Who IS that dog?

Ginger doesn't have a particularly long coat. It's thick and it's soft but it isn't long and flowing like Lacy's..or like her sire, Boston's, either. It's more like her mother, Maggie's coat. Don't get me wrong...Gnger's coat is VERY easy to care for. Any burdocks or stickers come out quickly and, like most ES, when she gets muddy, all she has to do is dry off and shake and her coat is clean. The thickness of her coat protects her when she swims in the Atlantic in January (not much keeps her out of the water!) and is only a problem (minor) when locating the numerous ticks which seem to find southern Maine a desirable place to live.

The interesting aspect of Ginger's coat is that, when she sheds, she changes color. The shafts of hair in her coat, particularly over her shoulders, are opposite of most shaded sables. If you part the hair over Lacy's back, you'll find that the base of each hair shaft is light tan, while the end is black, giving her the shading part of the color. Parting the hair on Ginger's back, you'd find that the shaft base is black and the end is a darker, redder tan color. I think this gives her coat a richer, deeper sable coloring. Until she sheds.

The first time she really shed out was in the summer before her second birthday. The previous summer, she had still been in puppy mode. It seemed like, all of a sudden, she was a different color...mostly black over her shoulders and you could see with the dark, dorsal stripe clearly visible. Wow...I was amazed...and took pictures. This coloring didn't last very long as her coat came back in quickly and we were back to normal for the next year.

After her litter of pups last June, I expected her to "blow" her coat, just as I'd read about. She did...and how! It seemed like the loss of her coat due to pups coincided with the summer shed and she was down to what seemed like one layer of guard hairs. (Her tail looked like a rat's with a little tuft at the end.) It seemed to stay this way, too, as we got into September and went to a couple of gatherings. An experienced breeder even remarked on how much hair she had lost. I began to despair that what coat she had had was gone for good.

Now, I know better. It's February and she is back in full coat. Jack and I are both amazed at how much has grown in. Plus, with more hair now, she's back to the "ginger" color that helped lead to her name. It's just as thick and silky as before and I love to run my fingers through it.

She seems to have passed on these qualities to at least one of her pups. His coat, at eight months old,is much longer than his mother's but just as soft and thick...AND he has the same rich, red color, although it's more overlaid with black. It will be interesting to see what he looks like when HE sheds!

Coat!

No Coat!

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