Lily became part of our pack after Murphy’s buddy Savannah died. She was a border collie and Murphy adored her. I thought he would enjoy another friend but I guess no one could be like Savannah. Anyway, I adopted Lily from the pound, nobody seemed to know what kind of dog(s) she was but she looked a lot like a combination of husky and golden retriever to me. She was about a year, or so the pound people thought, and very high energy.
We walked. And walked. I lived in New Mexico at the time and there were some bluffs near where I lived and I could let her off leash and run to her heart’s content. She never ran far and if I started to go, she quickly caught up to me. I guess somebody tried to dump her because she never lets me get too far away.
But her eyes… almond-shaped, they are thickly rimmed in black, and when she tilts her head a certain way the soft brown glows a deep golden color, just like a wolf. So, clearly living close to what this city girl considers wilderness — I could drive 15 minutes from my house in any direction and not even see a fence post — I decided to do some research because really, nobody knew exactly where this dog came from. She was a stray.
Wolves have black-rimmed, slanted, almond-shaped golden eyes. They have a narrow girth between their front legs. Lily has a wide barrel-chest. Wolves have webbed feet. Lily has webbed feet. Wolves’ paw-span can be 4 inches or more. Lily has lovely, dainty paws, no more than 2-3 inches across. Wolves have a dark caudal spot 3-4 inches down their tail, but not a white-tipped tail. Lily has a white-tipped tail, and a patch of black hair mid-way down her golden-haired tail. But Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs have this spot also.
The teeth, however… wolves’ canine teeth are at least an inch long. Lily’s, though impressive, are no more than 1/2 inch (yes, I really measured). And wolves howl. Lily does not howl, not even for the most incessant siren.
So I guess I can have a DNA test done, people do, but why bother? Lily and I have been friends now for almost 7 years. What difference would a test make? I love her now and I do not see how knowing whatever her genetic make-up is would make a shred of difference.