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Danette Benton

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Jett, The Albino Dog?

When I take Jett for a walk, I always get my favorite tourist question: "What kind of dog is he?" I get this question EVERY TIME  I take him out. The most common response after I tell them, "He is a smooth coat border collie," is, "Are you sure?" This is followed by a string of breeds that the person "thinks" he is. It always makes me secretly chuckle inside my warped sense of humor of a brain! My personal thoughts will remain in my brain at this point.

When Jett was about 4 months old, we were going to obedience classes. I was working towards getting his "Canine Good Citizen" certification. One of the things they need to pass is going by other people with and without a dog and your dog behaving properly. So, one Sunday afternoon, I decide to take him to Grand Boulevard for an afternoon walk. Like I do every afternoon, I pick a location that I want to hang out and head over. Grand Boulevard is an upscale shopping area with restaurants and a movie theater. I asked my son, who is 26, if he would like to go with me. Now, on this particular day, I had forgotten the Sandestin Wine Festival was going on.

We get there and it is pretty crowded. I walk Jett around the outskirts of the crowd to make sure he is ok, then sit on a bench with him while people walk by. Many petting him, asking the favorite question, "What kind of dog is he?" Everyone is sweet. He does great! He has had many occasions for socialization and he just takes the whole thing in like a pro, "Canine Good Citizen!" After an hour or so, my son and I decide to head home. As we head back to the car, a very nicely dressed lady comes up to us. She pets Jett and asks the favorite question, "What kind of dog is he?" I tell her "He is a smooth coat border collie." Try saying that fast 25 times every time you walk your dog. She wheels around at me, clearly a little tipsy and says, "Are you sure he is not an albino dog?" Her words, not mine. I smile, and tell her in a sweet tone, "I have never heard of that breed, but no, he is a smooth coat border collie." She insists that he is an albino dog and tells us that most of them are deaf. Then she puts her hand right above Jett's ears and starts snapping her fingers over the left ear, then over the right ear. Jett cocks his head from left to right as she switches from the left to the right ear. She looks at me and says, " No, he's not deaf! But, he is definitely an albino. I would know because I have a kid that is an albino." My son, who was raised with good southern manners, says, "It was so nice to visit with you. Would you like for us to call you an Uber?" She replies, "No, I have a ride home and staggers away in her beautiful dress and spike heels. Now, I have to give her a big tip of my hat right here. I have trouble walking in spike heels sober. She walked away in those heels without a hitch. Just a little bit of a lean to one side. We walked back to the car and my son looks at me straight as a judge. "I am so glad you are my mom." We laugh and I hug him.

A few months later, the good news: Jett passes his "Canine Good Citizen" test and he is still a smooth coat border collie!

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