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Westminster Dog Show Rebuffs Shelter Dogs
For 24 years, Pedigree has been the sponsor of the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, but not anymore.  This year, Westminster switched sponsors to Purina. The reason?  Pedigree’s commercials promoting adoption from shelters are not the image Westminster desires.

cross posted at writing in the rAw

Apparently, humans aren't the only ones fighting the 1%. Seems shelter dogs and mutts need to start their own #Occupy movement.

Bejesus. If this isn't an indicator of how bad things are, how wide the divide: dissing the beloved mutt???? I don't know what to say... except that real dog lovers will go ape over this.

Shelter dogs are a bummer? Really???? Tell that to my Romanian dog who is smarter and more resourceful than any inbred purebred. In fact, set them loose in the countryside of Romania and then let's see who's the better dog.

Idiots:

Tired of Sad Ads, Kennel Show Takes ‘Dog With a Smile’ Tack
Prancing purebreds and pound puppies do not mix, or at least they will not during the televised broadcasts of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this year, after the club cut ties with Pedigree, a longtime sponsor, in part because of Pedigree’s commercials featuring sad-eyed mutts up for adoption.
 snip

“Show me an ad with a dog with a smile; don’t try to shame me,” Mr. Frei told The A.P. The kennel club had expressed its concerns to Pedigree, he said, adding, “We told them that, and they ignored us.”

_______

My Romanian girl... when she first arrived, we had to have her shaved and cleaned up:

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here she is last summer, much more relaxed and secure:

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Originally posted to pfiore8 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 06:18 AM PST.

Also republished by PWB Peeps.

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  •  i guess, in the dog world you'd say (367+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qannabbos, Karl Rover, AnnieR, decembersue, David54, David Kroning II, dougymi, Dave in Northridge, virginwoolf, cassandracarolina, Aunt Pat, Ice Blue, pittie70, Dem Beans, NJpeach, MKinTN, ChemBob, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, detroitmechworks, Bob Duck, implicate order, broths, Dallasdoc, Powered Grace, Matilda, Sychotic1, Mentatmark, Sanuk, googie, Calvino Partigiani, Curt Matlock, Melanie in IA, ontheleftcoast, megisi, sodalis, gypsytoo, Philpm, Robobagpiper, gchaucer2, NMDad, Its a New Day, leftynyc, Josiah Bartlett, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, newpioneer, Medium Head Boy, itskevin, belinda ridgewood, Catesby, rapala, Habitat Vic, labwitchy, hyperstation, mconvente, frsbdg, glendaw271, martini, jennyp, petulans, janmtairy, JamieG from Md, democracy inaction, TracieLynn, swansong50, Gemina13, Turbonerd, mr crabby, Jake Williams, Preston S, UtahLibrul, deben, lineatus, BlueInRedCincy, NYFM, Sylv, Hirodog, JVolvo, jfromga, acuppajo, rasbobbo, S F Hippie, pat bunny, Amber6541, tgrshark13, homo neurotic, randallt, DRo, greycat, Yellow Canary, koosah, jabney, pgm 01, Its any one guess, Loudoun County Dem, mrsgoo, StateOfGrace, gloriana, AuntieRa, Therapy, scribeboy, msazdem, blue armadillo, Sun Tzu, jazzizbest, My Spin, Cronesense, Voodoo king, leonard145b, kerflooey, LaughingPlanet, royce, MuskokaGord, markdd, blueintheface, StateofEuphoria, mungley, ExStr8, Gordon20024, MA Liberal, zerelda, jts327, OhioNatureMom, barbwires, Naranjadia, a2nite, weck, juca, Crabby Abbey, GeorgeXVIII, DefendOurConstitution, Alma, tapestry, lastlegslaststand, askew, rja, coppercelt, cybersaur, Steveningen, Gowrie Gal, annrose, operculum, Empower Ink, davelf2, MKSinSA, angelajean, CJB, buckstop, grelinda, Setsuna Mudo, dewtx, cpresley, saluda, Aquarius40, tiponeill, bronte17, frandor55, Shotput8, tidalwave1, Linda in Ohio, JayBat, Observerinvancouver, Hastur, BlueOak, Involuntary Exile, llbear, GreenPA, sow hat, MadRuth, bubbanomics, majcmb1, DeminNewJ, Noor B, CDH in Brooklyn, one of 8, annetteboardman, nellgwen, Miniaussiefan, Brown Thrasher, rantsposition, corpsechorus, madgranny, cai, Joy of Fishes, SneakySnu, Onomastic, eyesoars, peachcreek, millwood, Vinnie Vegas, JeffW, msmacgyver, Mother Mags, UncleCharlie, Catte Nappe, OIL GUY, the1sage, barkingcat, KMc, marleycat, LillithMc, old wobbly, seefleur, marina, Statusquomustgo, 417els, Pompatus, DarkLadyNyara, Mathazar, BlogDog, where4art, number nine dream, JDWolverton, Son of a Cat, Laughing Vergil, imokyrok, glorificus, vulcangrrl, bythesea, Regina in a Sears Kit House, allergywoman, CA Nana, IndieGuy, AllanTBG, filby, ColoTim, boadicea, Christin, PsychoSavannah, poligirl, SuWho, cotterperson, kathny, angstall, sallyfallschurch, SarekOfVulcan, orangecurtainlib, multilee, WolfmanSpike, Siri, opinionated, oldliberal, JekyllnHyde, Damnit Janet, terabytes, TigerMom, 4Freedom, corvaire, quaoar, glitterscale, ek hornbeck, TheMomCat, stlsophos, emal, legendmn, DvCM, itsbenj, sc kitty, triv33, Drocket, myboo, weatherdude, spaceshot, regis, Bluesee, jimreyn, middleagedhousewife, alguien, basquebob, sb, vacantlook, US Blues, maybeeso in michigan, boran2, uciguy30, gustynpip, dmhlt 66, third Party please, el dorado gal, entrelac, vicki, WheninRome, susans, MidwestTreeHugger, susanWAstate, Cecile, Clytemnestra, Canis Aureus, La Gitane, Susipsych, roses, pasadena beggar, Missys Brother, Lily O Lady, monkeybrainpolitics, dear occupant, drawingporno, xaxnar, gwilson, revsue, Brooke In Seattle, rogereaton, weelzup, strangedemocracy, dRefractor, Spirit Dancer, RonV, bnasley, Bridge Master, Just Bob, skohayes, kyril, houyhnhnm, clananderson, AshesAllFallDown, Jinnia, RLMiller, Keone Michaels, Marihilda, psnyder, Lilith, lina, Gottlieb, ewmorr, Paddy999, Mirele, elengul, kaliope, Chaddiwicker, Dube, aerie star, ER Doc, happymisanthropy, edsbrooklyn, ChocolateChris, Heart of the Rockies, dharmasyd, Glen The Plumber, Malachite, Hopeful Skeptic, Friend of the court, Yogurt721, Thousandwatts, augustin, BigOkie, fishwars, Purple Priestess, YaNevaNo, FrY10cK, bablhous, brentbent, dadadata, rmonroe, rodentrancher, Supavash, indres, Heiuan, Sprinkles, Texknight, SomeStones, Olkate, wayoutinthestix, sable, sawgrass727, Oh Mary Oh, Moderation, samddobermann, Iron Spider

