The great howl of Blossom the dog

pettales@thetribunenews.comJuly 25, 2013 

Blossom is a mix of Pekingese, American Eskimo and Ibizan hound. She howls to certain tunes, such as the ‘Jeopardy!’ theme or when her owner plays the piano.


Several years ago, Dawn Whitridge of Templeton sent in a story about her Shih Tzu, Blossom, who became tangled in her car harness and was rescued from her predicament with the help of some good Samaritans.

Recently Blossom celebrated her birthday with the Whitridge family:

“We celebrated Blossom’s birthday on June 26 — well, what we call her birthday. We adopted her on June 26, 2010, from Woods Humane Society; they guessed her to be about 3 years old. It was then we decided that June 26 would be her birthday. Since that birthday, we added a middle name, Joy — no explanation needed.

“I have written before in praise of Woods and cannot speak highly enough of the many organizations that exist to save the lives of these beautiful animals and care for them until they can find the right homes.

“I have another spoiled dog, a Scottish terrier named Flora, who tries to run my life according to her schedule — and most of the time, she gets away with it.

“Blossom and Flora are the best of friends, although Flora is much more independent, which is funny, because one of the reasons for bringing Blossom home was to be a companion for Flora.

“Blossom was described as a Shih Tzu mix when we adopted her, and she certainly looked like one.

“Over time I became more curious. Among her many hilarious traits: She howls like a banshee when she hears certain tunes. The theme from ‘Jeopardy!’ always sets her off. Another trigger is when I play the piano; she sits underneath it and lets me know exactly what she thinks, her head raised in protest as she howls loudly.

“Friends have suggested that she might be howling with joy. Trust me, it is not a joyful howl, of that I am certain.

“So, we finally made the decision to have her DNA tested. We were astounded at the results.

“On one side, she is pure Pekingese, at least all the way to her great, great grandparents. On the other, she is a mix of American Eskimo and Ibizan hound. While she bears no physical resemblance to either, it might explain the howling!

“I always read the Pet Tales column and am happy to see how often you show some of the many adorable animals that are available for adoption.

“If anybody is wondering whether it would be a good idea to adopt, I can only say that even the thought of not having known the love and affection of the two dogs I have brought home from Woods saddens me. Both of them have brought, and are still bringing, such joy to our lives; I just can’t imagine a life without them.

“Thank you, Woods and all the people out there working to place these beautiful creatures in loving homes.”

58th anniversary at Woods Humane

Woods Humane Society is celebrating its 58th anniversary by lowering adoption fees for dogs and cats to $58 on Sundays through the end of July.

Each adoptable cat is spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped prior to going home.

Several spay/neuter programs are also available through Woods.

Woods Humane Society is at 875 Oklahoma Ave., in San Luis Obispo.

For more information, go to

If you have a story or photos of your furry, feathered or scaly friend, email pettales@thetribunenews com or mail Pet Tales, c/o The Tribune, P.O. Box 112, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406.

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