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loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Monday, January 30, 2017

hold the dog

thanks pixabay (CC:00)
"Nokhoi hur!" Hold the dog! you call, as you approach a friend's ger (yurt) in the open country of Mongolia.  They are sure to have at least one, and that's precisely why that is how you say Hello.
The family member that rushes out to greet you will more than likely be a Mongolian Bankhar dog.  I hadn't heard of this breed, and there's a good reason why:  it's not a breed, it's a landrace.  A dog landrace is a locally adapted variety of a domesticated animal, more diverse than a breed, highly adapted to its locale, and often with long periods of time without outside influence.
Bankhars can look a number of different ways, and temperamentally tend to independence and calm.  This is what you want when you have a passel of sheep or goats out in the wide pastures; the Bankhar has evolved into a vital partner for the traditional life of nomadic herders.
This way is under pressure from climate change and other elements.  To gain help and awareness, the Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project was established.  The site is full of information and photos, including several of these proud, handsome dogs.
(By the way, have you ever seen The Story of the Weeping Camel?  Do it.  It's beautiful.)

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