Sunday, July 4, 2010

PSA Time!

Hello all! I know I've been a horrible blogger and I stopped blogging and broke all your hearts and asked for my toaster back and left you all alone. Life has been very busy and exciting over the past year - working with groomers and vets, and now at a wildlife sanctuary! The many animals in my life always come first, and it's been hard to find the time for things like blogging. Maybe if something changes I'll be back. I still spy plenty of breeders that make me want to concuss myself...

Anyway, the reason I bust back in now is to give you guys an update on one of our favourite BYBs, Mileen Coulter! She still has a million websites and breeds a million breeds (toy poodles, Yorkies, "teacup poodles", miniature poodles, Maltipoos, cockapoos, schnoodles, Morkies, Shorkies...). Still has the same weaselly NuVet health clause. Still advocates hybrid vigour in her Shorkies, and throws in this gem: "Hybrid Vigor means, "Physical or mental strength, energy, or force."AKC used this method to create the different breeds that we have today." Yeah, the AKC just loves that hybrid vigour!

Oh, and she's a confessed drug dealer. Yeah.

Look, I'm not here to judge, I'm just here to inform. And who am I kidding? Of course I judge. Dealing drugs says an awful lot about the kind of environment you live in! I wouldn't buy a puppy from a home like that. But then, I guess I'm just a cyber bully. [sad face] So, you make the call!

On a different note, I do want to say I've kept in touch with Steffy White of Priceless Pups, and I think it's fair to say that she knows how designer breeding SHOULD be done. She does health checks on all her dogs instead of relying on magical hybrid vigour, she clicker-trains her puppies, and she'll take back and rehome any dog she's bred if the owner should want to dump it, which she states explicitly on her website (compared to the standard NuVet health clause seen on so many other designer dog sites). One could get nit-picky, but the point is that she's producing happy and healthy family dogs. Which is, after all, the whole point, isn't it?

And, ya know, she's not dealing pot. That's a big plus.
Hope you enjoyed this PSA! MoT out (for now)!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

HR 669

Where did I go?

Was I kidnapped by Serbs and held for ransom? Did the Angry Pig finally smother me in my sleep and escape to South America with the inheritance money? Has the Large Hadron Collider opened up a wormhole that sucked me up and spat me out in Narnia?

Well, no (much as I wish for that last one to be true). I just have not had either the time or the energy for blogging lately. Hopefully things will change, but - we'll see.

Anyway, there is one thing I had to post here. I wish it were something happier!

On April 23rd, the Natural Resources Committee of the US Congress is going to hold a hearing on HS 669, also known as the Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act. This is a resolution that, if passed into law, would ban the adoption, purchase, selling, transporting, breeding and private ownership of nonnative pets. This is virtually every reptile, bird, fish, and small mammal commonly kept as pets. These are the animals that WILL NOT be banned:
  • any cat (Felis catus)
  • cattle or oxen (Bos taurus)
  • chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus)
  • dog (Canis lupus familiaris)
  • donkey or ass (Equus asinus)
  • domesticated members of the family Anatidae (geese)
  • duck (domesticated Anas spp.)
  • goat (Capra aegagrus hircus)
  • goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus)
  • horse (Equus caballus)
  • llama (Lama glama)
  • mule or hinny (Equus caballus x E. asinus)
  • pig or hog (Sus scrofa domestica)
  • domesticated varieties of rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
  • sheep (Ovis aries)
This means the pets that WILL BE BANNED include reptiles, tropical fish, birds, hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, and guinea pigs.

Because guinea pigs will destroy our frail ecosystems (or the economy, what?), but keeping a llama is A-OK.

I know what you're thinking. It's probably along the lines of "WHAAAAAT". Or "IS THIS A JOKE?". Or even possibly "FINALLY! I TOLD THEM THE IMMINENT HAMSTER INVASION IS NIIIIGH."

If it was anything like the former two reactions, anti-HR 669ers are urging people at this point to not panic. This thing is still way off from being a law. The hearing on the 23rd is only the beginning of what would be a long process. "Nonnative" animals you have currently won't be affected (though if it goes through, you will be prohibited from breeding or transporting them across state lines). And this is just in the US for now.

