(The native term for all of these specifically Hungarian things is "hungarikum," hence the address of the blog, don't say you did not learn anything new today).
However, before we start on our quest, we need to talk about one of the few, and possibly the most well known specimen of hungarikum of all:
The Mop Dog
WTF IS THAT THING?!
(Also pictured permanently on the right)
The above are all search terms that regularly bring people to my other English blog, so I decided it was high time to put them to good use and educate the virtual masses about what makes Hungary Hungary, above and beyond tiny neurotic dogs with their own 1.5 million Facebook followers.
But first, let's talk about the dogs anyway.
If anyone is qualified to talk about the puli, I would be one of them: when I was growing up, my grandparents were breeding the little Rastafarian critters in great quantities. In the mama dog's eyes, I was one of the litter, and I acquired a great deal of early knowledge of anatomy by sticking my fingers into her nose and ears. The puppies came and went, usually bought by foreigners, which always gave me an unspoken anxiety that they will end up with Cruella DeVil who was going to fashion a new line of braided felt coats out of them.
According to my mother, children who grow up with dogs will take on the dog's personality, which would explain a lot about why I am constantly hyper and have a compulsive urge to herd people into groups (my sister, on the other hand, grew up with a bobtail, and she is as chill as they come).
Puli are legendary for being smart, being fast, being good at herding sheep, and being owned by Mark Zuckerberg. For centuries they were the faithful companions of shepherds, which they like to remind you of by nipping at your ankles if you stray too far from the rest of the family. Although they definitely look cool with dreads, they like to have their fur cut in the summer. They bark a lot and chew on things. That's pretty much all you need to know.
Oh, and one more thing:
Sure-fire tips for telling which end of a puli is which:
- Put it out in the sun for five minutes, and one of them will present a lolling pink tongue.
- Offer treats and observe which end wags.
- Offer treats higher up and observe which end is pointing downwards (not many dogs attempt to catch treats with their butt.)
- Take treat away and observe which end bites.
- Once located, mark front end with ribbon. (*Note: Make sure you don't take up all the fur from in front of the eyes; the dog might actually go blind.)