    sniff my butt, you ignorant humans!

    •  Bad stereotyping is bad (64+ / 0-)

      There may very well be people in the dog show world that kill dogs that they don't think are show quality, but for every one of those, I'll show you many more that don't.

      At the time a litter is born, reputable breeders separate the puppies into two groups -- show dogs and pets. Pets get spayed and neutered, then found loving homes. And it isn't just anyone. Again, reputable breeders don't let just anyone that shows up with cash take a puppy. The process usually involves interviewing over the phone, face to face and some even require references along with pictures of where the puppies will live.

      Try not to stereotype the whole dog show world over your terrible misunderstanding of the accepted norms. There are very valid reasons to shun dog shows, but this isn't one of them.

        •  Still stereotyping (36+ / 0-)

          The problem isn't the breeding, it's the people that do it irresponsibly that are the problem. The ones that don't do it with proper integrity cross lines too many times (i.e. inbreeding) and ignore genetic disorders (i.e. the hair loss problem in Alaskan Malamutes).

          Reputable breeders discontinue breeding lines that have problems and make sure they keep the genetic pool diverse.

          Sadly, the people that ignore the fact that their lines have genetic disorders are a larger problem than it should be. If you want to get upset about that, then that's valid. But there certainly are breeders that are responsible about this.

          Also, I would point out that with the cost of genetic testing coming down, you are starting to see more research into genetic disorders in dogs. This will inevitably lead to breeders checking their dogs and requiring clearance of disease for breeding purposes.

          Simply put -- science will help keep the breeders honest in the near future.

          •  You cannot do such things "responsibly" (18+ / 0-)

            one day human beings will figure that out.  

