Everyone in the world knew that Cobb was a miniature schnauzer. After all, it was Schnauzer Love Rescue that saved Cobb from euthanasia at the shelter after he was found, “army crawling” across South Cobb Drive in Georgia. He was overgrown and matted, but once he had a bath and was groomed, it was plain to see that there was a schnauzer hiding under all that hair. Or was there..?
Without a doubt, there were some unusual characteristics about him. Some questioned these things in passing but they were quickly dismissed because Cobb was so obviously a schnauzer. First there was the matter of his tail. Schnauzers usually have their tails docked not long after birth, but Cobb had a long tail. He was young, according to the intake vet, at only about a year old. Perhaps whoever previously had him decided against docking his tail? Then there was his long legs and lengthy body. Everyone just assumed he was a robust, longer and taller schnauzer.
His coat was something I noticed right away. It was much different from my other two schnauzers and his hair grew twice as fast and twice as long as my girl’s hair. I had to bump up grooming appointments, just to keep his schnauzer cut nice and recognizable.
Our groomer, Stephanie, was the first one to plant the seed of doubt in my mind about Cobb’s breed at one grooming appointment. “You know, I really wonder if there’s not some havanese in there somewhere,” she speculated. “Oh no,” I objected. “Look at him! He’s obviously a schnauzer.” What stopped me in my tracks though, was when she said, “I can groom just about any small breed to look like a schnauzer.” What?!
The biggest thing that made me question Cobb’s breed, though, were his incredibly expressive eyes. Early on, I didn’t connect this specifically with his questionable breed, but I just KNEW there was something incredibly unique about him. You can’t help but get lost in his eyes when he looks at you. It’s as though he has some sort of magnetic pull and he’s literally hypnotizing you with pure love. My husband, Paul, and I often reflect on his soulful eyes and jokingly warn his followers not to gaze into them too long. You could almost die from all the unconditional, pure love he gazes back at you with.
Not long after that conversation with Stephanie, I began searching photos of the havanese breed. There were most definitely some very convincing likenesses. The markings and colorings were very much like Cobb, along with the hair and coat similarities. I still wasn’t fully convinced though.
Once day, while scrolling through social media, I saw an ad for a canine DNA test through Embark. I ignored it and forgot about it for the next few days. The same ad, along with one from Wisdom Panel kept popping up though. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I took the plunge and ordered the Embark test, telling myself that I already knew Cobb’s breed. I just wanted to find out some health information.
Once the kit arrived, I collected the swab and sent it off, anxiously awaiting his health results. Somewhere deep down inside me, however, was a voice that kept saying, “He is a very different kind of schnauzer.” I also kept hearing Stephanie’s words in my mind too. “I can make almost any small dog look like a schnauzer….”
The day that Cobb’s test results landed in my inbox was one I will never forget. I could not believe the words I was reading. Embark confirmed that Cobb was definitely NOT a schnauzer at all! He was an almost equal mix of havanese and….poodle!! I never once considered that a poodle would come into play here! He also had a single grandparent who was a Shih Tzu and only a single great grandparent that was a schnauzer! Cobb was truly a mixed breed. You could have knocked me over with a feather.
That very same day, I ordered a DNA test kit from Wisdom Panel to confirm the results. By the time the exact same results were revealed with this second test, my shock had mostly worn off. I had begun referring to Cobb as our little havapoo. My husband, not being a fan of poodles up until this point, simply referred to Cobb as “our crazy, little Cubano”. While we were initially shocked by Cobb’s DNA results, we embraced his new identity wholeheartedly. Together with our groomer, Stephanie, we began letting Cobb’s hair grow out a little and we worked to change his look. We want it to be as unique as he is.
My husband still grumbles about poodles once in a while, but it’s clear how much he loves Cobb. He carries him around in his arms often, tucks him into bed at night and both my husband and “that crazy Cubano” can often be found fixing things around the house and doing “guy stuff” together.
Cobb doesn’t care what breed he is. We don’t either. As unconditionally as he loves us, we love him too and that is all that really matters.