The New Pedigree Is…
Already riding a surge of unprecedented popularity, dogs of mixed or unknown heritage are getting another boost. Whether short-legged, spotted, curly-haired, barrel-chested, pointy-eared or snub-nosed — or a combination of all of them — multi-breed mongrels will be welcomed and extolled at a new registry and Web community launching this week at muttigrees.org.
Now I'm not a snob—canines are canines—but I think those guys have forgotten there's some good reasons for gettin' a purebred from a reliable breeder.
First, ya' can meet the dam of the pup as well as the littermates. It's important to see how they all interact. A lot of those shelter dogs have serious psychologial issues from a bad upbringin' that you'll won't discover until it's too late. Then it's right back to the shelter—mutigree and all.
Second, ya' can see who the grandsire and granddam are and if they're winners. Maybe ya' think all that says is they're handsome, but ya' can't make it in the dog show biz world without havin' the right temperment to get along with lots 'n lots 'n lots of strange dogs in small spaces and large arenas. Unhealthy, bad-tempered canines need not apply.
Third, some breeds are almost hypo-allergenic—they shed so little people with allergies to canines can own them. That shelter pup might look like a poodle or a schaunzer but end up bein' more of somethin' else entirely.
The American Mutt-i-grees Club—created by the Pet Savers Foundation, the developmental arm of the massive North Shore Animal League America in Port Washington, N.Y.—will give voice to the estimated 25 million owners of mixed-breed dogs, send mutt certificates to their pets and ultimately elevate the mixed-breed choice in the public consciousness, says J. John Stevenson, president of NSALA and managing director of the foundation.
Give 'em a voice and maybe they'll give ya' money, right?
The fact is that purebreds that enter shelters nationwide (25% to 30% of the intake numbers at most facilities) are generally adopted far faster than the mixed breeds. And it is believed that the vast majority of approximately 3 million dogs euthanized in shelters every year are mixed breeds. They are either the result of random encounters between neighborhood dogs, or the overflow from breeders and puppy mill operations that have begun creating litters of specific mixes called hybrids, such as the union of beagles and pugs (known as puggles) or Labradors and poodles (known as Labradoodles).
And creatin' a special "registry" for Mutts is gonna' help stop people deliberately breedin'…mutts?
There are already some join-up opportunities for owners of mixed-breed dogs, including registration operations that issue paperwork for hybrids not recognized by the American Kennel Club, and organizations that exist primarily to put on competitive events for mixed-breed dogs.
Dirty little secret 'bout "purebred" canines—we all started out as "mutts" at some point in our development. It takes a good long time to get accepted by the AKC and that's only after provin' ya' have consistent standards, which is why people like buyin' a responsibly-bred, pedigree canine. We Aussies are so "new" AHM and my dad actually met the daughter of the man credited with developin' our specific breed. ('Course she was pretty old.) And the AKC didn't recognize us until the 1960s.
Mutt-i-grees will "occupy a very different space" from the existing registries and clubs, says Stevenson. "We want to become somewhat the AARP of mixed-breed dogs.
I can't say I'm particularly crazy 'bout the direction AARP has been headin' politically (even tho' we're all eligible to join) so that's not much of a sellin' point for me.
Just as AARP advocates issues relevant to seniors by aggregating a tremendous number of members, we, too, want to channel the voice of 25 million mixed-breed owners, to raise awareness and promote regulation to diminish the stronghold of puppy mills and irresponsible breeders."
A-ha! "…[C]hannel the voice…to…promote regulation[s]…" Just what we need—more regulations 'cause the average human is too dumb to be responsible for their own behavior. They're also too dumb to train their canine companions in proper etiquette or teach their human brats that, if ya' slap the dog around, he might return the favor—with teeth.
But I'm guessin' their real agenda is to outlaw breedin' "purebred" dogs entirely. They'll start by makin' it un-PC to own one, then gradually make it so tough to breed 'em they'll go the way of nuclear power. 'Course when the country is swamped with genetic misfits whose vet bills are breakin' the family budget, they'll start screamin' for taxpayer-paid universal health care for pets, and, ultimately, new regulations to create "proper standards."
The proliferation of dog clubs, registries and communities is indicative of "the evolution in the way we view dogs in our society," says Stephen Zawistowski of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "There was a time when owning a dog was a thing you did by yourself. Now dogs are part of the social fabric of people's lives." Being able to connect with others of like mind "is part of the belonging-ness of dog ownerships, another way of sharing the love," he says.
This guy must be the Dr. Phil of the animal world 'cause I haven't seen so much pablum since gettin' weaned. Get a clue, buster. If ya' really were in touchy-feely communion with dog owners, ya'd know we DO NOT want a bunch of silly-ass regulations tellin' us what to do every minute of the day. And frankly, if I ever actually meet the person who coined the phrase "…the belonging-ness of dog ownership…" I'll whizz on his wing-tips.
Mutt-i-grees program organizers expect 250,000 people to sign up on the website in the next 12 months. The free membership includes access to health tips, blogs, expert advice and cross-discussion among members; the $25 and $100 memberships provide merchandise discounts and special offers.
Hmmmm…. Free membership…along with years of spam—er—promotional emails—pushin' that merchandise and special offers.
True dog people already know their best pal is special. S'far as I'm concerned, ya' can use that "Mutt-I-Gree" to line your litter pan.
posted by Harrison at 12:17 AM