In my early years of illustrating most dog breeds were well known. Yes, you got the odd immigrant from abroad, and my Dad was one who imported a standard Dachshund bitch from Germany in order to bring the German breed to the fore. Sadly his campaign to breed her 'went to the dogs' literally when she refused all suitors and remained puppy less for the whole of her life.
As a dog artist, all was really simple as far as I could see. Reasons to Love would be a doddle I thought when we started in October 2017 but I was proved wrong quite early on. How things have now progressed in the world of dogs. I am now at a loss to recognise some mixed breeds and in my day mixing breeds resulted in a mongrel. Cockapoos, Labradoodles and Juggles plus a plethora of dog mixtures abound and are really confusing. Someone told me recently that crossing Jack Russells and Shih Zus gives you a Jack Shit. I don't know if that is correct but really hope it is.
My latest rescue George ,from Dogs Trust, was DNA tested as is a cross between a Soft Wheaten Terrier, Border Terrier and Poodle. I would love to call him a Wheabordoodle Terrier but he is just a mongrel as far as I am concerned. I don't think anyone will breed another like him and I like the fact that he is probably a one off.
Anyway at our recent show I was inundated with requests for all sorts of fashionably crossed dogs to be included in our Reasons to Love range as many of the people owning them are convinced they are a breed. The only one I have done so far is the Lurcher which is not a breed but a type and can be a variety of sizes, shapes, colours and coats but they have been around for a long time and have an avid following.
I have taken the decision to do only breeds, other than the Lurcher, which are within the Kennel Club official breeds list. Luckily two of my favourites the Border Collie and the Jack Russell have recently been recognised and I can include them. Whether I have to wait 30 odd years to have the others officially brought into the KC I don't know but as I will probably be pushing up the daisies by then or too senile to recognise anything I probably don't need to worry just yet. Or do I? Whatever the fact, George is completely unimpressed by it all and like all rescue mongrels with a bad past he just happy to be in a kind and loving home.