By: Renee Jackson

The Catahoula, beautiful, majestic, so full of intelligence, heart, much of everything, which is why we love and admire them so. A mystery, oh yes! So very much so!

As a child, they were taken for granted, a tool of trade, used, appreciated, but beyond that, my only concern was what was in front of me. I had no curiosity about their origins, of the hows; the only thing I knew was they were an integral part of my family and often granted hero status.

It was only after I reached adulthood that I questioned them, the dog, their origins, and the history. A curiosity, but upon research, more often than not the same stories appeared. It was escalated when the World Wide Web appeared on the scene. It was at that time, what used to be stories were elaborated upon by whoever was telling the tale. Some were outlandish and yes, even in some instances insulting.

What started as a curiosity became just as much of a passion as that I have for the breed itself. I also discovered the history is there, the real history, if you just look and look I did. So much so, what used to be knowledge I obtained from my interest became a need to document, so the truth would be told. Yes, sometimes it is and will be from the Native's point of view.

I also knew in order to fully tell the story a chapter on genetics should be included, which is when I asked Mary to author this important topic. While I know there are more formally educated people, her self-education on the subject of Catahoula genetics is second to none. It seemed a perfect match, both of us passionate about the breed; we have addressed that passion in different outlets, both so very important to the breed.

I, as a descendant of those who developed the breed, appreciate the efforts of those who came before us and those who continue to keep the breed's best interest at heart. It gives me great pride to know that this book on genetics will not only be a great contribution, but a tremendous tool for the breed as well.

Rene is currently working on her book - "Catahoula, the Native's Perspective"