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The Adventures of Moose and Bull

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The Origin and History of the American Sesame Dog

April 11th 2009 10:00 pm
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Many people are curious as to where dogs of my breed, the American Sesame Dog, come from. Some people are interested in getting a Sesame for themselves, while others just like reading about dog breeds. So, since "inquiring minds want to know," here it goes:

The American Sesame Dog has been around for as long as there have been domesticated dogs, and quite possibly before that, for if you closely examine modern wild wolf packs, you can often observe some very Sesame-like traits among certain individuals of the pack as well.

Early Sesames, just like modern-day ones, were born out of the "luck of the genetic draw," and not purposely bred by one person or group. Nobody knew what exactly to call them, other than "dumb mutts," for a very long time. But they were there, just the same.

In 1968, Fred Rogers began filming a children's television show called "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," and when people saw the puppets in the Land of Make-Believe, they thought for sure this is where these dogs must have come from. So the breed was called the "Rogers' Neighborhood Dog," for a short period. Although many of the dogs faintly resembled the puppets in the Land of Make-Believe, people quickly realized that the dogs were far more wacky than these puppets (and the puppets far more sensible and rational than the dogs), so they began looking for another way to classify the breed.

Then, in 1969, the show "Sesame Street" began, and it all started to make sense. When "The Muppet Show" debuted in 1976, it became even more clear that the muppet characters on the shows were clearly based on this breed of dogs. It was then that they finally received recognition as "American Sesame Dogs."

Many people want to know where they can get a Sesame for themselves. The answer is not as simple as you might think, for although the breed is well dispersed, there are no breeders who breed American Sesame Dogs, at least not intentionally. Partially because the very traits that make a dog a Sesame are difficult to predict in a litter. For example, two non-Sesame dogs might produce a whole litter of Sesames; and two Sesames may produce a whole litter of non-Sesame dogs. Have you ever heard the phrase "there's one in every litter?" American Sesame Dogs were the original inspiration for that phrase.

Since most puppies display at least a few Sesame traits, you really have to wait until the dog's adult temperament is formed to tell whether it is a true Sesame. To be sure you are really getting a purebred American Sesame Dog, you have to adopt/purchase an adult dog (2 years or older) and evaluate its temperament. The best place to find them is in shelters and rescues, as some people find Sesame behaviors too irritating to handle and rehome them. But those who truly love the breed find those same qualities endearing, and wouldn't give up their dog for the world.

The breed is currently seeking recognition in the American Kennel Club, although this has been a difficult process. The American Sesame Dog Club allows dogs to be dual registered as both a Sesame and another breed, which makes it difficult for the AKC to determine where these dogs really belong. And dogs with multiple breeds in their background are also registrable as purebred Sesames, which adds another layer of complexity to the process. Choosing which AKC group to classify them in has also been a challenge, as Sesames do not have one original purpose. In fact, they are very versatile dogs and could probably fit quite well in any of the groups.

If you think your dog is a purebred American Sesame Dog, please contact the American Sesame Dog Club for registration information. The club is currently assessing how many Sesames there are and how widely they are dispersed, so they would greatly appreciate any information you would like to provide them about your dog.


More Info About My Breed

February 24th 2009 11:53 am
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Now that you are familiar with the American Sesame Dog breed standard (see my last entry), here is some more information about them. Did you know there are different types of us? There are three principal types, and numerous sub-types. Here are some examples:

- The Monster type of the American Sesame Dog has a character and temperament that primarily resembles one of the monster characters on the children's television show "Sesame Street." Some of the more common sub-types include: Grover sub-type, Elmo sub-type, Telly sub-type, Harry sub-type, and Cookie Monster sub-type.

- The Animal type of the American Sesame Dog has a character and temperament that primarily resembles one of the animal characters on the children's television show "Sesame Street." Some of the more common sub-types include: Kermit sub-type, Miss Piggy sub-type, Big Bird sub-type, and Snuffalupagus sub-type.

- The Humanoid type of the American Sesame Dog has a character and temperament that primarily resembles one of the humanoid muppet characters on the children's television show "Sesame Street." Some of the more common sub-types include: Ernie sub-type, Bert sub-type, Prairie Dawn sub-type, Count sub-type, and Guy Smiley sub-type.

