THE JHOMCHOLAN DIVER ("CHOLIAN WATERDOG")

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY - HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR - DIET - MATING - USAGES

The Jhomcholan Diver, nicknamed the "Cholian Waterdog" by outsiders, is a highly social, water loving canine known for both its diving and hunting skills. It is most commonly found in Aeruillin, though it has spread to southern Sarvonia as well. The dog’s high intelligence and fun-loving demeanor make it optimal as a house pet for any society even if it is far from its beloved oceans.

Appearance. The canine is approximately two fores high and still reaches, from the tip of its wet black nose to the end its korwyn gold tail, at about one ped, three fores.

Head. The canine’s head forms a distinct triangular shape, a common feature among many other dogs. At the tip is seated a wet, warm nose. Buried deep within, past the clear flaps of skin that block the entrances while the animal is under water, is seems to be a body part that provides the beast with a keen sense of smell that allows them to far exceed that of most other animals. This uncanny sense enables the beast to track other animals by smell, even under water, though the sense is greatly reduced because of both the consistency and the small flaps of skin that cover the dog’s nose underwater.

The Cholian Waterdog's pointed snout is covered, with rough, short hair and joins its nose to the main portion of the face. Centered atop this projection in a small concave is a pair of beady black eyes, surrounded in a forest of fur. Upon close inspection, one will find that the eyeball is flesh with the animal’s face, unlike a human, whose eyes are generally considered to be a ball.

Above the eyes, two long, floppy ears dangle down to meet the neck with their round tips. It is not rare to often see these ears slightly raised, signifying that the Jhomcholan Diver is listening for signs of prey. Rapid movement, using small muscles found resting at the base of the ear, allow the canine to hone onto sounds in all directions without moving his body. When relaxed, these ears will be casually pressed against the Cholian Waterdog’s head. The Jhomcholan Diver has the ability to hear extremely well, supposedly even better than a human.

Branching off from the dog’s head is a concrete neck which connects the head to the elegant body. Small, coarse hairs are littered across this expanse. Apart from providing warmth, this fluff also portrays the emotions of the dog. Normally, they are plastered along the canine’s neck, however they stand up on end when the animal is at attention, a very visible change despite their petite size.

Body. Waves of shiny fur ripples down the back of the beast, forming a protective layer against the water. This consists of two layers, a coarse, oily water proof outer layer and a light, fluffy inner layer. This combination is specially adapted for maximum efficiency while swimming. While the shiny hairs on the exterior of the mammal repel water, keeping the dog dry even when submerged, the poofy inner layer provides warmth during the frigid winter or in the dark depths of the sea. Knotted muscles, particularly around the legs, are visible, contracting and relaxing to provide an undulating motion as the beast runs, or propelling it forward while coasting through the water. Each of its front legs are equipped with semi-webbed paws, containing coarse patches of exposed black skin, known as pads, to provide protection for the feet when running. The lower legs, unlike most other members of this family, are raised slightly over the shoulder line at the hip, to provide for easier swimming while paddling along the surface, completely webbed, and contain a ball and socket joint, allowing for the animal to rotate them in almost any direction, allowing for multiple styles of swimming. Sharp claws deck the paws on these back legs, optimal for shredding prey apart, or grasping it firmly while if surfaces along with complete webbings.

The tail is approximately two fores in length and acts as a rudder while under water, steering the dog in many directions and allowing for complicated underwater maneuvers. Above water, it is used primarily to display emotions to the owner. For example, when the tail is drooped in between the legs, the animal is either sad or ashamed, however if it is wagging freely from side to side, it is displaying happiness or joy.
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Special Abilities. There are mainly three prominent abilities worth mentioning:

Territory. While spread thinly throughout southern Sarvonia as well, the highest concentrations of these mammals are in the Cholian city of Jhomchalas, and in aquatic locations scattered around the town. This animal, though most prominently used by fishermen, such as the mentioned Cholians, can be found in a variety of life styles and climates, both in an out of the water. Return to the top

Habitat/Behaviour. Generally these animals are considered to be very social, however, based upon its living conditions, such behavior may greatly vary. It is proven that dogs subject to hostility from its owner, starvation, or physical abuse will cause the Cholian Waterdog to become less hospitable and friendly. Under these circumstances, it is not uncommon for the dog to attack a human or other being, though they would not usually do so. Because of its social nature, it coincides well with humanoids, learning to thrive with them and creating a strong bond between the two, and the animal is often reported to have gone to great lengths to prevent harm from coming to him or her and serves them obediently, a skill which is quite useful for the Cholian fishermen. Its happy disposition makes it optimal as a family pet, for the breed is very loving and makes a wonderful companion to all.

