article image

The Dox and Other Tidbits

Dogs and foxes have different sets of chromosomes, yet there were reports in 19th and early 20th century of attempts to produce a dog-fox hybrid, or dox. A stuffed specimen at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester, England, is allegedly a dox, though it’s not clear whether it has been genetically verified.

Pushinka was a white, mixed-breed dog given to the Kennedy family by Nikita Khrushchev. At first, it was feared she was a Russian spy, but a battery of tests at Walter Reed Army Medical Center ruled out any hidden listening devices, microphones, germs, or bombs.

Those spots of different colored fur above the eyes of some breeds like the Doberman are called “pips.”

When he was 82, the late Jimmy Stewart had a golden retriever named Barron he found as a stray. The family chef cooked for Barron, who reportedly liked beef stroganoff.

“Ghost walking” is a slow-motion slink some dogs seem to do on purpose to achieve a trancelike state. It’s most common in bull terriers and greyhounds.

Mr. Smarty Pants read the above information in a book, magazine, newspaper, or website; heard it on TV; or overheard it at a party. Got any facts? If you do, email them to Mr. Smarty Pants at MrPants@AustinChronicle.com for possible inclusion in this column.