I'm pretty sure Moose comes from a pure cross of two Ernie sub-type dogs. What about me? I was a cross between a Cookie Monster sub-type and a Bert sub-type.


I'm an American Sesame Dog!

February 9th 2009 1:09 pm
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When I meet new people, they always ask "What kind of dog is that?" or sometimes they even try to guess. Here are the guesses I've gotten so far:

- German Shepherd
- Boxer
- Australian Cattle Dog or Heeler
- Corgi
- Lab
- Border Collie
- Pit Bull
- Shih Tzu (I know, that one definitely doesn't fit)

Silly humans! If you were smart, you would know that I am a purebred American Sesame Dog. Moose is too. Here is the official breed standard for the American Sesame Dog.

General Appearance
The American Sesame Dog can vary in appearance, depending on the line it is bred from. Overall character and temperament are more important than the physical features.

Any size is acceptable, so long as the animal is not overweight.

Ideally, the American Sesame dog possesses at least one feature that is out of proportion with the others; however, balanced animals are not disqualified.

Sturdy, able to play for long hours or lounge on the couch. Musculature and/or fat should not prohibit movement.

Each American Sesame Dog must have a head. Headless dogs will be disqualified.

Alert and always ready for anything, especially when food is nearby. Expression should be appropriate for type.

Any color or shape is acceptable.

All ear shapes are acceptable. Asymmetrical or different ears are preferred over two ears that are the same.

Each American Sesame dog must also have a skull.

Muzzle and Nose
The nose and muzzle should allow for reasonable, or preferably excessive, amounts of sniffing. Animals with noses that prevent them from finding food that has been left on the counter, or inside a garbage can, will be disqualified.

Bite and Jaw Structure
Undershot, overshot, scissors bite are all acceptable. Toothless animals and animals with missing teeth shall not be penalized.

Adequate for holding up the head.

Back and Topline
Any shape is acceptable, so long as the animal is healthy and able to move easily.

All body types are acceptable; bodies, legs and feet that seem out of proportion are preferred. The animal should have a tail, cropped or uncropped, although the latter is preferred as it allows for expression of the breed trait - "ability to knock over valuable objects with tail." American Sesame Dogs born with very short tails or without tails should not be penalized.

All coat types.

Any natural dog color, any shade, or combination of colors, in any pattern, is acceptable. Animals may be solid colored, spotted, have patches of one or more colors, or be brindled, merle, speckled, or mottled. Animals with unusual colors, such as pink, green, or purple shall not be penalized. Animals with unique markings are preferred.

The American Sesame Dog is able to run, jump, walk, and move freely, unless injury, illness, or age has made such actions impossible. Generally, dogs that are clumsy are preferred.

Character and Temperament
This is the defining characteristic of the breed. The American Sesame Dog must have a character and temperament that resembles one or more of the non-human characters on the children's television show "Sesame Street." The judge may ask the handler which character(s) the animal most closely resembles and judge accordingly. Ideally, the dog should be friendly towards kind, well-behaved children (Oscar the Grouch sub-types are exempt from this part of the standard). The American Sesame Dog should be amusing to watch, able to find food anywhere and easily knock over valuable items with its tail. The ideal American Sesame Dog has a character and temperament that greatly appeals to some people, and is irritating to others. Dogs that are serious or overly aggressive will be disqualified, except in the case of dogs of the Bert and/or Oscar the Grouch sub-types.

American Sesame dogs that take life too seriously, who do not act like cartoon characters, or who never get into trouble shall be disqualified, with the following exceptions:

- Dogs of the Bert sub-type shall not be disqualified for being overly serious.
- Dogs of the Prairie Dawn, Kermit, and Big Bird sub-types shall not be disqualified for being overly obedient.


Hooray! My allergies are (almost) gone!

November 26th 2008 1:18 pm
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It is getting COLD outside. But the cold weather has made my allergies much better, so that's okay with me. I don't care how cold it is - I still like to go for long walks every day (to the dismay of my human family). I get bored when they don't take me for a walk.

