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What makes a Turkeyman?

June 25th, 2013 | Posted by Emily in Doggies! | Pit Bull Pride | Turk's Takeover

When we adopted Turk as a 6 month old puppy (read my version here and Turk’s version here), I was told he was a Corgi mix. With my limited knowledge of dog breeds and Turk’s stubby little legs, I didn’t think to question the shelter’s assessment of his breed.

Then as Turk grew into an adult and gained weight, he was labeled a “pit bull” by our vet. At first that thought terrified me, then after doing a lot of research, I realized that pit bulls weren’t bad dogs at all, and eventually, grew into a pit bull advocate and foster mom.

My journey as a pit bull advocate, rescue volunteer, and foster mom is wrapped up pretty heavily in Turk’s pit bull-ness. But what if Turk isn’t a pit bull at all? We did DNA tests on former foster Polly Pocket and current foster Moby Wonderdog, and I’ve always wanted to do a DNA test on Turk too. I have always stopped short of doing the test though because of my fear that Turk would end up not being a pit bull at all. If Turk isn’t a pit bull, then my entire rescue journey has been based on a lie, right?

But really, it doesn’t matter to me what Turk is… what matters is that he is Daniel’s and my dog. He is our family. He was ours the moment he play bowed us through the chain-link cage at the shelter and he will be ours until he leaves this world. And I don’t need Turk to be a “pit bull” to validate my rescue journey. Even if Turk turns out to be a yorkie-doodle-poo, he will still be a honorary pit bull in my eyes. His big brown eyes were the key to opening my heart to a breed that has changed my worldview, introduced me to a whole new family in the blogging community, and given me a purpose.

I did finally let curiosity get the better of me and bought a DNA test for Turk, but I am not all that worried about what the results say, because it won’t change what Turk means to us… or how we see him. He is still our Turkeyman, through and through.

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18 Responses

  • avatar OhMelvin says:

    I think the test will show that he is 110% lovebug! We love you Turkey and we thank you for sending your mamma on her journey! She’s doing good things!

  • avatar Corbin says:

    Aw, Turkman! I say all the time, it doesn’t matter what breeds make up our dogs, if they have a blocky head, they’re put in the Pit Bull stereotype. We love the Turkster no matter what his DNA’s say! He’ll be a loveabull pit bull in our minds :-)
    -Jenn

  • avatar peaceabull says:

    Ah, the second age old question besides “chicken and egg” would be Pit bull or not Pit Bull. Not really, of course, but the contents are a foggy blog post that I can’t get to come together in my head. “Does my dog do “X” because he’s a pit bull or does he do “x” because he really isn’t a pit bull, per the dna.” And if the dna shows no pit types are we trying to validate that we do or don’t have a pit bull?
    See? I don’t know where I’m going with this. I love the designation of Pit bull-type and use it frequently because the TYPE is what I love. I love the short soft hair, the thicker deeper chest, I love Ray’s (and Turkey’s) liquid mocha eyes. I love the TYPE. It attracts me as much as any physical characteristics attract or repel me and once attracted, build a deeper connection or move on.

    The bottom line is your love for Turkey-man …whatever he is! and his love for you.

  • avatar Anita says:

    This is a really wonderful post E, like really awesome. What ever Turks roots may come from he’s also handsome, sweet, kind, and delicious. I am curious now!

  • avatar Hannah k. says:

    Seconded! I’ve been wanting to do a test in ours, too – and I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t come back pitbull! I agree with Corbin – he’s a blocky-headed dude that is a big mix of DNA… the definition of a true pitbull!

  • avatar MayzieMom says:

    Love this! As I think you know, no “pit bull” breeds showed up in Mayzie’s DNA test. It’s an interesting position to be in. While she is not technically a pit bull, the rest of the world perceives her as such. So what difference does it make what her DNA says? (Did that make sense?)

    Like you, I took a journey from being horrified at the thought that Mayzie might have pit bull in her, to defending and advocating for pit bull-type dogs. And, like you, regardless of her DNA, I am so grateful that she has led me down this path, opened my eyes and softened my heart. At the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters.

    MayzieMom

  • avatar Sara Nugent says:

    To complicate matters, the DNA tests are seldom correct…………..Sort of like fortune tellers – you have to take it with a grain of salt and do it for fun. Results really don’t matter. It’s perception that counts – as you have found out. Glad you are enjoying your dog. He looks like a good companion.

  • He’ll always be half pittie, half turkey in my heart!

  • We had a pure-bred yellow lab at adoptions this last Saturday. Someone asked me if he had Pit in him, because he had the blocky lab head and lab eyes. I think people often confuse those characteristics with Pittie – no clue.

    You’re probably going to find out he’s of some royal lineage, and then you’re going to have to call him Lord Turkeyton. And Rufus will just luuuuurve that – not! :-)

    • avatar Corbin says:

      Lord Turkeyton literally had me laughing out loud! So, I think you should call him that from now on, regardless of what breeds his DNA says he is! Royal Turkey it is!
      -Corbin (not of the royalties)

    • avatar Emily says:

      Hahahahaah, Lord Turkeyton! He would LURVE that… and maybe it would explain why he doesn’t like sharing the couch with anyone! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I can’t wait to see what the results say. You are going to share them right? Regardless of what they say he’s still the most awesomest Turkeyman ever!

  • avatar Allie says:

    I’m curious to see what the results will say! Though we had bizarre results when we tested our Gobo, who had been listed by the rescue as an Australian Cattledog mix — and looked like one, merle colored and covered with the “ticking” (we called them spots) characteristic of the breed. He came back as primarily Rottweiler and Doberman with some “mixed breed” thrown in. So, Joe always made fun of me when I continued to tell people he was a Cattledog. He said, why spend $70 on a DNA test if you’re going to ignore the results? I did one day walk past a drunk guy on a bench who said, “Is that a Rottweiler?” Only time that ever happened! Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see what the test says about Turk. Oh, and by the way, I don’t think he looks like a pit bull, but I don’t think your rescue journey will be a lie no matter what. Our newly adopted dog was listed as a pit bull (my first one – I’ve loved the “type” since I first rescued one who was tied to a tree about 10 years ago) and I’m not even sure she is a pittie, though that’s the first thing everyone says when they meet her. She probably has some pit but maybe more Boxer or Mastiff. I’m really glad your vet decided to call Turk a pit bull — look how many dogs have benefited!

  • avatar mytwopitties says:

    I was in the same position when I DNA tested Kaya & Norman. I really wanted them to have some pit bull in them but deep down I knew that no matter what they were, they were just right and I would always advocate pit bulls and especially since people see them as such! Can wait to see the results:D