My dog, Wyn, is a Welsh Springer Spaniel. When I take him for walks, people often tell me, “I had a dog just like that when I was growing up, only mine was black and white.” Um, Welsh Springers don’t come in black and white. “I’m guessing your dog was an English Springer,” I say. “This is a Welsh Springer.” And then I tell them a little about the breed.
Years ago, I had a Border Collie who was a big dog. He was mostly white with black patches. At the same time, I also had a Welsh Springer. More than once, someone looked at the Welsh (the smaller of the two dogs) and said, “Oh, is this her puppy?” With the term ‘dumber than dirt’ coming to mind, I would explain that the Border Collie was a male, and the smaller dog was a Welsh Springer, and “see how they are different?”
Recently, Wyn and I were at a park that has horse trails. Tied to their trailers with their owners nearby, were two horses. One of the horses had legs with a lot of ‘bone,’ a short body, and in general, he was stocky. His color caught my eye. He was the rich brown color of graham crackers and he had a blonde mane and tail. The other horse was black, taller, more thin-legged, and he had a longer neck. I am not a horse person, so I looked and looked at the cobby brown horse and decided, “I’ll bet that is a Welsh pony; he looks like the Welsh Springer version of a horse.”
Proud of my conclusion, I asked the owners about the horses. Thankfully, I didn’t expose my ignorance by commenting on these “Welsh ponies” because it turned out that they were both Paso Finos, a smooth-riding breed known for their gait.
You know, after the experience with the horses where the ‘dumber than dirt’ phrase applied to me, the next time someone looks at Wyn and says, “Nice Brittany!” I’ll be extra patient as I give my short educational speech about my dog’s breed.