Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Classic Cardigan: The Time I Met Pit Bull William at the SPCA, Except He Was Really a Cardigan Corgi Mix #NDFAD

The ASPCA has designated today National Dog Fighting Awareness Day (NDFAD), but I'll be using the occasion as an excuse to retell William's story -- at least the part of it that began when we crossed paths at the Richmond SPCA, just before Thanksgiving in 2012.

You see, William -- by visual standards -- was a pit bull: large, block-shaped head, wide jaw, short coat and lean, muscular body. And when I walked by his shelter run that day -- as he had all those physical characteristics (which, by the way, I have come to regard with deep affection since starting this blog) -- he might have been just another (relatively speaking, as there are so many like him who end up homeless) handsome, even-tempered pittie, looking for a loving family to call his own.

Except the sign on his kennel door - in black letters, right beside "breed" - said he was a Cardigan Welsh Corgi/American Staffordshire Terrier mix. 

And that, friends, is where the story begins.

Originally published on November 18, 2012...

Meet (sweet) William, an Adoptable Cardigan Corgi Mix in Richmond, VA!

I took these photos of him while we were playing outside the Richmond SPCA (his temporary home) on Friday. Isn't he a cutie?!

That Kong you've got there makes me happy; toss it, please?
Oh, and by the way, I love you.

Hello. Guess what? I'm thankful for this here Kong...oh, and you, too.

What? Not what you were expecting? Thinking I made a typo in the title?
That perhaps Elizabeth sees the world through "Cardigan-colored glasses*"?

Well actually, I most certainly do/did...NOT!  See...?

screenshot source

Hint: Look at the breed (up there on his Richmond SPCA adoption profile).

Still scratching your head?

Maybe this (which happens to be attached to the door of his shelter run) will clear it up for you...

"See DNA results."

William is A12396298. Wisdom Panel is the name of the company that supplied
and performed the cheek-swab DNA test.

This is what's printed at the top of the test report:

"The Wisdom Panel® Shelter Dog™ computer algorithm performed over seven million calculations using 11 different models (from a single breed to complex combinations of breeds) to predict the most likely combination of pure and mixed breed dogs in the last 3 ancestral generations that best fit the DNA marker pattern observed in A12396298. The ancestry chart depicting the best statistical result of this analysis is shown in the picture below."

Here are William's test results:

Can you make out that Cardigan Corgi silhouette up there on the left?
OK, here's a closer look.

This is the image that transfixed me to the front of William's shelter run. 

Because my crappy camera (I left the nicer one at home) cut off part of the chart, here's the bottom line:

William is a "Cardigan Welsh Corgi (12.5%)/Chinese Shar-Pei (12.5%)/Boxer (12.5%) Mix crossed with American Staffordshire Terrier (25%) Mix." 

But that only adds up to 62.5% of his genetic makeup. That's because the other 37.5% is made up of many other breeds' DNA, but not enough of any particular one to be named with any level of confidence.

Oh, and just so you know, no one at the Richmond SPCA told me about William or asked me to write this post; I discovered his "secret" completely by accident, strolling through the adoptable dogs after a volunteer session earlier this week. I was so taken aback by my discovery, though, that I volunteered to go back the next morning just so I could take William (and some other dogs) for a walk and some play time outside (hence that first photo up there).

So what does all this mean?

(Note: I'm assuming William's DNA sample was clean and the results are accurate.)

That I'm trying to make a case for adopting William because he's part Cardigan Welsh Corgi? Actually, I think that would be a poor reason to adopt William. He deserves better.

To be honest, William is such a great dog (polite, happy, even-tempered, easy on the eyes, healthy, squeezable...) that I'm banking it won't be his "secret" Corgi lineage that swiftly works its way into someone's heart. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets himself adopted before you even finish reading this sentence. (Man, that would be awesome!)

What I am hoping for, however, is that the next time you (or anyone else who reads through this post) meets up with a dog who looks like William, that you might pause and reflect - even for just a moment - about all the sweet "secrets" that possibly (or likely) lie beneath that (oh, so) familiar exterior.


In fact, through "Cardigan-colored glasses," one could see all the colors in an 8-pack Crayola box, except for green and purple!

<> As if there could be any doubt, William didn't remain in the shelter for long. He was adopted and in his new forever home before Thanksgiving.
<> I intentionally omitted the words "pit bull" (and all variations) from the original post.
<> For more information about the wide range of dogs commonly referred to as pit bulls (including their history and common misconceptions), refer to The Truth About Pit Bulls at ASPCA.org.


  1. I well remember your original post and so glad you repeated it. Soooo good. Maybe you could rerun this one annually or something :-)

    1. Thanks so much, Sue. Maybe I will...for Will. :)

  2. Oh, he was handsome indeed. So glad he found a home. Wish so many others could. So many pitties (and Chi's here in So Cal) that need homes!

    1. I find the Chi problem in CA just baffling. I mean, I understand why (with the Hollywood glamorizing and all), but I just don't get why there are SO many of them homeless. Incidentally, even though they take a substantial amount of pitties, the Richmond SPCA has a few "partner" shelters in CA, and fairly regularly pays to transport Chihuahuas cross-country into their care. They can do this because we have a shortage of adoptable small dogs. The little guys never last more than a couple days, if they even make it to the adoption floor. (Wonder if there's a shortage of pitties anywhere in the country? I'm thinking not. :/)

  3. William looks like such a friendly dog! So glad to hear he was adpoted and has a loving home now.

  4. That is wonderful William found a forever home. We are so pleased for him and as the good saying goes never judge a book by it's cover. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

  5. We have two that we just adopted (brother and sister) who look a lot like Will. They don't have much brindling, but the rest of it is dead on. We also have another one that we got from the shelter who looks pittie. I think now that I'm working again, we are going to get two of them tested. I would love to know what they are! I could care less if they are "pittie" as I love all of them so very much, but it would be interesting to know. :)

    Thank you for running this post. I am THRILLED Will found a home, and I love the idea of running the post annually. It's fantastic!

    Thank you,
    Richelle (For some reason it will post as Anonymous......)


We love comments almost as much as Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! Thank you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...