What kind of dog is that? It's a common question when Sam and Max are out and about, says Norma Disz.
The two are Portuguese water dogs, now nicknamed "Obama dogs" since this breed was chosen last year as a pet for Barack Obama's daughters, says Disz, of West Point.
Disz shares some interesting facts about this rare canine, about 150 of which live in Utah.
* Portuguese water dogs do not shed and don't have dander, so they are considered a good pet for folks with allergies. The dogs are single-coated, like poodles, and have no undercoat to shed.
* Sam and Max are black, with "parti" coats, which means they have white markings. Max's white spots are less noticeable -- save for his groovy soul patch -- but Sam has snowy patches on her head, neck, chest and front paws. As a breed, the dogs may be solid black, solid brown, or either color combined with white patches.
* There are two coat types: "Sam is a wavy; Max is a curly -- when he gets wet, he's kinky," says Disz.
* Underneath all that hair, the dog's skin is different colors. Blue skin is found under the black hair, pink skin under the white hair.
* The tail fur is trimmed short except at the tip, where it grows long and is called a "flag."
* Portuguese water dogs were originally bred by fisherman in Portugal to work on their boats. The dogs would retrieve fishing nets, and also carry messages from ship to ship, or from ship to shore, Disz says. They have webbed toes and are good swimmers who will swim with their heads under water.