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!