Saturday, July 16, 2005

Lately, I have been trying to find a message board to discuss first-time dog parenting issues and milestones. All I have found are bored socialite and wanna-be socialite men and women discussing all things registered and purebred.

I have long been bothered by the notion of "registering" your dog. The idea of taking a living breathing creature and turning it into an idealized symbol sickens me. Folks, we are talking about dogs. Dogs are individual, thinking creatures that no more know that they are a husky and their neighbor is a poodle than a toaster knows that its a toaster.

To a dog, he lives with strange giant two-legged creatures that feed him and take care of his needs.

However to a lot of people in the civilized western world, that dog is a trophy, a status symbol, to show that they were suckered in to paying quite a lot of money for an idealized symbol. I am furious with reading message board after message board, page after page of mind-numbing drivel. "My pekingese is displaying bulldog tendencies, she is registered, but I wonder if she may have been mixed."

These are the same dog people that take their precious creatures to breed specific meet-ups, and cannot understand why their "fluffy muffykins" would rather mate with the sooner dog down the street, when she could produce more $1000 puppies and bring a return on her owner's investment.

These are dogs. They need to be part of a family. They need to go places, see things, sniff things. These message board dog folks often don't understand why their irish setter is barking at neighbors, or displaying signs of aggression with strangers. But look how they treat their precious investments. They leave them in a crate for most of the day, take them out for a few hours, when it is convenient, and then back to jail.

Imagine if you took a baby from day one and treated it the same way. You would end up with something along the lines of a mix between a wild bear and a pirhana.

So now you want to hear about my dog? Its an American Eskimo spitz, named Anubis. Purebred yes, registered no. He has been taken everywhere since he was six weeks old. He is more afraid of hamsters than people. He must hug everyone he sees. He does fantastic tricks. But one never knows if their dog is truly purebred, and my little Anubis has the tendency to wash his face with his paw like a cat.

I wonder...