But if you want to help nip this thing in the bud, here are things you can do to help:
  • Contact members of the subcommittee (their names and contact info can be found at the end of this document)
  • Contact your representative in Congress (here's how)
  • Start organizing a Rodent Underground Railroad to Canada (haha, wouldn't that be kind of cute though?)
  • TELL PEOPLE! Friends, family, coworkers, yell it from the rooftops! This effects everybody who likes snakes, small pets, beta fish, parrots; everything but the kitchen sink (though the kitchen sink isn't on the Approved List either)

And remember to stay civil if you do contact anybody!

More information can be found here, and here. And again, the full text of the document can be found here. Aaand MoT out!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Unicornoodles For Sale

This immortal CL ad lampoons everything we love about dog AND horse breeding!

Unicornoodles for sale...

I have one of the rarest mixes around. These are NON sheeding Unicorns, and keep their horns all year round. They have wonderful coats and are hypo-allergenic.

Champion lines and european bloodlines (One of the unicorn's grandpappy's actually won something one time or something like that when yugoslavia was a country)
Designer Breed - so they gotta be healthy right?
I'll be charging $3500 because I want them to go to good homes only.
These are the smartest and brightest around. You won't find anything smarter!!!
These are CKC registered (since the CKC will register anything with four legs)
Raised with kids, cats, imps and fairys.
Grandmother owned by Paris Hilton's cousin's ugly step-sister.

They are GUARANTEED to keep your tweens and teens virginal until their prince arrives. Don't waste your money on the countless badly bred purebreds, and mix breeds... instead waste your money on a unicornoodle and be the envy of the universe.

In less fun news, it sounds as though the Obama family is leaning ever further in the Portuguese Water Dog direction, and I'm not the only one with some consternation. Hmmm.

Sorry for my absence of late, all! I've been working on another project that's eaten up some time. But no worries. I'm still here and cynical. :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

10 Strangest Mutts

Longtime reader Ala sent me this adorably funny article: 10 Strangest Mutts (part 2). Hands up, who totally wants to snuggle that second pooch! Mohawks are totally going on my list of features I love in a dog, right up there with beards and shaved butts, y'all. :) What a great way to promote the mutts they have up for adoption.

Now hands up, those who find the last dog on the list to be the freakiest-looking muttpuppy they've ever seen!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Pedigree Dogs Debate Continues

Check out this report by the RSPCA!

Because each breed has its own problems there is unlikely to be one cure-all solution. However, the authors have suggested a number of possible ways forward. The four measures considered to be of greatest priority are:

  • Systematic collection of data on the diseases all dogs suffer from and causes of death.
  • Changes to current registration rules to prevent the registration of puppies born from the mating of close relatives.
  • Changes to current registration rules to allow new genetic material to be introduced into breeds. Currently a dog can only be registered with the Kennel Club if both its mother and father are registered members of that breed’s studbook.
  • Monitoring of the effectiveness of any changes to breeding strategies.

Essentially, quit linebreeding and open the registries!! Yes!

Will it give the Kennel Club any food for thought? I sure hope so. In the meantime, I hereby call the role of president of the Mark Evans Fanclub. Who's with me??

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jon and Kate Plus 10

This just in, the Gosselins have adopted two puppies.

The Gosselins - just in case you live under a rock - are the family whose lives are televised in the hit show Jon and Kate Plus 8.

Through intrauterine insemination, the couple first had twin girls, and four years later Kate gave birth to sextuplets. That's two 9-year-old girls, and six 5-year-olds.

Two 9-year-old girls, six 5-year-olds, and now two puppies.

Okay. I am not totally anti-Jon-and-Kate. They're a cute family.


Not even any puppies. German shepherd puppies! This is a breed that is
a) very active
b) very SMART
c) up to 100lb full-grown
d) sometimes aggressive in the wrong hands.

Did I mention that they're PUPPIES?

This is not using your head.

When you're in any kind of unusual circumstances, it is ESSENTIAL before adopting a dog to do all that thinking ahead. With a purebred you usually know what you're getting into.

Are Jon and Kate going to have the time to socialize two puppies, what with raising EIGHT KIDS UNDER THE AGE OF TEN? Do they have GSD experience? Do they have time to devote to exercizing both dogs? Are they certain their children and puppies will get along? Will they be able to train both litters to respect each other? Do they know if any of the kids might have dog allergies?

