Designer dogs and other pet related rants

Just as people meticulously customize a cup of coffee to suit their mood—a lowfat, decaf, mocha latte with chocolate sprinkles is particularly good—people are designing their pets to match their lifestyle.
~What’s a Labradoodle?

If you have, heretofore, been so lucky as to not come across the “designer dog” craze, have not heard of or seen a puggle, labradoodle, or chiweenie, by all means close the browser and don’t read this post. Go bask in the sunlight of your ignorance, I beg of you.

Because if there’s one thing I cannot FUCKING STAND, it’s making living, breathing, creatures into a fad. Bettas in vases, clownfish, Dalmatians, Saint Bernards, and gods only know what else.

A “designer dog” is a mutt. A cross-breed. Not even bred for a purpose, such as the lurcher. The very name “designer dog” is a testament to the fact that these dogs are bred to be a fashion accessory. A status symbol. And they’re purposely brought into this life for this. It’s not adopting a mix from a shelter…an animal that’s already here and deserves and needs a chance. This is wantonly bringing more creatures into this world instead of caring for the ones we already have.

And half the time, the poor animals are never even given a chance. As soon as they grow out of the puppy stage…as soon as they stop being the cute fashion accessory and starting becoming a living creature with needs and wants, they’re often neglected, abandoned, or abused. People get breeds, or cross-breeds, only for looks…without considering physical attributes or personality traits. Yorkies are terriers. Schnauzers are terriers. They were bred for a specific purpose. That purpose was not to sit in a purse and look cute. They were not bred to housebreak easily. That’s not saying they don’t. Many do. Many do not. Poodles (and poodle mixes) must be groomed once every two to three months. Period. There is no way around this. Letting your “Shiapoo” go for a year in between groomings is NEGLECT. Failing to exercise your Jack Russels (terriers, again) to the point where they’re attacking each other out of frustration and boredom is NEGLECT. Allowing your dog to become so infested with fleas and ticks that the bath water runs red when the groomer bathes him is NEGLECT.

I’m not making this shit up. I’ve seen all that, first hand, and more. Shit you wouldn’t believe. Cats with fur so matted their skin was raw. Nails that grew a quarter-inch deep into paw pads. A cockatoo so psychologically damaged that he plucked every single feather out of his body. He looked like a small Thanksgiving turkey with a parrot beak and some white feathers on his head. “Do I really have to get medication for my cat if she has tapeworms? Can’t I just let her live with them?” “We only want the finches for six months…then he’s getting a puppy.” And this isn’t fucking Animal Cops. This was not a damn vet’s office. This was a groomer’s shop in a pet store. Most people wouldn’t consider an animal being taken to a groomer as being neglected. They’re wrong. I saw an Australian Shepherd puppy once. Eight weeks old. Was so malnourished he was diagnosed with rickets. The breeder said he’d had plenty to eat. Yeah, plenty to eat of the cheapest dog food they could find at the feed store. The main ingredients were corn and meat by-product meal.

And people make them into a fad. Turn them into accessories. The next big thing. Mini-aussies. Now you, too, can have a high-energy, high-maintenance, highly intelligent herding dog in your house or apartment.

They’re not toys. They’re living creatures. Creatures that we, humans, bred and made dependent on ourselves. They cannot be bought on a whim and then tossed aside when they become inconvenient. This story right here is enough to break my heart, even with all the shit I’ve seen.

This whole attitude…the idea that everything exists for human convenience, needs to stop. Fuck global warming, here’s the real issue right here. This planet, and the creatures on it, especially those we have manipulated for our own purposes, are not ours to do with as we wish. You can get away with it for a while, but eventually you’ll have to reap the consequences.

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One Response to “Designer dogs and other pet related rants”

  1. gail cavanaugh Says:

    i volunteer at a shelter and wprk with a hairless dog rescue group. it is difficult and sometimes heartbreaking dealing with people who feel animals are commodities and disposable when they become inconvenient. thank you for saying what needs repeating frequently.

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