Who Are You? Who? Who?

Remember how I wrote about my boys in the “About My Boys” page above ^^^ and how people always ask me what kind of dogs they are?  And how I linked to a National Geographic story on village dogs in Africa?  No?  Okay, I’ll give you a minute to go back and review.

All finished?  Great.  Well, then let’s move on in the story.  On a whim, I decided to contact the professor at Cornell University who is conducting the study on African village dogs and told him about Joe and Marty, my little Afghanistan village dog rescues.  I asked if there had been any research conducted on Afghan dogs, or if it was something there might be an interest in for the future.  To my delight, and complete surprise, he wrote back to me within a day and said, “I’m happy to analyze Joe and Marty if you’re able to get blood samples from them…”  Um, okay.  (!!!!)  How cool is that?  We will finally get to know what kind of dogs they are!  This is pretty epic.

Measurement instructions

I contacted a veterinarian I know from church and he agreed to come out and take blood samples and body measurements from the boys so we could submit their paperwork and samples to Cornell University’s Biobank for study and analysis.

Joe and Marty Blood Samples

It was about 9000 degrees outside the day we collected samples, and the boys were a little cranky and restless.  Okay, Marty was a little cranky and a lot restless.  Joe handled it like a champ.  Poor Marty required the help of three people to keep him still and calm while his blood was drawn.  He was not a happy camper.  Luckily he was willing to forgive us all within a few hours.

Joe’s Blood Draw Boo Boo

Consent forms, official measurement forms, and blood samples were gathered together and shipped to the laboratory manager.  It will likely be several months before we have any results (I have no idea how long it takes to analyze a dog’s DNA structure, but it only takes about ten minutes on Law and Order to get human results back from the lab, so dogs shouldn’t take much longer and might even be faster).

To be honest, I wouldn’t be overly surprised to find out Marty has some kind of known breed in him (the guy looks so much like a Labrador, with some Greyhound or Great Dane to his build), but I don’t know how he would have any of these breeds in him.  Afghans simply don’t keep dogs as pets and they certainly don’t breed them, so I don’t know how those breeds would be in the gene pool.  He’s an enigma.  But hopefully not for long.  Then again, if either of them have modern breed DNA, it opens more questions than it actually answers… because then canine historians will have to figure out how and when they were mixed into the village dog gene pool.

Measuring Marty
Joe’s Nose

The study from Africa is continuing this year.  The article from National Geographic was from villages in East Africa.  This year the focus is on West African dogs.  (Digression:  Do east and west need to be capitalized here?  I’m not sure, but I assume so since I didn’t use eastern or western and I kind of made them part of the name.)  The study is intended to eventually study global samples, so Joe and Marty (and their other rescued cousins from Afghanistan) will help answer questions about the domestication of dogs throughout history.  While I’m excited to know more about Joe and Marty, I am even more thrilled about the contribution they might help make to the scientific research into canine development and evolution.

Official Paperwork

If you are a parent of an Afghanistan village rescue dog, and are interested in participating in this study, please contact me in the comments section or through The Adventures of Joe and Marty‘s Facebook page for details.

I have to be honest… some of these pictures were staged after the fact.  I was so distracted by the reactions of Joe and Marty during the actual measurement and blood draw phase that I forgot to take pictures.  So, Michelle from Just Like Home Pet Sitting and I pulled out the measuring tape again that afternoon and snapped a few pictures for the blog.  So these are dramatization photos, but rest assured, the events they depict are based on actual events, and any resemblance to real persons or dogs, living or dead, is purely intentional.


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12 Responses to Who Are You? Who? Who?

  1. Melissa says:

    I’m excited for the results and for you and your family! I’m a fan of Puppy Rescue Mission and a total dog and breed fanatic.

    Can’t wait to get the updates!

    Thank you for saving these pups!!! Love to you, Joe and Marty!

    From Melissa, Miracle, Boomer and Holly in Sunny So.Cal!

  2. Erin Coppinger says:

    Champ (Sasha’s Legacy Rescue) & I would certainly be interested in the study 🙂 Can’t wait to see what Joe’s and Marty’s results are 🙂

  3. Doggist says:

    I am really interested in following this for many reasons, not the least of which is that I have an ‘Afghan Hound’ (of the AKC variety) and I’d love to see how close the ties are!
    Super interesting work…I look forward to following it.

  4. Ann Traynor-Plowman says:

    This is waaay cool! I am so happy that Joe & Marty are doing so wonderfully & have grown up into such wonderful young guys who are now contributing ambassadors for the Afghan Canine Strays! I remember them from the airport when they arrived here in Houston…such happy sweet little boys! Keep us posted! This is fantastic! I fell in love with these dogs..all of them I have met are so wonderful!

    • stubbs says:

      Let me take a moment to say THANK YOU!!! for escorting them at the airport! I can’t tell you how much these two boys mean to me, and I’m so grateful to everyone that played a part in bringing them safely home to me!

      • Nimmi Henderson says:

        Ann could not have said it better. I was there with her and Michelle to greet them as well. They were so cute and I look at the pictures I took to think of how resilient and wonderful these dogs are from Afghanistan! Cannot wait to hear the results as well!

  5. Very cool to see how involved you are with the Afghan Rescue Dogs. That is going to be pretty interesting information which I would figure we could read about here on your famous site?!

    You might as well write a bit for the good professor as well. Would he take your background story of the boys??

    BTW, I have The Who song stuck in my head….

  6. Anne Howley says:

    I adopted a dog when I lived in Moscow, Russia. She was pretty generic and my vet here in the States used to call her a “third world dog”. He said in all his travels there is a certain generic dog that shows up and she looked.like them. I wonder what her tests would have shown. I will pass the word on about the study.

  7. Caroline Hartnett says:

    We just welcomed Siena and Olive (Sasha’s Legacy pups) into our family at the beginning of July. We would love to participate in this study!! Both are almost entirely white….how that happens among stray dogs is beyond me. What great work and so exciting!!

  8. Jeannean says:

    Have you received any results yet? I’m so curious!!!

    • stubbs says:

      Hi Jeannean! Nope, unfortunately, we have not heard anything yet. I will definitely post something when I hear.


  9. AL BASS says:

    Michelle, from The Puppy Rescue Mission, sent me a link to this site.
    I am in the process of getting my afghan rescue dog to the states. His name is Philly and he is on their Facebook page. He has very similar markings to your dog Joe. I would like very much to enter Philly into the DNA study. It could be helpful to the breed specifically or to all dogs in general. I am still in Afghanistan and we sent Philly for his ride to the shelter in Kabul around 2 weeks ago. All of his “uncles” here already miss the little guy so much. He has 7 “uncles” here. It’s a long story but its on The Puppy Rescue Mission’s website. It’s kinda crazy, we miss him so much but we are overjoyed at the work of both Anna Maria and Michelle at The Puppy Rescue Mission in getting him swiftly out of this place. Anyway, as I said, I would like to participate with Philly in the study of the DNA of these terrific dogs.

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