            •  Depends... (19+ / 0-)

              I'll readily agree with you that humans have bred certain breeds to the point that they have actual physical disabilities - bulldogs being a case in point.  There was an interesting article in the NYT magazine about bulldogs and shortened lifespans, severe respiratory problems, etc.  And one can make the case that Great Danes are bred to the point that they have very short lifespans relative to many other breeds.  Pugs too - many of the physiological changes that they have undergone are deleterious in terms of their long-term health, etc.  (Respiratory and eye problems etc.)

              But other breeds, especially working breeds, are not being bred to the point of genetic disability.  

              I am wary of condemning owners... it would be better if people weren't driving the demand for more and more extreme physical characteristics, but evolution by either natural or artificial selection is red in tooth and claw and leaves a lot of wreckage behind.  I have a problem with some of the breeders of certain breeds, but am wary of applying that to all breeders and all breeds.

              But maybe as a cat person, my opinion counts for less.  (I think breeding hairless cats is criminal.)  That said, I like dogs and the best ones I've known were mutts.   One friend, Smokey, was adopted off of the Navajo reservation and was of such indeterminate breed that to call him a mutt seems almost elitist.  He looked a tiny bit like the dog in this diary, only more uniformly grey, and he was as sweet and smart as any animal as I've ever met.   I don't want to rush to condemn dogowners who go for bulldogs or pugs or other highly modified dogs... but for me, give me an outside dog like Smokey and 10 acres for him to call his own.

              “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

              by ivorybill on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 08:51:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think if you did extensive research, you'd (6+ / 0-)

                discover that many, many purebreds have serious problems.  German Shepherds (and what beautiful dogs they are!) have hip problems with an alarming frequency, shi tsus have eye problems, the list goes on and on.  Being bred for a specific type of work doesn't make them immune to the problems created by inbreeding.  

                But I would agree the worst problems are those created by the "specialty" breeding, resulting in way, way too much inbreeding.  Rather than going along with accepting new breeds, Westminster should fight against this kind of thing - and accept dogs that have been altered.  They are incredibly irresponsible - there's no getting around that.

                "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                by gustynpip on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 02:09:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  To a certain extent, though, all dog breeds (11+ / 0-)

              in existence are because humans were doing that.  They bred dogs for certain characteristics, and over time, created the modern breeds.  Some breeds are more prone to problems because of the characteristics they were bred for, but that comes with the territory

              "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

              by Hayate Yagami on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:21:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Most of the breeds that exist today (5+ / 0-)

                were bread for some sort of performance activity. Hunting, herding, guarding, etc. Breeders wanted to create healthy dogs with the appropriate personality and physical capabilities for the task. You didn't want a shepherd dog with hip dysplasia - no matter now nice it looked or how sweet it was, if it couldn't do its job, it wasn't a successful breed. And even problems that came on in old age were serious, because people kept their working dogs for life.

                Current breeding is for physical appearance. People buy purebreds to show them, not to work them. The dog doesn't have to be able to do much, and it certainly doesn't have to keep doing it into old age. It just has to look good in the prime of its life, maybe do some tricks, but nothing too demanding. So there's no serious pressure on breeders to try to eliminate physical problems, even ones that seriously impact the dog's quality of life, especially stuff that doesn't show up until the dog's too old to be shown.

                The pressure's different now, and not in a good way.

                "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

                by kyril on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 04:49:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  breed show standards also morph (27+ / 0-)

            the fight to save english bulldogs is ongoing.  So too with many other breeds.  In a world full of irresponsible breeders, allowing extreme modifications of muzzle length, lack of bone, inbreeding for color and extreme conformation are inspired and then rewarded over time.

            And the demand for the latest purebred winner means that irresponsible breeders go into overdrive to meet the demand at a price real people can affortd.  Puppy mills flourish.  And people end up with beagles and dalmations or other breeds without understanding the challenges those dogs bring.

            The public wants pets, they can be taken in by fads, and sadly, they aren't as informed as they need to be.  But breeders of all stripes tend to gloss over the bad.

            In this case its not a piece of plastic trash that gets dumped in the landfill when a fad goes bad, its an animal that suffers.

            I want dogs in the world, and right now I even have a purebred one from a mindless person who thought he could make a killing breeding dogs.  He was an idiot, I have a great dog at a fraction of the price for a papered purebred, but it only worked out well by accident.  Westminster builds the demand,  since the demand is in animals, they have a responsibility to the animals and ordinary people to ameliorate  the inevitable mistakes that 'irresponsible' people will make.

