Our latest foster dog is one interesting canine. He is a hodge-podge of dog parts, scrambled together to create complete adorableness. Today I’m going to take you on a visual tour of Nelson.
Nelson is listed as a 2-year-old heeler mix. That description is a bit misleading, but it’s the official line, so we’ll go with it.
First off, Nelson is not a heeler. Sure, he’s got gorgeous heeler coloring, but in so far as heelers are energetic, semi-neurotic, herding dogs, Nelson is none of those things.
Energetic is not a word I’d use to describe Nelson. He’s very ‘chill’ as my daughter says. He has a happy little jaunt and is perfectly pleasant on a leash, but the most energy I’ve seen him call up is when we pass the fox den at the top of our pasture. He would very much like to climb right down the hole and visit with the fox family (and he’d probably fit). I have to drag him away from the hole each time we pass it.
Neurotic, also is not a word I would use to describe Nelson. He is super easy-going, gets along with the other dogs, and while curious about the cats, he can’t be bothered to make a big effort to chase them. He spends his days lounging nearby and doesn’t even bark at the UPS guy (despite Gracie’s theatrical performance of “kill-the-guy-in-the-brown-suit” which she stages every time the big truck lumbers up the driveway).
As far as herding, well, although Nelson likes to be with people, he certainly isn’t going to nip at your heels and collect all the people in one place. He doesn’t even cast a second glance at the horses when we walk by them and only feigns a passing interest in the chickens (mostly because Darlin’ gets so excited at the sight of them).
So, let’s assume the heeler label is in name only as a nod to his awesome markings.
Speaking of markings, let the visual tour begin.
We must first start with those ears. I love his giant ears. I was showing a picture of them to a woman I met at a writer’s event the day before Nelson arrived and she got very excited and said, “Those are corgi ears!” I have a vague recollection of a corgi that belonged to a friend of Nick’s, but it’s not a breed I’m very familiar with, so I looked it up.
Yup, Nelson has corgi ears. But more than that, Nelson has a corgi body. Corgi legs. Corgi tail. In fact, Nelson looks completely corgi except for his amazing markings. So, folks, what I believe we’re dealing with here is a Blue Heeler colored Corgi mix. My guess is the corgi people might go a little nuts for this guy. He would truly rock the corgi-sphere and add a little color variation to a breed that is blandly brown. (On a more intensive google search, I found pictures of corgis that had Nelson’s colorings – now I’m ready to guess he’s more Corgi than ever)
But back to our visual tour – Nelson has gorgeous black and white speckled markings on this body,
but his legs look like they were taken off a brown and white model. Or maybe his legs were neatly dipped in the brown/white spotted coloring pot.
Nelson’s tail on the other hand has a solid black patch with a perfect straight line that makes his tail look like it was attached as an after-thought.
Nelson is very short of stature (which prompted me to look up the Randy Newman song “Short People” and now I can’t help but hum it when I look at him). He doesn’t let the lack of height hold him back. He’s managed to do a bit of counter surfing and has no problem jumping up into the car or on my lap.
Nelson’s feature that most people gravitate to first is his blind eye. Why it is that we label not only dogs, but people, by our flaws instead of our fabulousness is a tendency I believe our society should someday address, but since I can’t change the world, I’ll explain Nelson’s ‘flaw.’ Nelson’s right eye looks red and hazy and at least one vet has assessed that while he lacks sight in that eye, it doesn’t bother him in any way. I would agree that it doesn’t bother him and if he was wearing shades, you’d never know it. He doesn’t startle easily on that side or cock his head to the side for a better look or in any way act as if he can only see from one side. That eye even tracks right along with his sighted eye. So, while Nelson is ‘blind in one eye’ that is truly the last thing we need to mention on our visual tour of this remarkable little dog.
I’ve not spent time with ‘stumpy’ dogs before. (I call them stumpy in a most endearing way.) Darlin’ and Nelson are a nice little set, although Nelson makes Darlin’ look runway model tall.
I will have to confess to living with the fear that one or the other of them is going to trip me. They are such solid little creatures and both want to be close by at all times. This means that when I try to make a sudden move, sometimes they block my path necessitating last minute hops or dodges to avoid one or both of us getting injured. Nick observed this one day and said, “They would make excellent defensive linemen.”
I like my little team, but I think I’m going to stick with longer-legged dogs in the future. That’s partly for my own safety, but also because nothing beats a good running dog. Speaking of running dogs (Hey Cheryl – how do you like that transition?!), The Fast & The Furriest 5K run/walk is THIS Sunday! Nick and I will be there (we might even bring Nelson, although that would necessitate one of us walking, not running) and hope to see a few previous foster dogs in Frederick. If you can, come out and join us! If you aren’t local, I’ll try to post a few pictures of foster dogs past and present on the Another Good Dog facebook group.
Here’s the link to sign up for the Fast & the Furriest (remember you can run or walk or even choose the ‘sleep in’ option)
Thanks so much for reading!
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p.s. The puppies had their six-week birthday and are growing fast (and furry!). Here are a few pictures—(Bogo is still looking for her forever family – she’s the gentlest, most mild-manner pup you could meet with fluffy black fur that is always disheveled – think sweet mop. I also think she has a bit of her mom’s stumpy stature and at only 5 pounds, she’ll probably top out around 20 pounds.)