Primp. Preen. Parade.
People and Pups (so cute to call dogs pups) run around the ring indistinguishably, hair and fur floating elegantly in the breeze. Unless they are a Mexican Hairless, or a Hairless Chihuahua, of course.
Pose and gait just so. Perfectly bred. The pups more so than the people.
Who will be best of breed? (The dog not the person). Heaven forbid we would be judging people on their looks, their personality, their walk, their body .. oh we do.
Let’s take a commercial break though while the beauty kings and queens are trotting around their ring.
Crufts is, allegedly the largest show of its kind in the world and dates back to 1886. I thought it might have been the oldest but can you believe it? The American Westminster dog show dates back to 1877. Damn Americans beating us to something for once.
Anyway, for once we are bigger and better. Crufts lasts for four days and the Westminster only two.
Ironically, while all these pampered pooches are being admired and ooh-ed and aah-ed over at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre this weekend, a protest march will be carried out in Brighton tomorrow against the continued use of Beagle dogs for vivisection at Harlan laboratories in the UK.
How about some other shaggy dog stories?
Witnesses say the German shepherd was thrown from a bridge in Kansas City falling over forty feet.
A horse show was being held at the Hale Arena in Kansas City when witnesses saw a 2-year-old German shepherd come flying off the bridge and land in a snow bank. Although one witness called for help, no one rushed to her aid until two horse show attendees pulled up, putting her in their car and getting her to the vet as fast as they could.
Lindey is lucky to even be alive after her horrific fall. “When dogs fall that far they assume an orientation in space where front legs are coming down first, followed by their head,” said veterinarian Dr. Richard Smith. “We call that a 3-point landing and it’s not very pleasant, when front legs give out and then their chin hits the ground and causes damage to their mouth as well.”
Lindey will need complicated and expensive surgery to repair both of her front legs and damage she sustained to her teeth. The surgery along with follow-up care could cost $10,000. Lindey also sustained some internal injuries.
To help donate towards Lindey’s surgery and recovery go to mogsrescue.rescuegroups.org.
GREENTOWN, Pa. — A north-eastern Pennsylvania man is facing charges after he allegedly duct-taped a dog’s legs and muzzle.
Pennsylvania Humane Society police Officer said she filed cruelty-to-animal charges against a 26-year-old Greentown, Pike County, resident.
Metzgar said the Labrador/pit bull mix was found at his house, bound with duct tape and placed in an outbuilding.
She said the animal was taken to a veterinarian and was recovering.
Plenty more duct tape stories where that one came from too.
Leeds/Bradford, Yorkshire, UK
An 11-week-old puppy has been saved from a life of disability by physiotherapists after her front legs failed to develop.
The puppy, which was nicknamed ‘Wonky’ due to her bent forelegs, has learned to walk again after two weeks intense physiotherapy. Her rare condition was caused by her front leg tendons not developing properly after she was separated from her mother at an early age. The Staffordshire bull terrier cross was found wandering on the streets of Bradford after being abandoned. Staff at the Leeds Dogs Trust straighten Juliet‘s legs 30 times a day, to strengthen her muscles.
Waterloo, Iowa, USA
Caleb, a Labrador retriever mix, was found back on Feb. 16, locked inside of a feces and urine filled crate. It was evident that the dog has suffered greatly before finally succumbing to starvation.
Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK
Trusting terrier Issac was snatched from a garden in the city, led into scrubland and tied to a tree before his legs were broken, he was attacked, and his body set alight.
He burned to death, by the way.
It’s a dog’s life?
But let’s go back to Crufts where 22,000 dogs are competing for best in show. And in 2010 nearly 3,000 dogs were killed at Britain’s most famous dog shelter, Battersea Dogs’ Home. And that’s just one dog home and the number of kills. A drop in the ocean. Who cares about unwanted dogs?
Who can’t resist watching all those adorable, extremely well-bred dogs strutting their stuff around the ring at Crufts though? I know I always used to enjoy watching them.
I liked the working groups because it involved boxers, and then I liked the hounds, and the gundog group. I always wanted a setter, or maybe an afghan, such elegant dogs.
I loved to watch the exercises where clever dogs leaped over huge hurdles, wriggled through tunnels (obviously didn’t suffer from claustrophobia), and bounced cleverly up and down see-saws and walked on parallel beams. Or something like that.
I gather there is now a dancing dog routine. Perhaps they will add dancing bears next? So quaint and such a lovely British tradition.
arguments – er – discussions, on here and on FaceBook with pedigree owners about the value or not of breeding endless litters of aristocratic breeds of dogs to ensure the breed standard is ensured. Yeah, right.