I want to keep up with my walks because it helps me keep in shape. It is funny to look at some of the old pictures on my Dogster page - I look so fat in them! Now I am slim and muscular. I have lost about 10 pounds since June, which I really needed to do.

Now that I am skinnier, I can jump on the couch much more easily, and it is easier on my joints when I sit and lay down. I also have more energy and don't get tired so fast. I am also much more handsome - people stop me on the street to say how handsome I am.

On Sunday, Moose came to my house. She was actually pretty good this time. We really wanted to play a fun new game (it's called "Bark and Tear Around Until We Get Tired") but the humans wouldn't let us play that game. Apparently they really like their furniture and they didn't want it to get broken.

The Pack Leader came with Moose. He gave us lots of treats. I thought that was great, but it made my tummy hurt the next day. I really need to learn not to eat so many treats.

My new favorite game to play (when Moose isn't around) is called "Get the Peanut Butter Out of the Toy." Sometimes it is a really long game. Last night I played that game for about 45 minutes. I almost won, but when I tried to put the whole toy in my mouth and chew the last little bit of peanut butter off, my owner took it away because I might choke on it. Oh well, maybe I can win next time.

You can see on my page that there is a fun new game where you have to name as many dog breeds as you can think of in 10 minutes. My owner's record is 93. Try it and see how many you can get!


My Cousin Cade

October 23rd 2008 7:20 am
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Today I will tell you about my cousin Cade. He is really cool. Cade is an Alaskan Malamute. I put a picture of him on my page so you can see what he looks like. Cade lives on a farm with my owner's aunt and uncle.

Last Saturday, everyone went to go make apple cider at Cade's house. I didn't get to go to meet Cade this time because we weren't sure if he likes other dogs or not. Normally he has his farm all to himself, and I thought maybe he'd like to keep it that way. But Cade did okay with my other cousin, Mr. Furley (a Border Collie mix), so maybe next time I will go too.

Cade is a big dog. He weighs more than twice as much as me! But he's a lot calmer than me or Moose, so I bet we could still give him a run for his money. Cade likes kids, just like me and Moose, but he is a little scared of new people.

This week my owner got a new sewing machine, so I got a new hoodie, and a new coat, and some new bandanas. I don't mind wearing clothes when it's cold. I gave some new bandanas to Moose too, but we have to watch her because she likes to take them off and chew on them. I like my hoodie the best. It is blue with little doggies on it. You can see it on my page.

This weekend is The Pack Leader's birthday. I will have to find some really yummy dog treats to give him as a gift (so he can share them with me and Moose)!


Our New Boat

October 8th 2008 1:23 pm
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Hooray! Moose and I got a new boat last weekend. It is a pontoon boat, which means that we can both ride in it at the same time. It is like a big giant golf cart! We already have a fishing boat, but it wasn't built for two dogs (there aren't enough seats for us and the people).

We went to see the boat at the boat slip on Sunday. You have to walk down these awful floating sidewalks to get there. Man, are they scary! Every time you take a step the sidewalk moves. I thought I was going to fall off, but I didn't.

But once I got on the boat I was all set. I found the best seat (on the chair right next to the Captain's seat), and plopped down. I had to move when it was time to clean that seat. But I think that is where I will sit from now on when we go for boat rides.

We didn't get to ride on the boat yet, but at least I got to sit in it. When it was time to go I didn't want to leave. Maybe this weekend I can go for a ride (it is Mrs. The Pack Leader's boat and this weekend is her birthday).


Raining On My Parade

September 19th 2008 9:05 am
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Well, I was all set to be in the parade last weekend. I had practiced everything, and I was doing really well. And then it rained . . . and rained . . . and rained . . . and rained . . .and rained all weekend long! They had to cancel the parade. I was really disappointed. All of that hard work for nothing! And to top it off, I couldn't even go for a walk because it was raining so hard. Our sidewalks and streets were all flooded.

