutes dog I’ve ever seen! when my cousin’s dog had puppies I took the one no one wanted(http://b6.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/00306/64/59/306869546_l.jpg)and I later found out why. what’s funny is everyone says that her behavior is the dog version of me, not really sure how to take that. she’s a mutt but we have a pretty good idea of what she is becuase they knew what her parents where (shes half choc.Lab half blueheeler/chow mix) but for reasons beyond my control I had to end up giving her to my mom, but she has a Bassett hound already so they are fine. what amuses me to no end is that I’ve caught them in the backyard and she’s mounting him and going at it on his back, and he just takes it.

  • I’m suprised that you’re not the father. Like you said he looks like a fuckture between a monkey and a dog. Just kidding, but that is nice that you saved him.

    He doesn’t look nothing like he has greyhound or Siberian husky in him.

  • amv86

    How did you, or I guess you and Jenna, decide on Von Spears’ name? Or did he already have the name?

  • ***sniffle. Great story! And super – curious… Keep us updated if you get the other test. We also have a shelter dog. I think they label every dog they don’t know a “shepard mix”… We actually think she might be, at least part, shiba inu. We’ve wanted to do that DNA thing, but haven’t gotten around to it…

  • Pixel Treason

    What a nice story, I’m so glad you were there to save his life! I went through somewhat of the same love/gongtokillyou thing with my girl, River. She’s super sweet and adorable (and knows it) but loves, loves, loves to chew/bite/eat EVERYTHING. She’s a nutcase but now that she’s over a year old it’s a bit more bearable.
    He’s adorable, your pup – and what a name. :)
    I also don’t see the Husky at all but I can see cocker and greyhound if I squint. Maybe schnauzer or some kind of terrier.

  • aryaunderfoot

    I love a happy ending! You even look alike. Same barber? I’m glad you were able to save him. Nothing sucks more than not being able to help your pet.

    Cheers!

  • Bill Pardys Doppelganger

    That snaggle tooth is quite endearing.

    Also, speaking of a monkey fucking a dog, I saw a picture of dog fucking a monkey once.

  • Thanks, James. Not bad. I was just afraid we might be talking $500 or more. The need for a new laptop would have ruled the possibility of the test out for awhile if it was higher.

  • julsey

    congratulation for finding a frienemy!
    when I go to the dog park, most people think my dog is a mix with a Beagle and a Jack Russel, but she’s purebred pocket beagle.

  • Brian – I think the full test is like 135 bucks or something. The one I did was 75 bucks.

  • Sooooo based on what lhbach said, does that mean humanzee DNA in DWVS is still a possibility?

    And on a serious note, what general price range are we talking here, if I may? I know Gambit is rot and lab (or rotten lab, take your pick) but I’m curious what else he may have in him. But depending on cost my curiosity may or may not get sated.

  • gunncollector

    you have a very cute dog James

  • Hmmm, that’s helpful. Yes, these results don’t seem completely accurate.

  • lhbach

    My boss teaches a veterinary genetics class once a year. A year or two ago, she got all the vet students in the class to submit DNA of their dogs to test the validity of some of the breed assignment panels; they got back some really weird results, like a Rhodesian ridgeback that was identified as a Chihuahua.

    Those panels are based on allele frequencies of the genetic markers they use and statistical magic. They work great, unless your dog has some breeds in it that aren’t covered by the panel’s data set. In that case, the breeds that are identified can be pretty whacked out. You might get better results with the 100-breed panel, since it has more terrier breeds in it than the 38-breed panel did. Or you might still get some whacked out results, since the Tibetan terrier isn’t on their list of identifiable breeds.

  • Oops! Got that backward about what surprised you less! So, what I just said doesn’t apply – at all!

  • Sounds like you definitely saved Von Spears life! You were meant to find him. Very cool.
    It is surprising that they found Husky in him and not Terrier at all. It will be interesting to hear what your new test results are now that they have 100 breeds.
    I’m going to do the test on my dog too. He was listed as an Australian Shepard mix and when I brought him to the vet for the first time my vet said she knew exactly what kind of dog he was. She said he was an Alaskan Husky/Boxer. She said they breed them in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and that’s exactly where I got him. It will be interesting to see if she is right….

    Von Spears is an adorable dog by the way. Love his puppy pictures too.
    Have a great rest of your Saturday.
    Deb

  • The Husky being in the secondary group, and Greyhound in the last “in the mix” category, I can understand why you can see more Husky than Greyhound. His legs do look exceptionally long in his first puppy photo. It’s hard to tell in the other photos. I’m sure in person a lot more is obvious. I think it’s really interesting!! And, loved this blog!! :)

  • Awww well you may not have come here to share the story of how Dr. Wesley Von Spears came to be an important part of your family, but I for one am glad you did. Very touching and hilarious as well. :)

    That’s a great service being offered and I’ll have to look into it for my buddy Gambit-yes he’s named after the X-Men character, but I didn’t chose it. He was originally to be a pet for an ex-girlfriend who named G (as he’s most often called) but she was only able to keep him for a few weeks before her apartment manager told her she could either cough up a $200 deposit or get rid of him. I was too attached to him to let her give him to anyone else so I offered to keep him at the comic shop I owned at the time until I could work out something better. I was in the process of buying a home, but was staying at my folks when I wasn’t at the shop (which was most of the time in those days)until the purchase was complete and couldn’t keep him at their place. Eventually he had his own fan club at the shop and when I finally was able to keep him at our new home instead, folks would ask “Where’s Gambit?”

    And anyone that says “you can chose your friends but not your family” is wrong, because for the past nearly 13 years Gambit has been both, and in some cases, more loyal, loving and trusted than some of the humans who fall in those categories. Yes, even when he’s torn through items looking for food or chocolate (you’re not the only one, James lol).

    Great blog, man. Thanks so much. :)

    Btw–no monkey DNA found in Von Spears so I assume that rules out Humanzees as well? ;)

  • P.S. If you do splurge and retest with the 100 breed pack, I’m wondering if a primary breed will result – maybe even as the Tibetan Terrier, or similar breed… unless there’s not at least 50% unknown left over?! Anyway, would love to hear the new results if you do test again.

  • His body is very long and thin, and his legs are very long. The greyhound surprised me less than the husky, which I have a hard time seeing at all.

  • Wow! What a cool story. He was such an adorable looking puppy – he’s still really cute now too. It’s unbelievable the breed mix his DNA testing resulted in. Cocker Spaniel I can see, but Siberian Husky and Greyhound?!? Who would have guessed! You sound like such a responsible pet owner. I can’t believe the other owners didn’t realize he was sick; or if so, didn’t do anything about it – other than just try to pawn him off on someone else. He’s a lucky little fellow. Seems like you are too! :)

  • I guess the Doc’s mom was entertaining several gentlemen callers at once in a dark and dank alley one night.

  • Weird, dude. I would’ve guessed Terrier at least somewhere in the mix, if not primary.

    Makes me wonder what my beloved, late, great dog Nanook was. (http://missinglabel.com/nanook.jpg)
    I got her from the shelter as a pup and they said she was “Husky Mix” but I’m pretty sure they were just guessing. I always thought she was probably Husky, German Sheppard maybe some collie. (her fur was longer than in the photo where she had gotten groomed)

    But after reading WVS report, maybe she was part chihuahua for all I know. Hmmm… interesting.

    And props on saving WVS’s life!



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