They are a American breed of working dog from the Gulf Coast with an interesting backstory. Given that in my first career I worked with animals, especially dogs, I'm always pleasantly surprised to run across a totally unfamiliar breed of pooch.
I met a Catahoula recently, and he is gorgeously spotted, and sleek, intelligent and irrepressibly energetic. I'd never heard of the breed before, and I keep saying the word out loud for my own amusement. CATAHOULA!