In the past, I’ve also seen a couple of English bulldogs who cost a shitload and could hardly breathe. When my preferred boarding kennels were closed and we wanted to go on holiday, I went to one that also bred labradors (we had one at the time, from a rescue shelter before anyone asks). Said breeder had to kick his perfect specimen (the dog) through the door because it couldn’t get through it was so fat, and told us that was what a labrador should look like. This was on our collection visit, I might point out, or we would never have gone on holiday.
As for German Shepherds and hip dysplasia? Our dog must have been the runt of the pack as he had a pretty weak rear end, but never actually suffered from it.
But, the idea that a dog needs to look ‘just so, and have this height, and this colouring and these colour eyes, this bone structure, and a particular weight,’ sounds Nazi-ish to me.
In fact, I rather wonder why there isn’t a standard breed for the owners too? Tall, blond, blue-eyed, rather nice cheek-bones. No physical deformities for goodness sakes. Must keep within the rule book.
And, if you are meant to be called a ridgeback, you should have a ridge on your back. Or you will be killed. I mean culled, a slightly nicer way of saying it, don’t you think?
A Rhodesian Ridgeback breeder interviewed on the programme advocated the culling of healthy ridgeless puppies because breed standards forbid ridgelessness in the breed. The Chairman of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club stated that she considered ridgelessness a genetic fault. The ridge is a genetic trait, the presence of which is claimed to make the dog more prone to suffer from dermoid sinus. The programme mistakenly claims that the ridge itself is a mild form of spina bifida. (See below) One in twenty puppies is born ridgeless. A section of the code of ethics of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club was shown to state that “Ridgeless puppies shall be culled.”
The programme pointed out that selectively bred dogs were in poorer health than mongrels.
I highlighted the Ridgeback example because it hit home to me, as one of my family dogs was a ridgie. But here is the full wiki article on Pedigree Dogs Exposed. Nothing we all didn’t know anyway, but still, maybe a few people weren’t aware that inbreeding causes problems.
Meanwhile, my partner had polio as a kid. Has a curved spine and a limp plus an extremely skinny leg. Not really a perfect specimen? Put him down eh? Of no value. Although he could possibly pass a few agility tests or some working exercises.
As for me? Probably would have survived the first round interrogation as a baby. But when the tonsilitis kicked in and the appendicitis, I think I would have become a waste of space and money. Get rid of her. That’s before I even sprained my ankles, ripped ligaments, and all the rest of it.
The other point of view…
I’ve had so many pedigree owners and breeders telling me what wonderful people they are, and how much they love dogs. Hell, they even give a bit of money to the local shelter, or maybe given them a cast off towel for the shelter dogs. That’s nice isn’t it?
Some of them transport rescue dogs up and down the country (America). I’m not entirely sure why this happens because there must be that many dog shelters nearby that surely you can go and find some bloody homeless unwanted dog without wasting a shitload of fuel driving (or even worse flying) a dog all around the place?
And all these wonderful breeders, who make no money out of it, and just love to have puppies by Princess Mizha of Turkistan sired with King Ebony of Uzbekistan, are just in it for the love of dogs.
Well fine, quit breeding exclusive, expensive, dogs and go down your local shelter if you love them that much. Give some unwanted homeless dogs a future. Instead of creating more problems.
It doesn’t even need to be a boring old mongrel like some of ours. You can still get yourself a fancy pedigree dog.
We are experiencing record numbers of dogs needing to be rehomed, currently averaging over 100 new dogs per month with over 50 in commercial kennels
A breed I’ve not had, but we met someone who was involved with greyhound rescue (you know, send them around a racetrack and bet on them).
Because until someone explains to me, how buying an adorable pedigree puppy with a distinguished lineage from a reputable breeder helps all those dogs on death row, or any of those street dogs, or any dogs at all in any shelter, I will continue to criticise people who reject a shelter dog and pay hundreds for a pedigree.
This is extremely simple. If you buy a pedigree puppy/dog, that is one less dog rescued from a shelter. And, one more dog killed, qv Battersea Dogs’ Home statistic above. In fact, nearly 3,000 killed in 2010, just to be clear if you haven’t remembered.
If you want to go to Crufts, or watch it on your television, great. If you like spectator sport, clear off down to your local rescue shelter and see the dogs huddled in the corner who no-one wants, because they are too old, or not cute enough. Or just, not anything really. Because I have done that, and wanted to home every single dog in the kennels.
But don’t say, I love dogs, and I went to Crufts. Because all you are really doing is supporting Best in Show, or whatever the hell it is called, so someone can charge megabucks for their dog to shag another one and have some frightfully expensive puppies.
1) I have never bought a dog from a breeder
2) My three UK dogs came from rescue shelters
3) My Spanish dog came from the street