            •  The Collie is a case in point regarding (0+ / 0-)

              muzzle length and as a result often have teeth/gum problems.

              They didn't always have those really long long long muzzles.

              202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

              by cany on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 11:25:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  The reason disreputable breeders are a problem (51+ / 0-)

            is that the AKC, in particular, is not doing its job. And unfortunately, not enough reputable breeders are holding them accountable. The reputable folks are often looking the other way.

            My mother got her corgi from a breeder that seemed "reputable" - she was a vet, had a small operation, and claimed to be doing it for all the right reasons. She claimed that her line had no evidence of a particular disorder that causes serious back problems, and put that claim on her web site.

            Well, we now know that this corgi has that disorder. All the evidence is in from my mother's vet after she went through a period of severe pain. So my mother, trying to be helpful, emailed the breeder and politely told her that she should no longer claim that her lines are free of this problem. She got no response. Right now, on that breeder's web site, she continues to claim no evidence of this genetic issue, despite the fact that her most prominently featured breeding female is the littermate of my mother's dog.

            This is not uncommon. It's an ugly business in many ways.

            •  Word. (9+ / 0-)

              Check out the Wikipedia entry for illustrations.  They have an image of a sound working GSD and one of a show GSD.  The show dog looks like a freak.  Vets are howling about it, too.

              My shepherd mix Annie has assumed that show stance a few times when there's a stranger at the door but she's got to really try.  Her normal stance is like that working dog.

              Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

              by Ice Blue on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:56:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yep. The rear end angulation is grotesque. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cany

              You look at the original GS's and they have their rear legs well under them and much straighter, with flatter backs.

              But it's like anything else. If a judge likes more angulation, then that's what people will breed for. Even if the dogs end up with a permanent semi-crouched stance and a bunch of wobbling in the hind end.

              Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

              by Sirenus on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:05:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Deaf Dalmatians are due to inbreeding (9+ / 0-)
            "IF YOU ARE AFFILIATED WITH AN ANIMAL SHELTER, HUMANE SOCIETY OR DOG RESCUE SERVICE, PLEASE do not attempt to place the deaf Dalmatian puppies and adults that come in, and do not advertise for a "special home" for the "poor little deaf Dalmatian." The HUMANE approach is to put down the deaf Dals and concentrate on finding good homes for the healthy, hearing dogs.

            IF YOU ARE A PET SHOP OWNER, please remember that deaf Dalmatians should NEVER be sold."

            The HUMANE thing to do would to stop the inbreeding to create some super dog merely for show. It actually disgusts me what these snobs do with animals.

            "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, U.S. Attorney General.

            by Mr SeeMore on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:10:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I had a deaf dal sold to me by a champion (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mr SeeMore

              breeder years ago. We worked it out, and he was very highly and specially trained, but this is before the breed got even more screwed up by 101 Dals. Sigh.

              202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

              by cany on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 11:35:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  As a responsible past breeder of the... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ColoTim, 4Freedom, akeitz, kyril

            Fila Brasileiro with my father I couldn't agree more. My father was also a breeder of English Bull Terriers until the breed was essentially ruined by Spuds MacKenzie and puppy mills that cropped up in response to the popularity of that character.

            The same thing occurred with dalmatians following the original cartoon released. The breed became so polluted by puppy mills that 50% of dalmatians are deaf.

            And admittedly, in the past, culling of puppies did occur. But, this was a responsible and humane act, when it was back before people embraced pet quality/show quality. Everyone wanted a dog that could be bred, wouldn't accept a "pet" that had been spayed or neutered (Bob Barker helped immensely in the acceptance of this) Responsible breeders had nothing else to do than to euthanize, as it would have just aggravated the problem.

            Bigotry is the disease of ignorance...Education & free discussion are the antidotes of both. Thomas Jefferson

            by RiverCityMadman on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:30:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then again, they could have reduced the number (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              susans

              of puppies they made their females have, which would have required people to accept what puppies there were.  But they'd have made less money that way.  Please don't talk to me about how responsible pet owners were who euthanized the less than perfect dogs!

              "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

              by gustynpip on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 02:15:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  There is no excuse for breeding (6+ / 0-)

            Not while adoptable dogs of all breeds die by the millions in shelters every year. The pursuit of money in exchange for the life of an animal is unconscionable.
            If you seriously think it's ok to create sentient beings for a few dollars profit, I strongly urge you to go to your local shelter and watch some bright beautiful dogs being euthanized. Or herded into a gas chamber.

