Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Grey Ghost

Star and I went to the pet store the other day to buy some dog food.

Star loves the outings, but she'd been cooped up at home for too long, and was on her worst behavior at the store. She couldn't hold a "sit," she dragged me up and down the aisles, she put the brakes on at the rawhide buckets, and she saw something in a pile of dog beds that she felt needed a good barking about.

We finally made it to the cash register with the heavy bag of food. For reasons I don't understand, when people comment about Star, they admire her coat color. And today was no exception. The sales clerk was a very nice lady, very chatty, and she almost immediately started talking about Star's coat color.

"Why, your dog has the most lovely color. That's just amazing! It's so unusual," the clerk exclaimed. "It's such a soft color. And, oh, her eyes are gorgeous. Just stunning, matches perfectly with her coat."

Star knows praise when she hears it, and she popped out of the sit in order to better waggle her behind. She whipped my legs with her tail, then turned to whip the store clerk. I didn't know what to say, so I just said, "Thank you. We also think it's a nice color."

"Oh yes," said the clerk, "I don't see many of this breed with this kind of coloring. It's exquisite."

"You don't...?" I puzzled about this for a few seconds. "I thought it was quite common. When we went to adopt her at the shelter, there were several other dogs that looked just like her, color and all." Star started to bark obnoxiously at the shelf of dog beds again.

"Well," says the clerk, "she's quite a catch, I think. You know, this breed, their nickname is... they call it..." A long pause, while Star strained on the lead to sniff a suspicious stain on a lower shelf. "Ah, they call it the 'Grey Ghost.' Because most of them have a sort of grey coat, you know."

The clerk thought Star was a Weimaraner.

I didn't say anything to contradict the clerk, because Star is a mutt we adopted from the shelter, so who knows what she really is. Besides, Star was being quite naughty, and I felt Weimaraners could take the rap this time around.

Addendum: So you understand my surprise more fully, I must say that this store clerk was not your average kid running a register at a national chain pet store. This was a long-time employee at a small local pet store—a pet store that promotes "bully breed" adoption, no less, so it's not like she'd never seen a pit bull type dog before. This nice lady cheerfully went on to tell me some interesting facts about Weimaraners, since the surprise on my face told her that I clearly didn't know what I'd adopted!


Charmine's Hope said...

Now that IS funny! I'll have to think what Hope might pass for, in case we ever need to blame it on someone else!

bitt said...

The coat color is the same. Funny, a lot of people don't know their breeds too well. Our landlady thought our dog was a boxer! Then we asked if we could get another pit bull and she freaked out.

It is to our advantage that people don't see her as a pit right away and come up and pet her and see how friendly she is. Then we tell them she's pit/staffie and she's already won them over!

Flo said...

I had a pure bred pit that people constantly thought was a weimaraner. She was chocolate colored, not basic brown, and we never had her ears chopped off so lots of people took her for a weimaraner. Also, she was so sweet and friendly people never believed us when we said she was a pit.

who wouda thunk it?? said...

A friend of mine has a year old Cane Corso, she is constantly asked if the dog is a pitbull!35 inches tall, and 110 pounds, and they all think the dog is a pittie! I just dont know about people

Kari in WeHo said...

um wow!


Lisa Daria said...

I have an unrelated pitbull question, which I think is a breed thing - why does the one across the street, lay on it's back, kicking it's hind legs and crying? I've never seen a dog do this, I think it's throwing a tantrum, it seems to do this every time it's left outside for more than five minute. Mind you, my dog and I just stare at it from the front window, wondering, what exactly it is doing.

meggyme said...

This happened to us this weekend at the dog park. Halsey is a blue pit mix, not even brown!