Taking all this into consideration, the obvious answer is that they shouldn't have a dog at all. I wouldn't entrust a guinea pig to most nine-year-olds, and apparently these children couldn't even keep hermit crabs alive. But if they must have a dog, why not a whippet from a rescue? I swear whippets are the sweetest dogs on the whole planet: they're notably good with children, healthy, low-energy, and it couldn't possibly be that hard for such a high-profile family to find a mature, already trained dog. Or how about a greyhound (also low-energy and low-shedding)? Or a beagle (cheerful and friendly and great with kids)? Or a Golden retriever (calm and trainable, nonaggressive, and also great with kids)? Why get two German shepherd puppies??

When you're in the public eye like this, people do tend to follow your example. This is not only disappointing; it's ridiculous. Jon and Kate Gosselin, here's your sign.

*The episode Puppies! is set to air next week.

Friday, February 13, 2009

First Dog-watch '09

It seems like half the dog world is waiting with bated breath to see which breed of dog President Obama will adopt into the White House: Portuguese Water Dog, or Labradoodle?

As something of an, ahem, critic of muttpuppies - or at least of the ideas that surround them - I feel obligated to share an opinion. Mine may surprise you.

First we have the PWD, also known as "those shaggy dogs with the shaved butts". Fantastic! They're purebred and low-shedding and holy crap they have shaved butts. What's not to like?

The Labradoodle, on the other hand, is equally shaggy and sadly lacks a snappy trim, but is also low-shedding and quite intelligent. Hmmm.

In one corner, a smart, hypoallergenic, hairy monster. In the other corner, much the same.

Doodle and PWD. Or is it PWD and doodle?

I would pick the Labradoodle.

I will not lie. I love a dog with a shaved hiney almost as much as I love a dog with a beard - and I love a dog with a beard. But there are several other, indeed more important factors to consider, some of which may be known to the president and his family, some maybe not. Health, for instance.

The PWD is not a healthy breed. They're terrifically inbred, for starters. Long story short, the Portuguese Water Dog Club was founded in 1972 when there were 12 known PWDs in America. Ten short years later and the number had hiked to 650. Around this time, PWDs were registered with the AKC, both officially submitting them to the closed registry system, and causing their numbers to soar. And ever since then, the gene pool has been strangled more and more. God forbid the AKC ever entertains the notion of admitting an outcrossed dog or open registries! So the breed gets sicker and sicker. Thanks a lot, Snidely.

This isn't my real concern since the Obamas probably aren't planning on breeding the First Dog. Probably. But we are talking about a nation who apparently caused a rise in breed popularity not only after 101 Dalmatians was released, but also following Beethoven. BEETHOVEN. The movie about the dog that slobbers and sheds and eats his owners' belongings (and probably fantasizes about eating them too, oh my God!). Some people just have no idea what breed they want when they get a dog, till the first one that looks remotely interesting drifts into their line of vision. Well, if it's good enough for the president ...!

And of course, with demand, comes supply. The last thing PWDs need now is a spike in popularity.

The AKC and Westminster, of course, wholeheartedly back the idea of a Porti First Dog. Health issues be damned, they'd love to see that resulting registration money, and I imagine they'll be crowing enthusiastically about how President Obama endorses purebreds after all the flack they're gonna be taking. Sort of like that time-old playground defence that that other kid can't be mean to you because you have an older brother in the sixth grade who'll beat him up. Did that ever work, by the way?

In comparison, there are a lot worse dogs to select than a Labradoodle.

I yammer about unpredictability a lot, and before you stone me, I'm not backing down from that conviction. But this is one of the many reasons why getting a designer dog from a shelter, as the Obamas plan to do, is so much better than going for a breeder. Labradoodles can be low-shedding ... they can also shed quite as much as their Lab parent does. When you adopt from a shelter, for one thing, you don't have to pay the exorbitant sum that (what amounts to) mutts are going for these days, and secondly, you're probably getting a mature dog. There will probably be people there who can tell you about his temperament and they may even know whether he qualifies as "hypoallergenic" or not. And there's no shame in taking a shelter dog home for a trial run.

And let's face it: Whether the mutt's got hybrid vigour in its favour or not, a Labradoodle is bound to be vastly healthier than a PWD.

So there we are. MoT is championing a muttpuppy over a purebred. Don't get used to it. ;)

Besides, it's all about public image. I feel a snooty purebreed will not be well-received by America. No worries... I hope.