From time to time I get responses from readers concerned that a blog like this one encourages the practice of breeding for color. This took a particularly humorous turn a few days ago when, in response to the recent set of posts about albinism in dogs, I was taken to task for advertising my “defective” Shih Tzu stud for breeding. I am still not sure how the reader managed to overlook that not only was the dog in question not mine, but that she was a spayed female. It gave my friends and family a good laugh, but it did remind me that while this blog is three years old, and while I have been writing about horse color for longer still, it is not necessarily obvious that I am not personally involved in breeding animals. I have a great deal of respect for breeders committed to the improvement of their respective breeds, and I am particularly indebted to those who are willing to share information about their animals with those of us who simply have a passionate curiosity about animal coloration.
But just to be clear, the only animals here are family pets – which at the moment consist of the two dogs and one horse pictured above. Emma, the merle Australian Shepherd mix, and Jenny, the black and white ticked Dachshund mix, are both spayed females acquired through rescue organizations. Sprinkles, who appears from time to time on the blog, is an unregistered appaloosa pony. Because we pick the animals that share our lives almost exclusively by personality, we have had a range of colors, genders and breeds over the years. By sheer chance, all the current four-legged family members happen to be black and white and – as my husband calls them – “speckled”.
Almost two years ago, I explained my choice not to become a breeder in a post on this blog (“Of math, fashion and wiffle hounds“). It serves as a pretty good overview on my perspective, and I would recommend it anyone who wants to know where my biases are. (We all have them.) In the meantime, I did want to reassure readers that I really am not developing a strain of pink-nosed Shih Tzus in my backyard.