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Humane Society of Greater Rochester

It’s hard to say what causes that connection. When someone meets the dog they are going to take into their home, bring into their family. For some it’s that furry face looking up with pleading eyes. For others it maybe that fluffy tail wagging its first excited hello. For Esca and Martha Matilda, well… it might have been something else.

Tilly’s look is truly one-of-a kind! From her sporty do to her big eyes, Martha Matilda is a very special pup.

See Martha Matilda, or “Tilly” as she’s called, isn’t quite like other dogs. She’s a one-of-a-kind, kind of gal. The only fur she owns is a sporty mowhawk, muttonchops, and some tufts on her feet and tail. “She looks at you with those big eyes, with her tongue hanging, and you can’t help, but smile,” says Esca Stumpf, who has been fostering Tilly since she came to the shelter back in June and adopted her this October during Adopt-a-Dog month.

What Tilly lacks in fur she makes up for with a big, sparkling personality. When visiting Esca in the office, she can often be found sitting in her lap, giving some snuggles while Esca busily types and answers emails. Though a little nervous at first, Tilly is making wonderful strides and new friends at every turn. “I can see her confidence grow every day.  It’s amazing what love (and treats) can do!” says Esca.

But we couldn’t help but wonder what genealogy may have gone into making such a unique little lady? So, we purchased a Wisdom Panel DNA Test from the Lollypop Farm gift shop.  In just a couple quick, painless mouth swabs, we collected a little Tilly slobber and sent it away, and we were fascinated by the results, because below is Tilly’s ancestry tree.

We were baffled when Tilly’s tree didn’t reveal a hairless breed in her lineage, but when we called Wisdom Panel for more information they did not disappoint.

Do you notice anything missing?  We sure did!  We were pretty sure little Tilly was a mix, but all of these dogs had something in common that Tilly did not.  Whether, short, fluffy, or even poofy, all the breeds in Tilly’s tree had hair! Where was the Chinese Crested? Or maybe a Xoloitzcuintli? Or the American Hairless Terrier? Where was the explanation for Tilly’s very unique features? Certain there had been a mix-up in the lab we sent along a picture of Tilly with one question, “Are you sure?”

Our friends at Wisdom Panel did not disappoint! Turns out hairless dogs have an interesting trait. Hanna, from Wisdom Panel explained “ In most breeds that carry hairlessness the trait is caused by a homozygous lethal mutation, which means that when only one mutated copy is inherited a dog will be hairless and healthy, but when two copies are inherited the embryos do not develop during the pregnancy.” This is why the trait was more likely inherited from one of Tilly’s mixed breed ancestors, and didn’t show up in her results. After the Pug, Poodle, Beagle, Pekingnese, and Cocker Spaniel, Tilly’s next closest relative includes a Chinese Crested Mix from whom she likely inherited her beautiful features.

Wisdom Panel tests not only can provide insight on your pup’s good looks though. They can help provide information about their health. Some breeds are more prone to certain health conditions than others. A Wisdom Panel can help you know what to look out for down the road. And it’s always fun to learn something new about your furry friend. Wisdom Panel tests are always available for purchase in the Lollypop Farm gift shop.

But whatever the look each pup is as unique and special as little Martha Matilda!  From the biggest ball of fur to the tiniest, hairless friend—and isn’t that why we love them all.