            "Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." Dr. Albert Schweitzer

            by sallyfallschurch on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 11:20:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are perfectly good reasons (9+ / 0-)

              for responsible breeders to produce good dogs and for people to want them.  Neither of those groups of people is responsible for the dogs currently in our shelters, and neither has the power to stop dogs being sent to shelters.

              I think everyone agrees that additional regulation is needed for dog breeders, and that only the responsible ones should exist, but anyone who thinks that they can solve this problem by simply screaming about dog breeders without addressing poor ownership is fooling themselves.  Personally, I think we should have much stricter rules about pet ownership.

              If your idea of a perfect world vis a vis pet ownership is a world of full shelters with a revolving door of people taking animals out and bringing them back in, please continue to alienate responsible breeders and the people who want to have dogs from them.

              My personal idea of a perfect world would be one in which pets were ONLY obtained from responsible breeders and given to responsible owners.

              •  Breed traits in dogs can lead to great qualities (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clues, akeitz, pfiore8

                in a fun companion. Working dogs and companion breeds can have special qualities that make marvelous pets.

                But pf8, you are so right that Westminster has lost all meaning by emphasizing beauty over health and stamina. And there are too many beautiful, wonderful cats and dogs killed each year to support poor practices like a Westminster show.

                I do own a breed dog because I had one of her breed pretty much as a therapy dog at one point in my life. I was clinically depressed and my Keeshond Ollie would snuggle up next to me and stick like glue when I was being very withdrawn. She may have saved my life.

                Losing her was an emotional nuclear explosion, she had been such a faithful companion. Many months later I adopted a Keeshond puppy from a wonderful breeder who raised the puppy in her home with her family and who had only had the one litter.

                Sophie came into our lives mostly because of that earlier bond. Any other canine we adopt will be a rescue or a pound dog. And I would adopt a young or an adult dog readily, because it is good to know their character and they are harder to adopt out than puppies.

                Adopting an adult rescue or shelter dog is likely to save more lives, shelters are so crowded these days.

                •  Oh I agree (5+ / 0-)

                  that the Westminster thing is fairly unappealing, and in the end, it's just a conformation show, which is really just one part of what this is all about.

                  So many of the comments in the diary equate Westminster, the AKC, purebred dogs and breeders in general, as though they are all the same thing.  There has been a lot of talk about breed standards without even a mention of the breed clubs (which are actually responsible for them)

                  There's a whole world of other activities involved in this -  all the field trials, dog sports, and all the health and genetic activities sponsored by some of the breed clubs.

                  In the end, I think whichever avenue you pursue for your next dog -  responsible breeder or shelter adoption, you've helped alleviate the problem of unwanted pets.  As I mentioned in another thread, one helps keep dogs from going into the shelter and the other one gets them out.

              •  re this... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lisa Roney
                and neither has the power to stop dogs being sent to shelters.
                Actually, there is a way: The breeder holds the chip in their name for life. We do this in my rescue.

                Now, some states don't give a damn and that should change, but any dog that enters a shelter here has to be scanned. That scan will show ME as the owner (i don't even put it in the rescue name just in case they are funny about that, and some are...). I get the call.

                It has NEVER happened, BTW. We place awfully carefully. It's almost as hard to adopt one of our rescue dogs as some places with children.

                202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

                by cany on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 11:40:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cany

                  I should have written "neither has the power to stop all those badly bred dogs from ending up in shelters."  Good breeders by definition do stop their own from winding up there.  Requiring a chip in all registered dogs would be an interesting way to hold those people accountable.

            •  BS, with a caveat. (4+ / 0-)

              There's no excuse for irresponsible breeding.  However, there certainly is a place for breeding dogs, and that's to maintain and improve the breed.  Of course, many, even most 'breeders' out there are just 'people who let their dogs fuck and sell the puppies for profit.'

              Dogs are. frankly, one of the oldest and greatest creations that our species has wrought, and they're still being used and still being improved.  The good dog breeders recognize this, if only subconsciously, and they assume the responsibility that comes with it.  

              Dogs, as with any other domestic animal, should be bred deliberately, in order to maintain and preserve the breed, while also preventing or eliminating negative genetic attributes.  This requires a knowledge of the parents' ancestor's phenotypes and, well, life stories, in order to recognize the expressions of genetics.  A really good breeder will also consider the ancestors' other, not-directly-related progeny, as this is another way to monitor and reveal recessive traits.  Take this out five or more generations and a breeder is considering hundreds or thousands of pieces of information before they decide to breed two dogs.

