Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author Marty Essen

Conflicted genetics

Marty’s photo of the day #3764: When Deb and I adopted Nellie from the animal shelter, a little over a year ago, we assumed she was a black Lab mix. A DNA test showed otherwise. She’s actually one-half golden retriever and one-half Australian cattle dog. We don’t dispute the DNA test, as we can see both breeds competing for dominance. In fact, every evening the dingoes come (Australian cattle dogs are one-half dingo), and for about an hour Nellie switches from sweet and cuddly to wild and comical.

This photo, taken along the Judith River in the American Prairie Reserve, is another example of Nellie’s conflicted genetics. The golden retriever in her wants to go swimming, and the Australian cattle dog in her thinks swimming is way overrated. Her compromise is to run full-blast in the shallow water, splashing as much as possible. Both sides of her think it’s hilarious.

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