This column was dictated by Lord Banjo the family dog. He’s too much of an aristocrat to do his own typing.
I’ve always known I was exceptional in many ways—my thick black wavy coat, my white chest, my big brown eyes--but it turns out I’m even more special than I’d thought. Don’t act so shocked; I have proof of how remarkable I am. As a gift for my Dad, I had my DNA analyzed. Mom, Dad and I were all pleasantly surprised—dare I say impressed—by my lineage.
One side of my family tree is all Golden Retriever. Goldens can trace their lineage back to nineteenth century Scotland and were accepted initially by the Kennel Club of England as the Golden Flat Coat, as they were bred in part from Flat-Coated Retrievers. It’s a bit surprising, then, that there are no Flat-Coats anywhere on my family tree, especially since my adoption papers at age two designated me as a Flat-Coated Retriever mix, and I’m black like they are. Perhaps the DNA powers that be assume Flat-Coat in the mix.
Given the lineage on the other side of my tree, I consider the Golden side the “common” side. Why? Because on this side, one great grandparent is a Great Pyrenees. How noble, how royal! Did you know that the breed may date back to 1800 BC? Even better, did you know that Louis XIV, the Sun King, declared the Great Pyrenees to be the Royal Dog of France? That’s why, from this day forth, I shall be known as Lord Banjo—not Banjo Boy, Little Boy or the little boy in the fuzzy suit as my Dad calls me. How unbecoming!
Granted, one of my four great-grandparents was a mix of Golden Retriever and Australian Shepherd, but I’m giving more weight to the Great Pyrenees lineage—after all, they weigh the most. Those majestic white dogs may weigh as much as 80 – 120 lbs., so I’m on the trim side at only 82 lbs. Mom and Dad should stop thinking I weigh a tad much, as I come by my regal bearing and imposing size honestly.
I see no need to spend time on the working class origins of my Australian Shepherd/Golden Retriever great-grandparent. Clearly my royal blood has much more bearing, don’t you think? It matters not that the DNA analysis labels me a Golden Retriever, Great Pyrenees, Australian Shepherd cross; I’m claiming the Great Pyrenees as my dominant ancestor. I get my calm and friendly demeanor from both the Golden and Great Pyrenees but have none of the energetic traits of that darned Australian Shepherd. Simply put, my bearing is quite regal.
Now that you know my story, please let it be known far and wide that I am due royal treatment from one and all. I hereby decree that I shall:
- Be allowed to sleep in my parent’s bed, especially since I so graciously let the cat sleep on all of my dog beds.
- Cease hearing complaints about the “royal” black hair I leave all over the house.
- Suffer no recriminations when I help myself to the cat’s food.
- Be served tasty gourmet dog food.
- Be thanked regularly by my parents for gracing them with my presence.
Hear ye, hear ye, life shall henceforth be splendid for Lord Banjo.
Have a comment? Write me or Lord Banjo at The Ink Penn.