              Almost all of the major health problems amongst dogs nowadays are genetic in nature.  Most of these have been broadly spread by bad breeding, because people were focusing on one simple trait while ignoring the fact that hey, all of the animals from this line get cancer by the age of five, or paralyzed at the rear by six or seven.  However, good breeding can eliminate and minimize the traits just as bad breeding can spread them through the genepool.

          •  It's not their honesty (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            makettle, Farugia, cany

            it's their morality that's the problem.

            If dog shows didn't look for preposterous things, then breeders wouldn't breed for them.

            •  It's the other way around (0+ / 0-)

              The breed clubs write the standards used to judge dogs in conformation.  Someone should write a diary sometime about how all this works, just so everyone can discuss it in real terms.

              The breed clubs are often a hotbed of factions, and you'll find that in some of the breeds there are factions within the club attempting to get the standard written more to working standards than show standards, etc.  Some of these groups have a lot of history to fight against, as in German Shepherds, some have no history at all and are trying to get it right from the get-go, as in Border Collies.

              In the end, whatever the breed club writes up as the standard for their ideal dog, that's what the judges are supposed to be looking for.

          •  i'm sorry, but your arguments sound remarkably (0+ / 0-)

            like some that i imagine were made in the 1850s by other reputable and responsible" breeders".

            the logic was bad then and it hasn't changed.

            check your starting premises.

            blink-- pale cold

            by zedaker on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 03:11:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I like all dogs (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            roadbear, CTMET, happymisanthropy

            Whether they are mutts or pedigree I like them all and want all of them to have happy lives.  

          •  I like all dogs (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CTMET, roadbear

            Whether they are mutts or pedigree I like them all and want all of them to have happy lives.  

          •  Yes, the problem IS the breeding, as long (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zett, Hopeful Skeptic, cany, Lisa Roney

            as ONE adoptable animal dies in a dog pound or shelter while selfish people produce more and more puppies to take the place of the unfortunate who have to die.

            I have long proposed a 5-year moratorium on ALL breeding, until the population stabilizes and pound animals have a chance for adoption.  This goes for cats, too.  Responsible NON-breeding, if you will.

            I love the terrier breeds, but I would gladly forego any breed preference if it meant that animals did not have to die.

        •  Not Just That. (29+ / 0-)

          It encourages wanna be puppy mills cranking out millions of unneeded pets for backyard profit.

          There's something spiritual, something that strengthens the soul and affirms one's humanity, that happens when we rescue a shelter animal from almost certain death. At least to me it has happened during the many times I've adopted pets at the local shelter during my lifetime.

          Lala's my latest -- a purebred yellow lab who is the sweetest, classiest, most obedient bitch on the planet.

          "I never met a man I didn't like." Will Rogers - American Redneck

          by chuco35 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:55:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  There are a lot of breeds (10+ / 0-)

          Which should be outlawed for the problems inbreeding/extreme physiology has introduced.

          Some of them are doing all right, but how can you look at a dachshund and think, "gee, it's moral to breed a dog who is likely to have slipped disks!"

          Mutts furever!

        •  No it is not, David. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          papa monzano, akeitz

          I'm actually really insulted by your sweeping condemnation.  I won't HR you over it, but right now I'm really upset with you.

          "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

          by Noor B on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:17:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The bottom line in all things moral is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pfiore8

            to follow the Golden Rule. Would you want to be either the result of or an active participant in the breeding of human beings by a bunch of dogs who are bent on creating humans with extra long noses, or soft hair, or with the ability to prance well? If not, you shouldn't be doing it to dogs.

      •  We got our Gordon Setters from a show (25+ / 0-)

        dog breeder.  She sold us the puppies that she didn't think were up to show standards.  One of them was even the pick of the litter until his mama stepped on his tail and broke it.  We paid plenty for each of them, heh.

        I can't imagine any quality breeder who kills her pups because they don't come out perfect.  Those damn backyard breeders who don't know what they're doing are another story.

        Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

        by Ice Blue on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 06:58:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Gosh... (12+ / 0-)

          I still can't understand why anyone would pay upwards of $1000 for a mere pet, when you can find a beautiful animal for free at the shelter, and do your heart some good.

          "I never met a man I didn't like." Will Rogers - American Redneck

          by chuco35 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:57:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Most shelter are not free (13+ / 0-)

            You have a misconception that shelters are free. They are most often not. Not only that, obtaining puppies from a shelter regularly costs $200 or more.

            •  Still, it's a lot less (16+ / 0-)

              than a purebred. Shelters try to recap the money for veterinary and boarding costs, but there is technically no charge for the pet itself.

