Incorrect Embark Results For Christmas (early), Suzanne gave us both Embark Dog DNA kits, so we could find out what genetics could tell us about our rescue pups.

Last week, I got the above results for Sophie.

Um, what?

I was completely mystified. Two of those breeds — the Beauceron and the Greenland dog — were ones I’d never even heard of! And Husky? Greyhound?

But you know, DNA doesn’t lie, so I pretty quickly started wrapping my brain around the idea. English Setter, okay, I can see that. Sophie is very sweet & quite friendly, as English setters are supposed to be. And her fur is lovely and silky.

Plus, even though every fifth person on the street says, “Oh, a border collie puppy! So cute! And SOO smart,” I actually haven’t really noticed that she’s smarter than the average pup. In fact, Bear seems to catch on to doggie tricks faster than Sophie does. Bear shakes paws like a champ these days and when you throw a ball, she drops it right back at your feet so you can throw it again. Sophie is still unwilling to return the ball. Sure, that might keep the game going, which she would like, but she’d really much prefer it if you just produced an unlimited supply of balls and let her hoard them instead.

So, okay, my cute little border collie is really a descendent of the same breed that inspired Doberman pinschers. Also sled dogs. Also Greyhounds?!? Um, but every single one of those breeds is a large dog and nothing about Sophie indicates that she’s going to get that big. Bigger than Zelda and Bartleby, yes, she’s already that, but nothing like officially Large. Of course, any breed has outliers, so maybe she’s just a very small Large dog.

Because DNA doesn’t lie.

People, on the other hand, make mistakes. The next day I got the Oops email from Embark. Those are not actually Sophie’s results. My little border collie may in fact still turn out to be a border collie, but I’ll have to wait a while longer to find out for sure. I was pretty amused, mostly because of how hard I’d tried to adjust reality to fit the “facts.” I’m assuming at least a few people caught up in the mistake sent emails to Embark saying “Not a chance!” because that was my first instinct and I’m sure if I’d known more about Sophie’s history, that’s exactly what I would have done. (If I’d gotten those results for Bartleby or Zelda, I would definitely have sent that email. I just had more of an open mind because Sophie’s not full-grown yet.)

In other news, I’ve discovered the delights of medical marijuana. I’m not sure how much it’s helping my pinched nerve, but wow, a THC hard candy or two before bedtime gives me a great night’s sleep. I don’t seem to feel much from it — I definitely don’t feel inebriated — but when I close my eyes, I drift off and I stay drifted off. It’s astonishing to me how cheerful I am when I wake up after a full night’s sleep. (I’m usually a very restless, very light sleeper, awakened by anything, and never sleeping more than a couple hours in a row.) Sleep, I recommend it.

I’ve also concluded — alas! — that my arm problem is related to typing on my iPad keyboard. I bought the iPad this summer after I sold the van hoping it would mostly replace my laptop, but apparently that’s not going to work. So I’m back on my MacBook Air, being reminded of all the reasons why it’s not quite satisfying. I’ll adjust, I’m sure, but it makes me cranky, especially after all the hours I spent trying to set up the iPad to work with the apps I wanted. So it goes. I’m now referring to the iPad as the most expensive book reader ever, because I do love reading on it.

The other thing I decided was that maybe my cheap mattress is Not Good. I bought it this summer for $200 and I think if you’ve only owned a mattress for a few months and you’re experiencing back/neck pain, it’s probably worth wondering if the mattress is the problem. The Best Brother Ever pointed out that the quality of 1/3 of your life is worth some expense and given that my bed is actually a lot more than 1/3 of my life — it’s the only comfortable seat in the tiny house, so I spend plenty of time sitting on it as well as sleeping — I decided to buy a new mattress. Ugh, mattress shopping is no fun. But $560 later, I am awaiting a Novaform mattress from Costco, hoping I’ll love it. Maybe it’ll even be nice enough that I can go back to typing on the iPad.

Gina and Sophie eating side by side

I do not own a cat. But it occurred to me as I wrote about my limited seating in the tiny house that Gina, #notmycat, has five different seating spots. I emptied one of the cubbies and put a towel in it for her; there’s a pillow on top of a shelving unit for her; the closet hanging clothes shelves have an almost empty space at the bottom for her (she kept creating it herself by knocking all the clothes in it onto the floor and I finally accepted reality); the top of the shoe rack had a box and now has a towel for her; and I partly emptied one of the soft cube boxes for her. My extra pillowcases are currently stored under my pillows on the bed — a ridiculous place for them — but it keeps them safer from cat fur than most of my other storage options. And yeah, there’s usually a bowl with cat food in it somewhere to be found. Still don’t have a cat, though.

Sophie wishes we did, but not Gina. She still loves Olivia Murderpaws passionately and wants to play with her all the time. Alas, Olivia Murderpaws does not feel the same way. Yesterday, Sophie asked Gina to play instead — perfectly politely, a nice play bow, maybe a little too close. Gina’s response, translated from cat, “F**k YOU!” Sophie will not be inviting Gina to play again anytime soon. Fortunately, she has Bear.

dogs at beach

Yesterday we took the dogs to the beach in the morning. (Not the above photo, which was at sunset a few days before.) We were walking, talking, appreciating the weather, when I looked up and saw Bear in the distance, investigating a dead thing. (A skate, about as big as Sophie.) I had just enough time to say, “Oh, Bear — I think — she might –” before she started to roll. Oops. So she got to have her first bath at the doggie spa, and Sophie joined her because it’s a good experience for a puppy. Sophie was unenthusiastic but well-behaved, and her fur is soft and silky and luxurious today. Baths, also recommended.