Medieval Mudi in a Movie

It might be “fightn words” among Hungarian sheepdog fanciers, but there are those who believe that the oldest of the Magyar herding dogs is the Mudi.

Cynologists can’t be any more certain of the breed’s history than they are of other Hungarian herding breeds since many records were lost during occupations and war. Nor did it help that when Dr. Emil Raitsits, a professor at the Veterinary Clinic in Budapest, traveled the country investigating native sheepdog breeds, he focused more on the Puli and Pumi than the so-called “third type,” the Mudi. Nevertheless, the superbly versatile Mudi remains a trusted helpmate to Hungarian shepherds, and even today, the dogs still work with recalcitrant cattle and/or flocks containing hundreds of sheep.

Our own focus in this post, however, is the result of an unexpected spotting of the breed where we least expected it,  particularly for a rare breed (the AKC parent club writes that worldwide,  Mudi numbers are about 1,500-1,750).

And we don’t know how we missed it given that we’d seen this TV series at least twice before.

The series originally aired in the mid 90s and was based on the British historical murder mysteries written by Edith Pargeter, “Cadfael.”

The fictional character, Cadfael (played by the inimitable actor and Irish Terrier owner, Sir Derek Jacobi) is a Benedictine monk and herbalist at Shrewsbury Abbey in 11th century England. A former Crusader, Cadfael now finds himself solving murders in medieval times. In the first episode of the second season, “The Virgin in the Ice,” Cadfael is investigating the circumstances of an attack on a fellow monk who been left for dead. It was in the scene below that we noticed the dog.

Do you see what we think we see?

Much of Cadfael was filmed in Hungary, and when we really noticed the dog, we thought we were seeing a Mudi.

What do you think?

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