              Breeders charge for profit; shelters charge to continue saving other animals.

              •  as I said in a previous comment, there are all (10+ / 0-)

                sorts of reasons for picking rescue dogs or for picking purebred dogs. We chose a purebred for our last few dogs because we wanted a puppy and we wanted to know that the puppy would grow into a dog that had certain characteristics (primary one was temperament). Some people have to go with a purebred dog because of allergies -- there are specific breeds (e.g., Obama's dog) that work for families in which there are allergies.
                But if you want an adult dog, going to a shelter makes sense because you can see the temperament, size, coat, etc.
                Our rescue dog (that we had to give away), who we got when he about 6-8 months old, ended up costing us well over $1,000 because of the training we attempted in order to deal with his aggression toward men. We tried 2 different trainers, the 2nd a specialist in this kind of problem.
                I have some relatives who adopted a gorgeous dog from a rescue group. They're devoted to the dog, but the dog doesn't like children or strangers so they end up rarely having friends over and they are delaying having a child.
                Another relative had a fantastic rescue dog who died of old age, and her newer dog, also rescue, has to wear a muzzle because it nips people (and she's done intensive training).
                The rescue dog I had when I was in my 20s was probably the most amazing dog I've ever met. Great with children, great with all our friends, even great with the kittens we ended up with when we saved an abandoned cat; and he was appropriately protective in the few instances that we needed that.
                Picking a dog for yourself or your family is a personal choice. What works for one family doesn't work for another, and what works for one time in your life may not work for another.

                We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

                by Tamar on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:19:49 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  They let you take a dog w/aggression issues? (5+ / 0-)

                  Sorry to say, but at the shelter I volunteered at, that dog would have been put down.  The ones that made it out to adoption were only the ones that were people safe.  There were a few with animal aggression issues (never properly socialized), but never one that was people-aggressive.

                  "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

                  by Hayate Yagami on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:33:35 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  was a foster home, no kids, and the dog was (6+ / 0-)

                    friendly and happy and bouncy -- no evidence of aggression. We figured out through our training ordeal that
                    1) the dog (who had been found abandoned) must have been abused when it was a puppy -- lift your hand near that dog and it would start backing up and growling. When I lift my hand near my current dogs, they get very excited because they think they're going to get a treat.
                    2) the aggression was all towards men when children were nearby!
                    So when the dog went off to the trainer's farm (no children there), he was just fine.
                    And soon as we arrived to take the dog home and our 2 kids jumped out of the car and ran up to the dog, he began growling at a couple of men he'd been fine with just a few minutes before we came.
                    My friend (whom the dog bit) was reaching down to pick up his daughter when our dog bit him.
                    So there's no way anyone could have known that he had this problem.
                    The trainer found a home for him with a DJ who lived in a dangerous neighborhood and who had to leave every morning at about 4 am for his work -- he wanted a protective dog that was good with children.

                    We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

                    by Tamar on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:40:37 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I have a couple of Jack Russells (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    chuco35, Clues

                    with behavioral problems (came to me as a stray).  One is almost everything you'd want in a Jack, with the exception of his dislike of SOME men, but not all men.  I adore his personality, but I could probably not adopt him out to anyone.  But I could never imagine euthanizing him because he's had a little different life experience than other dogs.

                    The other Jack is a small female who tolerates the aforementioned Jack, but no other dogs.  Not good with people either.  Her life is what it is, as she was an abuse case.  She trusts NO ONE.  Yet I can see that there is tons of affection waiting to show itself more -- and I'll be there for her when it does.

                •  Still, paying $1000-$2500 For A Simple Pet Is (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  glorificus, SuWho, makettle, mideedah, roadbear

                  absurd. Granted you have to pick correctly, and may need some patience, but the right dog can be had for $65 at your local shelter (already spayed and vaccinated).

                  Buy your kid a college savings bond with the money, instead of falling prey to her desire to have a dog like she saw on tv.

                  "I never met a man I didn't like." Will Rogers - American Redneck

                  by chuco35 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:05:38 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My shelter dog (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mideedah, chuco35

                    cost $40, and that included getting her fixed. Westminster blew it. My kids won't even watch it now, and I can't blame them. They used to plan around viewing it. I would never buy from a breeder when a shelter dog needs someones love exponentially more. I think both of our lives were saved.

                    Namaste

            •  At the one I volunteered at (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              glorificus, SuWho, 4Freedom, makettle, mideedah

              IIRC, dogs were $65, and cats were $30. Or something like that.

