Mushu is my son’s dog. The character Moochee in my Koko books is based on Mushu. People look at Mushu and wonder what breed of dog  he is. Mushu is a stocky, long-haired dog with coloring like a Beagle and a bark like a German Shepard.

I tell people he’s an Arkansas-Razorback Hound or a pig hound. The pig hound was bred to guard pig pens. If a pig escapes from the pen the Razorback Hound will start barking and run after the escaping pig. The barking alerts the owners a pig is loose.  The stocky hound will lock his mighty jaws on one of the pig’s hind legs and  pull the escapee backwards till  the owner arrives.

The pig hound lies in a heavily-constructed doghouse, ever watchful for escaping pigs. The doghouse is not only strongly built but is anchored to the ground and three feet longer that normal.  There’s a good reason for this.

Sometimes the escaping pig is a six-or seven-hundred pound hog. A pig hound isn’t strong enough to pull this massive pig backwards. The Razorback Hound will bark an alarm, run behind the hog and bite one of it’s “hams,” so-to-speak. The infuriated hog will turn and charge after the pig hound, who is running for his doghouse. The hound will dart through the opening, which is big enough for  the dog but too small for the massive hog to enter. All the hog can do is stick his head through the opening or, for the really large hogs, just its snout and one eye.

The hog can’t reach the hound. The dog’s job is to keep the hog there until the owners arrive. So, the hound continues to bark and sometimes sticks its tongue out at the mad pig.  But, the pig hound needs to be ever watchful, because pigs have good memories and will drag a snoozing hound out of the doghouse by an ear. There aren’t too many one-eared Razorback Hounds.

Well, actually, there aren’t any Arkansas-Razorback Hounds. I made it all up. Sorry, but I am a storyteller. Mushu is a mixed breed — part Corgi, part Beagle, maybe part German Shepard; and I  thought he might be part pot-bellied pig. But, it turned out that Mushu has thyroid problems that make him a chunky-monkey. He’s a very friendly, gentle dog who would never think of  biting people, other dogs, cats or escaping pigs. Although, he would bite a squirrel if he could catch one.

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