It is known to live the saying “No pain, no gain” to its fullest potential, often ignoring injuries and physical pain. This trait makes it optimal around small children, often withstanding roughhousing while at home and when it is overwhelmed; it simply backs away instead of snapping or clawing or may attempt to correct the mistake on its own.

The Cholian Waterdog recognizes a single person or family unit as its master or, in some cases, due to dominance issues, its pack. Any person or thing it encounters, ranges on a scale below this in the animal’s favoritism based on interactions between the two. Set above all, if it gets its way, is the dog itself. This dominance complex is found in almost all of the beasts unless corrected at birth or as a puppy through training. To prevent the animal from feeling as though it owns the family unit, it is highly suggested that the true master trains the animal and constantly reinforces its training by practicing more common commands.

Most of these waterdogs are known to become quite vocal when they are excited or happy, often leading to a noisy hunt, or obnoxiously waking up owners in the night (an event that has caused many to lock their animal out of the house while they rest). These noises of mirth are often mistaken by those unfamiliar with the animal as a growl or a bark and are not intended to be a warning or to display anger. In addition, some dogs will “smile” bearing its teeth into a peculiar grin in a seemingly threatening manner, while in reality they are simply displaying contentment.

Yet, despite the joys of the family unit, nothing will ever compare to the ecstasy brought by aquatic locations and the thrill of the hunt. Whenever possible, the Jhomcholan Diver will attempt to immerse itself in liquid, diving in and out in graceful motions if the depth permits, using its heightened senses of smell and hearing to locate possible prey. The canine will rarely kill another animal for amusement, unless ordered to do so or in hunger, instead it enjoys the process leading up to the attack, the stalking and the chase.
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Diet. Often classified as an omnivore, this adorable pooch eats a plethora of foods ranging from fresh meat or fish to the gnarled mutliweed to the egg of a copperhead. In the wild, the animal’s diet consists mainly of vegetation with sparse amounts of meat scattered throughout as it is more difficult to catch. Seeing as the best parts of the fish are usually kept for its owners, the dog has no qualms about eating what humans would consider to be scraps. It is a great reward for the animal to receive part of the more tasty flesh.

However, if housed by a Cholian family, the canine will eat primarily the flesh of the jakecha fish, a coveted aquatic animal hunted by the tribe, though other foods will be needed to sustain it too due to the fish's inability to fill a stomach. As the dogs get older, this diet will become more evident, separating the animal from its less fortunate cousins, as they grow paler, like their masters, and eventually come to look like a dog-like version of the tribe that nurtures them.
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Mating. After reaching the age of six months, the animal reaches sexual maturity. While the female will most likely begin mating right away, males will have to wait at least two or three more mating seasons before he is able to compete with the stronger animals for a mate.

The mating ritual starts when the female’s body begins a process during which it excretes a particular scent, recognizable only to males, saying that she is fertile. This scent is often emitted two or three times a year, depending upon the individual. Within an hour after it is secreted, male dogs from all over the area flock to the female. Fighting other dogs and performing feats of strength and agility are the means in which the male attracts attention. After carefully selecting the most impressive, the female dog will approach him and remain motionless, allowing him to mount her.

From here, the rest of the mating is dependent upon the female. For some unknown reason, the actual mating process will not begin until the newly formed couple reaches a location they deem safe, usually the water, though sometimes it may be in their home or even in an unfamiliar location. The female, who is unfortunately below the pair, must awkwardly drag the male dog to the location as he is unable to do so by himself.

Approximately 9 weeks after fertilization, a litter of 4-12 puppies is born. Usually the father will not remain long enough to see the birth of his children, instead moving on to fertilize other animals.
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Usages. As its name suggests, this canine is primarily used in the region surrounding the Cholian city of Jhomcholas (by the Bright Sea) as both a hunting dog and a retriever. Due to its heightened underwater senses and compatibility with humans, significant numbers of the animal migrated over. In its early years, the dog is taught basic commands by its master, teaching it both dominance and effective group hunting techniques. At an early age, the animal is brought out to the open ocean with its master where it expected to successfully perform many tasks. Due to the heavy use of the sparth spear, on fair days when the fish are close to the surface, it is rarely used, but on less favourable days, the animals are expected to brave the cold to perform its duty.

Due to the Cholian Waterdog’s dominance problem, it is practically impossible to keep two of the animals in the same household, let alone on the same boat. This, coupled with the animal’s high reproduction rate has caused a population overflow, providing unwanted puppies to its masters. For this reason, male dogs are favoured, as responsibility for the young is nonexistent for the masters. Great flocks of female dogs roam the deserted allies of the city or flock to the ocean to provide them with sustenance. These bitch animals are often considered to be pests and are angrily shooed away for being annoying or, in some drastic cases, beaten to repulse them.
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 Date of last edit 22nd Passing Clouds 1666 a.S.

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