Ever since we got her, a favorite past time has been imagining where exactly Sprout came from. All we know is she was picked up as a stray by Animal Control, spent the required amount of quarantine time at the city pound where her lady parts were removed, and then, presumably because she was deemed more adoptable than the mass of one-eyed pitbulls, was transported to the smaller BARC shelter where we picked her up after only one day. But we want to know what happening in the approximately four years of her life before those two weeks of being tossed around the system. Her docked tail suggests she was at some point a pet. On the other hand, her fearful behavior and the fact she wasn't yet spayed suggests she was neglected. It's all very mysterious, but we've come up with a few theories.
1) She looks like so many other animals including a dinosaur, a horse, a seal and a chicken that it's possible she's not actually a dog, but a magical creature à la Harry Potter. Not just any magical creature, but a descendant from the royal line of noble Whimblesprithers. She has had to adapt to our bizarre muggle habits, which explains her strange tendencies. Whimblesprithers are always carried downstairs, so how can Sprout be expected to walk down them? They can be summoned by calling in a shrill English accent, "Whimblesprithaaa!!"
2) Her anxious behavior seemed similar to a case on the Dog Whisperer, only that dog had served in Iraq, so his neuroses had an explanation. We thought it was possible that Sprout had also served overseas, only in the capacity of a USO entertainer, as part of a Shirley Temple impersonation act.
Getting caught in some enemy crossfire would surely jangle any dog's nerves.
3) A big piece of the puzzle would be figuring out her breed. When we got her, we were told she was a Jack Russell mix. But the more Jack Russells we saw, the less we were convinced they had any relation. A little Google research revealed she's more likely a Rat Terrier. That meant she had farm dog heritage, which is charming. Only her ears were never quite as pointy as a rat terrier's. Was she rejected from a breeder because she fell short on the breed standards? Or was she part of some experiment to create one of those new annoying hybrid breeds (schnoodle, puggle, etc.)? Actually, there does exist a JackRat, but Sprout is so much cuter!
This morning I got an email from Meredith with this discovery. The most like Sprout yet! And with the added bonus of Nordic ancestory! It seems like a long shot, considering these are apparently incredibly rare, especially in the US, but given her humans' love of all things Swedish (Lykke Li, Ikea, fine little day, Scandinavia House, Jens Lekman & Morran to name just a few) it is also Sprout's most exciting option.
We'll probably never figure out exactly what Sprout is or where she came from, but it doesn't matter. She's ours now.