September 2010

The Salish Wool Dog

I have known for a while now that the Coast Salish tribes frequently used the "wool" from dogs to make yarn.  But it was only recently that I learned that they developed an entirely separate breed specific to this purpose: the Salish Wool Dog.

The Salish Wool Dog was a white, Spitz-type dog, with the thick woolly undercoat which is common to these dogs.  Like the Malamute, the Spitz, and the American Eskimo dog, the Salish Wool Dog evolved in response to severe northern winters.  In breeding dogs to maximize that wooly undercoat for use in weaving, the Salish Wool Dog was created.

Also called "woolly dogs," a tribe's group of dogs would be closely guarded in order to protect them from breeding with the tribe's other pet dogs.  Salish Wool Dogs represented a valuable investment of time and effort, and their genetics were closely guarded.

Nureongi, the Korean Meat Dog

Korea's appetite for dog meat is frowned upon by most, and actively protested by some.  Most Westerners abhor the practice of eating dog meat, and - perhaps because of the taboo - imagine Korea to be a land of pet-snatching barbarians.

In truth, Korea's illegal market for dog meat is founded upon a specific breed, called the Nureongi.  Nureongi are not an officially recognized breed, but a landrace breed.  A "landrace" is a breed which has evolved to suit its environmental needs, much like the husky used in dog racing, or the shepherding dogs used to gather sheep in Ireland and Scotland.

Nureongi literally translates to "yellow dog."  There are two other breeds which are farmed for meat, the Baeckgu (white dog) and Heuckgu ((black dog).  However, the Nureongi are said to be best for this purpose.

No Dog (Wild or Not) Deserves to Be Shot From a Helicopter

Thanks to my love-hate relationship with Facebook, I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with many of my friends from high school—something that our generation has while many previous generations did not. One friend and I are always getting into friendly debates with each other. While it never gets bloody—though my debates with others do sometimes!—it’s always filled with fun banter, and we always find something we can agree upon.