Tue, Jan. 28

Does a black tongue mean my dog is a Chow?

The Verde Valley Humane Society Pet of the Week is “Dakota.”  He is a beautiful husky/shepherd mix.  Dakota is very intelligent and very willing to learn.  His adoption fee has been discounted by $20. Please stop in the shelter located at 1520 W. Mingus and meet Dakota and all of the other fantastic cats and dogs waiting for new homes.

The Verde Valley Humane Society Pet of the Week is “Dakota.” He is a beautiful husky/shepherd mix. Dakota is very intelligent and very willing to learn. His adoption fee has been discounted by $20. Please stop in the shelter located at 1520 W. Mingus and meet Dakota and all of the other fantastic cats and dogs waiting for new homes.

Before I begin today’s Pet Corner I’d like to ask you what you are doing this Sunday. After church or your morning routine, why don’t you come on over to VVHS and walk a dog or play with a cat?

We are now open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for your convenience on Sunday. Maybe you are even thinking about adopting a new furry friend. Bring the entire family and just take your time looking at the animals.

What a grand way to start your week. We’d love to have you stop in and the animals would love the extra attention.

Have you noticed that our thrift store, the Good Buy Shoppe is now open on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.?

We’re hoping that all of you that can’t get in during the week will be able to come in and find something you just can’t live without on a Saturday.

The reason the topic of black tongues and chows is my choice this week is because it came up again in the front office last week. I’d like to help clear up the falsehood yet again.

Have you heard the myth that a dog with a black tongue or one that has black spots on the tongue is a Chow or Chow mix?

“It’s absolutely not true” say the experts. Black spots on the tongue in no way designates that a dog is a Chow or a Chow mix.

Another myth is that if your Chow has pink spots on the tongue it can’t be a purebred. That also is false.

Chows are actually born with pink tongues too. They don’t darken to blue- black until about eight or ten weeks of age.

The AKC even says it doesn’t matter if they keep some of the pink spots they were born with.

Exactly what are those black spots on the tongue? It’s very simple to explain. The spots are merely deposits of extra pigment.

Let’s look at this a little differently. If your dog has a spotted tongue or even a blue-black tongue and at the other end you have a body attached that looks like a Chow, that’s probably exactly what you have. A Chow or a Chow mix is possibly your new “best friend.”

As humans we also have extra deposits of pigmentation. Instead of having spotted or blue-black tongues we get different skin colorings, freckles or birth marks. That doesn’t make us bad does it? Nor should it apply to dogs.

Often potential adopters come into VVHS to find a new best friend, but for some reason they clearly indicate that they don’t want a Chow.

Very quickly an animal with black spots or a black tongue is out of the equation because it just has to be part Chow.

While we’re on the subject of tongues, did you ever wonder what the importance of a tongue on a dog is?

You see your cat grooming itself with his or her rough tongue, but that’s not really the case with your dog.

After all, a dog’s tongue is smooth and shiny in appearance. Grooming is something he or she does, but not to the extent of a cat.

Your dog’s tongue actually works like a portable swamp cooler. You’ve probably noticed that your canine friend pants harder when it’s hot outside.

The reason for the panting is that air on the tongue causes water evaporation and cooling. All this time we’ve been thinking that the tongue was just needed to kiss our faces.

You can’t blanket all animals into a breed category due to the color of a tongue. If you you’ve found a new “best friend” and you see some black pigmentation, do your research.

Casting a perfectly good dog to the wayside due to a black or spotted tongue could have just cost you a wonderful companion.

Remember how last week I talked to you about “blanketing” animals just because of a breed? It’s not fair to any animal to do this. Normally a human being or certain circumstances make an animal vicious; it isn’t because the animal was “born” a certain breed.

I’m sure many of you are wondering why people shy away from Chow’s. I always inquire about this too.

Once again it’s because they are in the group of dogs on the, shall we call it “undesirable list?”

Often the decision to stay away from Chow’s is due to what a person has been told, not due to the facts out there.

All of the Chow discussion makes me wonder why people assume a Chow is not a wise choice for a companion.

Many Chow owners would be happy to debate this topic with you. I have to say that we have had many wonderful Chows come into VVHS.

A Chow is known to be one of the most ancient breeds and is the ancestor to many breeds in this world today.

Everything I have read about the Chow emphasizes how loyal this breed is to its’ owner and what a loving companion they can be.

My suggestion would be to speak with Chow owners and find out what they are really like before you make rash and unfounded accusations about this breed.

Studies state that a Chow is a member of the Spitz family. Did you realize that part of the Spitz family also includes the Norwegian Elkhound, Keeshound, Siberian Husky, Malamute, and the Pomeranian just to name a few?

Did you see the name Pomeranian in that list? Many people walk in and say they do not want Chow’s, but not once has someone looking for a small dog said that they didn’t want a Pomeranian due to the fact that they were part of the Spitz family.

Many of these breeds have been labeled Chow’s or Chow mixes by Animal Control Officers during the past years.

We all dread seeing that written on the animal’s description due to the fact that it might turn a potential adopter away from the animal.

Before you choose your “new best furry friend” I suggest that you research the breeds that interest you.

Make the decision yourself without the influence of others. There are many informative books that provide breed informative and also some very educational websites available.

All of this is free; it will just take some of your time. Please spend vital time researching before choosing your new family member.

This is a huge undertaking on your part. Remember, you are “adopting for life.”

Many of you ask what you can do to help the Verde Valley Humane Society.

We are asking everyone to help us make money when using the internet.

Once this is done, the Verde Valley Humane Society will come up automatically.

There are easy directions to make “Good Search” your search engine for anything you need to find. Each time you use this site you will contribute one penny for VVHS.

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