Cajun For Mutt


Catahoula is Cajun for "Mutt"


As the husband of an artist infatuated with catahoulas, I have learned many things about the catahoula cur dog.  I've learned that people are passionate about them.  After Katrina, a family on the Catahouligans message board took Paypal donations to deliver food and rescue abandoned Catahoulas.


I've learned that people who own catahoulas WANT to take care of them Catahoula Rescue.  Frankly I feel very strongly that the Louisianna Leopard Catahoula Cur Dog is WORTH rescuing.


I've heard all the explanations about the origins of Catahoulas.  More about that in a second.  What matters to me is that the two catahoula Service Dogs my wife's had have been lifesavers. Katya, a catahoula who's been in Service since 2000.  Katya has twice saved my wife's life.  I thought that was pretty impressive, but it wasn't until Alexei ('Lexi) arrived that I began to realize how lucky we are to be Catahoula owners.  Lexi was a light-hearted puppy from Florida. Lexi bonded immediately, and seemed to sense that he could help Kym.


Until Lexi arrived, we were in the Emergency Room about once per quarter due to some complication of Kym's RSD (RSD Info).  Lexi seemed to sense that he could help Kym by laying beside her.  Kym would say "next to Mommy" and Lexi would lay down and conform himself to have maximum contact with Kym's leg.  The first time he did it, Kym laughed at how warm he was and how great it

felt to have him beside her.  We haven't been to the ER since Lexi's arrival.  Coincidence?  I doubt it.  Our two catahoulas have been phenomenal.


But now about their origins.  I've had the pleasure of being a catahoula owner for 9 years.  I read the book Don Abney's Book: The Louisiana Leopard Catahoula Dog, and I read the history (Catahoulas.org), and I almost believed the stories -- that Catahoulas are the ORIGINAL American dog, that they were bred by the Catahoula Indians (Wikipedia Catahoula article), that they were a cross between

the Louisianna Red Wolf and the Spanish (or was it French?) War Dogs.  Katya and Lexi are both black with gray, brown, and white in their leopard-looking coats.  They look very similar, except that Katya is stocky and intense, like a pit bull, and Lexi is lean and perpetually happy, like a very healthy Labrador Retriever.


Hmmm.  You don't have to look far to discover that there are catahoulas with reddish leopard coats, catahoulas with more white than anything else, catahoulas with plain coats, blue-eyed catahoulas, brown-eyed catahoulas, and catahoulas with amber eyes too.


Hmmm.  So... even though my two look like they could have come from the same litter, there's enough variation in the breed so that they could ALL look COMPLETELY different.  


I spent quite a bit of time as a United States Marine, and I served with quite a few Marines from Louisiana.  They were all different too, except for ONE THING.  Every Marine I ever met from Louisiana could spin a yarn.  In a culture renowned for "sea stories", the Louisiannans had no peer.  Those guys could tell a story to explain why the sky was blue, and by the time they were done you'd wonder if they really HAD read a ground-breaking physics article.


So...  I've got two dogs who look a lot alike except that one's mistaken for a Lab and the other's mistaken for a pit bull.  They're from a breed that can look like... anything.  And the explanation for the origin of the breed comes from... Louisiannans.


Think about it.  So... I'm convinced that catahoula is cajun for mutt.


But I don't love them any less :-)



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