When one Ms. Wang finally found the Japanese Spitz she had been looking for she was overjoyed – so much that she did not stop to wonder why the pet shop was selling him for just $100. One such puppy would usually cost ten to twenty times that. She gladly paid up, gathered her white ball of fur and puppy eyes, and took him home.
Ms. Wang adored her dog. She cared for him in every way she could; she made sure his long white fur was immaculately groomed and almost always spotless, and she fed the puppy a rich diet of chicken breasts, dog food, and even fruits. It was all cuddles, cute puppy-head tilts and games until he turned three months old.
The concerned woman noticed that her puppy would not bark, never had. She also saw other weird features; the dog’s fur became a lot thicker, his muzzle became too pointed and his tail too long. He also wouldn’t take another bite of the dog food. When she took the dog for a walk in the park, other dogs looked scared and wouldn’t come close to him. At some point, another dog owner approached her and said that the dog looked a lot like a fox.
Ms. Wang was now worried, and she decided to take her puppy to animal specialists at the Taiyuan zoo, hoping that they could explain what was going on with her beloved puppy. Much to her disappointment, they confirmed that what she thought was a Japanese Spitz was actually a fox.
Wang was shocked – anyone would if they learned that they had been rearing a fox for a whole three months. It now made sense why the puppy had been so cheap. She decided to give him up to the zoo where he could get the appropriate nurture and care that she could not provide. It was a sad moment when she left him, but the zoo staff told her that she could visit whenever she wanted.
On closer observation, it was concluded that the puppy was indeed an arctic fox. Arctic foxes are also known as the white, polar and snow foxes. They have very thick white fur that not only keeps them warm but also acts as camouflage in the extreme parts of the northern hemisphere. They are well adapted to the lethal cold with rounded bodies that help to minimize heat loss.
The arctic fox is mostly carnivorous, feeding mainly on fish, seal puppies, seabirds, lemmings, and voles. Once in a while, it also eats berries, seaweed, decaying animal flesh and small insects. They are quite the dedicated parents and stick together with their partners for life as they raise their young ones, sometimes with the help of other close family members.
The Japanese Spitz, on the other hand, is a very fluffy version of the Spitz with a pointed muzzle and long white fur. It is understandable why Ms. Wang mistook the arctic fox for a dog; it is almost impossible to tell the difference when the two young ones are put together.
As they grow into adult age, however, one can clearly distinguish them. The fox’s muzzle will become more pointed while that of the dog will maintain its size. The dog’s tail is usually curled while that of the fox is straight and will grow longer with age. Ms. Wang will probably think twice the next time such a deal is too good.