Written by Nadine Clench
Professional photography by Emma O’Brien Photography
An Unexpected Beginning
Our journey with Ishtar started quite unexpectedly in July 2006 when a colleague who was unfamiliar with dogs asked for my input as she was looking to adopt a pup for her then three-year-old son. Thanks to my long history with various breeds and beautiful hounds, she asked me to accompany her to our local SPCA, where she adopted a bundle of fluff.
Destiny Has Her Way
While we were in reception, the security guard came in with a box containing a pup who’d just been dumped at the gate. She was a very young Terrier cross who instantly stole our hearts. We were at first told that she wasn’t up for adoption yet as she had to be processed, but my mother, who was with me at the time, advised the staff that we’d wait while the vet checked her over. We paid our adoption fee, passed the home check, and a few days later, Ishtar came home.
Ishtar Settled In, But...
We named her Ishtar, and she’s always been the most lovable of dogs. Ishtar is great with other pets, now having raised two cats and our other dogs. At around two years old, she became quite ill. Onderstepoort diagnosed her with a very rare clotting disorder, whereby her blood is very thick and basically gel-like. She has to be kept warm, especially in winter, to keep the blood flowing. They advised us at the time that she’d probably not make it past three – and she’s now well on her way to 13.
What Are You?
Over the years we’ve had many a family discussion and guessing game surrounding her breeding, as she’s rather square in appearance. Being a Terrier cross, our vet has always insisted that she should weigh in at around 12 kilograms and that her current weight of 18 kilograms is considered obese. That’s why we decided to have her MuttMix profile done – and what a delightful surprise… no Yorkie or Maltese in sight!
Ishtar’s MuttMix Results
Level 3 – Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Level 3 – Border Terrier
Level 3 – Papillon
Level 4 – Bulldog
Once we began investigating the contributing breeds, her nature, temperament, and habits are all spot on and a perfect fit!
Fate Steps In Again
Fast forward 13 years and, again, I find myself at a rescue centre with my mother! Our purpose of this visit: to deliver blankets and food for winter. While sitting in the office, a bundle of fluff again caught mom’s eye, and so we were introduced to “Shanti”. A few days later he too was on his way home, now named King Louis. Originally his breeding was a bit of a mystery as he was in a cage with a Dachshund cross who’d “adopted” him into her litter… but it very soon became clear that he had very little or no Dachshund in him! The boy LOVES water and is way too busy, and so again MuttMix came to the rescue.
King Louis’ MuttMix Results
Level 2 – Pekingese
Level 3 – Poodle
His personality is again perfectly encompassed in the above breeds – he knows he was bred for royalty and has the intelligence of the Poodle in spades!
The most amazing part of this whole experience is that these two angels were both adopted from different shelters in different provinces over a decade apart, and yet – even though their breeds are totally different – Louis is a carbon copy of Ishtar. We’ve even been accused of cloning!
Dominique of MuttMix adds…
King Louis (Shanti) and Ishtar are perfect examples of how various breeds mixed together can produce almost identical physical features. Never judge a book (or dog) by its appearance, as you’ll most likely be surprised by the contents!