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Pink Granite, Blue Lacy

Written by Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe.
A hardworking, people-loving dog, the Blue Lacy is a true Texas breed (above, three-year-old Jake).

Several years ago, when Marlo Riley of Helotes sought a hardworking ranch and hunting dog that was also good with children, she learned that her family’s stake in Texas history included more than a famous donation of pink granite. They had bred a blue dog, too. “My aunts and uncles didn’t keep the Blue Lacy dog in our family story. They just talked about Granite Mountain,” says Marlo, referring to the Texas granite that, in the 1880s, helped build a new state capitol after the previous wooden structure had burned. Now, Marlo maintains an unusual family genealogy: the Lacy Game Dog Registry.

Marlo’s great-great-grandfather Frank Lacy and his brothers, George, Ewin, and Harry, moved to Texas from Kentucky in the 1850s, settled in Marble Falls, and built a reputation for breeding hogs, cattle, and dogs. The Lacy brothers’ dogs, said to be a mix of greyhound, scenthound, and coyote, soon numbered the same as any other breed in 19th-Century Texas. That the small, energetic canines supposedly could do the work of five cowboys may not have been just another Texas tall tale. Nevertheless, over the years, the breed almost disappeared as land was fenced and ranchers no longer needed herding and droving dogs. Fortunately, interest reawakened in the last century, and recent efforts to restore the Blue Lacy have brought the number to about 1,100 today. Most of these hand-some, short-haired dogs live in Texas.

A plaque in the Capitol in Austin acknowledges the three families, including the Lacys, who donated pink granite to the state. The Lacys’ blue dog has also received recognition in the Capitol: In 2001, the Texas Senate formally commended the breed for “qualities that typify the rugged virtues of the Lone Star State.”

From the September 2004 issue.

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