Every year, we watch the Westminster Dog Show.
A friend sent this link, showing what it was like backstage at the dogshow. NBC has since updated it to include some show pictures too, but if you look at these backstage shots and still want to join the show dog circuit, you’ve seeing something I missed. I think the Maltese with the curlers did it for me.
It’s odd that even though I enjoy watching the show, this page of our newspaper makes me sad:
In today’s paper, for instance, there are eight different ads for Chihuahua litters. I read quite recently about there being a glut of that breed in California dog pounds. Perhaps dog poop in the purse becomes tiresome for Hollywood starlet wannabes who carry their dogs in them. Actress Katherine Heigl paid to rescue 25 Chihuahuas from the pound and ship them to the Northeast where they were adopted in one day.
The ads in our newspaper are almost evenly divided between traditional breeds and “designer dogs.” Ten ads for Golden Retrievers, five each for Pit Bulls, Maltese, Labrador Retrievers, and Poodles, and then several other breeds as well as the Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Puggles, Maltipoos, Chorkies, and Morkies. That makes for a lot of dogs to sell in a tough economy.
Once a repairman working on our house mentioned that he had two mastiffs he was planning to breed and “make some money off of.” What would he do with the ones he couldn’t sell, I wondered. (He also planned to open a tattoo parlor, but already did them on the side if I was interested. I wasn’t. )
The pounds in our areas are overflowing. A rescue operation from the Northeast took some of the overflow from a kill shelter (now there’s an oxymoron!) in a nearby county. But that was just one day. (Whatever the Northeast does to restrict their pet population might be something other areas need to investigate!)
These are tough times for many and I’m not accusing the places in the above ads of being puppy mills, nor am I throwing stones at people who buy from responsible breeders. My wonderful pet, the late Howard Lee, came from a reputable breeder, as did my cute granddoggies.
I have a ‘thing’ about puppy mills though. I’ve mentioned before, Miss Piggy spent the first six years of her life in a puppy mill rabbit cage, malnourished and bearing litter after litter, until the place was closed. And people who abandon their animals beside a highway? Words fail me.
Here is a rescue operation providing a service I’d never considered. I learned about it when I received an e-mail looking for a home for the dog of a soldier being deployed, after the arrangements he’d made fell through at the last minute. The sanctuary takes in unwanted animals from kill shelters and other people, too, and tries to find homes for them. If your home needs a pig or a snake to be complete, this is the place.
A dog’s loyalty is so strong that he will defend his owner against another dog. No other species does that.
The problem is that Man’s Best Friend could use some new friends of his own.
“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in”. – Mark Twain