Stuff that Sticks

Maplewood Dog

Dulce the spaniel sound asleep with her eye red from her third eye lid

Haw. The nictitating membrane or third eye lid on a dog.

The 4-H dog program was a big part of my life as a kid. And dog knowledge was a part of the program. Every fair we would be required to take a Knowledge Test in addition to being scored during showmanship on knowledge questions from the judge. At the large regional show weekend each year, each state would pull together a Quiz Bowl team. And have to say, I was a member of the winning team a number of years running. I was really good with that buzzer. Always remember, it’s not a German Shepherd. It’s a German Shepherd Dog. And the L in DHL-PP is for leptospirosis. And ring worm is not a worm, it’s a fungus. I knew more about the reproductive cycle of dogs than my own human biology. A friend once laughed to tears then gently informed me of some critical differences that I had assumed were consistent amongst the species, that for serious are totally not.

As such, I know a lot of weird and obscure things relating to dogs, their biology, history, naming, terminology, and such. I can tell you that little bump on the back of your dogs skull? That’s not called a knowledge bump. It’s the occiput. And that samoyeds when they are white with tan patches. That coloration is called biscuit (isn’t that freaking adorable?). Dogs have 42 teeth. And the different type of teeth dentition or bite each breed of dog is supposed to have. That the long fur that is on some terriers between their eyes, that’s called the Fell.

And that not only do dogs have a third eye lid. But it is called the Haw.

Because along with many other things I learned as a child, these bits of trivia super useful to know and take up mental space. Because every trivia night in bars across the country have a category of the glossary from the AKC Complete Dog book.

That said I do pride myself that I know how to use terms like paddling, flews and fiddle front correctly. Because I’m cool like that. ­čśë

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