Apparently the rain also brings out the scary monster that lives in the basement. He makes really loud noises on and off, usually when I am trying to sleep. It was really scary and made me jump. My owner said his name is Sump Pump and we have to let him make all of that noise because that's how he keeps the water out of the basement. Maybe if I bark really loud at my next bath time, I can scare the water away too. Now that the water is mostly gone the monster is quiet again, but I'm pretty sure he's still hiding down there somewhere. His much quieter friend, The Dehumidifier, is still hard at work getting the last little bit of water out.

On Sunday it finally stopped raining, so I went for TWO long walks that day. Moose and I weren't allowed to drive our golf cart though, because it was too cold.

Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. Yesterday I got to try on my pirate costume. There is a picture on my profile of my pirate vest. Tomorrow I will be in a pirate-themed dog walk (no rain in the forecast - hooray!) Maybe Moose will come too.


They Took Our Cart!

September 2nd 2008 11:19 am
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I put some pictures of me and Moose on my page so you can see what she looks like. Moose's owners haven't made her a Dogster page yet. Moose and I had a lot of fun at the lake this weekend, despite the fact that Sunday was "bath day."

I had a severe case of the itchies last week but now I am taking some allergy medicine and I feel a lot better. My bath took care of some of the scabs.

We also got to go for several rides on our golf cart. Moose and I love our cart. Sometimes we sit on it even when the battery is charging and we aren't going anywhere. When we do go for a ride, we have to take at least one human with us to drive. Moose and I aren't tall enough to reach the foot pedals and the steering wheel at the same time.

We drive all over. Sometimes we look at houses or go looking for deer, even though we're not allowed to chase them. Sometimes we even get to go to the marina for ice cream (they make special doggie ice creams there).

On Sunday, two of our human friends stole our cart! They put their swimming suits on and drove to the pool without us. That made us really upset. The Pack Leader tried to console us with some dog treats and a walk. The Pack Leader is the only person who can walk both Moose and I at the same time. When our other friends returned, they said dogs aren't allowed at the pool, but Moose and I thought that was just an excuse. We went for a ride after our baths (and got ice cream!), so we decided to forgive them. Afterwards we both sat on the cart for a long time. We wanted to make sure no one was going to steal our cart again.


Obedience Class and the Fair

August 22nd 2008 9:18 am
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My obedience class is going okay, so far. Last week was a little rough because I didn't listen as well as I should. I had no problem sitting or lying down next to my classmate Chopper - he is only about as big as my head, so I still look bigger even when I am sitting down. But I did not like having to sit next to another classmate who is about the same size as me, or anyone who is bigger. I prefer to stand so they know how cool I am.

I am doing pretty well in the class though - I am going to get some extra practice by being in a parade with some of my classmates. I will try really hard to pay attention during the parade, even though there will be lots of other people around.

This week my owner entered some pictures of me in the fair - one of them won a prize! That was exciting. Maybe my owner will buy me a treat with the prize money.


Kids Are Fun

August 14th 2008 1:57 pm
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Last weekend I stayed at the lake house with Moose, my owner, and Mrs. The Pack Leader. Mrs. The Pack Leader is very nice, but sometimes Moose doesn't listen to her. Mrs. The Pack Leader is very good at driving Moose and I's golf cart, so we usually let her ride with us.

Moose and I got a fun surprise - kids to play with! Kids are my favorite kind of people (although my very favorite person is not a kid). I like kids because they pay lots of attention to me. Sometimes they make me do goofy things (like dress up or wear my leash in the house), but it is still fun anyway. Kids always like to give me treats, and sometimes they accidentally spill their own food on the floor and then I get to eat it.

The kids stayed overnight, so I knew I had to be extra diligent in my watchdog duties. Around 5:00 a.m., I heard a noise downstairs. I was absolutely sure it was an intruder, so I rushed towards the door and barked really loudly to scare them away. Moose helped, too. After a few minutes our owners and us all realized the "intruder" was really just one of the kids who woke up early -- boy, did Moose and I get in trouble for that one! We both had to sit and stay is special places until it was really time to wake up. Mrs. The Pack Leader made Moose stay in her room.

Luckily the kids weren't scared and they still wanted to be my friends. Hopefully I will see them again soon!

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