              Every once in a while, though, a purebred something or other would end up at the shelter.  Over the years I was there a handful of lucky people got what looked like purebred Siberian huskies, great danes, labs, greyhounds, and probably a few more that I'm not remembering, plus a ton of very affectionate mutts.

              Some of the dogs, however, were not properly raised by their owners.  There was one, a big chocolate lab, that came in shortly after I started there, that had never been socialized with other animals.  With people, he was the sweetest thing ever, but they had to block off his kennel because if he saw another dog, he'd go nuts.  Like with just about everything else, a lot of problems that you see in dogs are because of the owners.

              "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

              by Hayate Yagami on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:29:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  You are misinformed (6+ / 0-)

              Most animal shelters are non-profit organizations and either depend entirely on adoption fees and donations or are partially subsidized by the municipality in which they are located.

              No two shelters are alike and adoption policy and fees vary.

              I support the work of our local animal shelter which actively monitors and helps to prosecute animal abuse which includes "back yard breeders".

              Looking for a homeless dog or cat?  Go straight to:

              http://www.petfinder.com/...

              When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

              by msmacgyver on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:06:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Tell me about it. (0+ / 0-)

              Then they want your info about who is in your family and when you are home and how close to the street you are and on and on. I am not giving that info to anybody.

              I have no idea who works at a shelter and what their deal is. I have a family. I'd rather buy what I want and keep my private info safe.

              Now there are concern trolls out on the rural areas of this area calling animal control when horses lay down for a nap or they see horses out in the rain or the snow.

              These people are annoying and dangerous.

              •  The organization I volunteer with asks (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clues

                those questions to determine which of our animals would be a good fit in that particular household.  Without such information, there is a better chance of getting that animal back because it was left alone too long and destroyed something, or had no outlet for its energy, etc.

                Btw, I agree with you on the concern trolls.  Like people who move to the country and have the perfect lawn, and who freak when you don't rake your leaves or have moles living in your yard.

                •  I realize why they do it, (0+ / 0-)

                  but I'm no novice where dogs or other animals are concerned. I was at Westminster and all over the east coast at dog shows as a child. I showed dogs at Westminster as a child when handlers had too many in one class. I usually won too.

          •  They are not free. (4+ / 0-)

            There are fees to cover veterinary expenses, medication, spay/neuter, food, shelter, utilities to run the facility.  Rescues also charge, as often they cannot find enough foster homes and thus board dogs at kennels.  They need to be able to pay those bills.  The good rescues also contribute money and food to fosters who need to get a young dog spayed or neutered, or through heartworm treatment, or surgery to repair a broken leg.  Adoption fees can run $300.

            "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

            by Noor B on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:30:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I waffled over the choice for a while when I got (3+ / 0-)

            my current dog, a purebred german shepherd from east german working lines.  

            When it comes down to it, I decided to pay $1200 for a pup rather than get it from the pound because I was impressed by the breeder's methods and the quality of their work -- that is, the dogs -- and their reputation.  They had OFA certs and health information back about five generations from the parents, and none of the ancestors had bad hip or elbow ratings, or died from cancer, etc.  They also did genetic testing for a few other traits on their breeding dogs to ensure that they weren't breeding dogs that would break down.  They also were active in getting their breeding dogs Schutzhund, CGC, and other working dog titles, and many of their animals were also therapy dogs, so they had a proven temperament -- they proofed their work, as it were.  

            So I paid a premium to get a dog that I knew had a very low chance of experiencing a major (and thus costly) genetic disease, and that would also be unlikely to have any (similarly potentially costly) temperament / mental problems that were genetic.  The chances that I'd wind up with a dog with a crippling problem from a pound were much higher, paticularly in the breed I was looking for, if I didn't go for an older dog that'd already been 'proofed' by life.  I also wanted a puppy because I didn't want to deal with ingrained behavioral problems -- if the dog wound up screwed up, it would at least most likely be my own damned fault.

            I'll also note -- one relatively reliable way to find a good breeder -- for working dogs, at least -- is to look for one who encourages the people they sell their dogs to to get Sch/working dog titles or CGC certification for their puppies by offering rebates for doing so.  

            •  When I get a new dog, that's the route I'll go. (0+ / 0-)

              I love and adore GSDs as a working breed, and want to do Schutzhund training with them, and I want to be very sure that hip dysplasia does not show up in my dog four years later when we're in the middle of training. The only way to do that is go through breeders.

              When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

              by Alexandra Lynch on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 08:09:42 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  All those non-show pets (31+ / 0-)

        mean that the equivalent number of strays in shelters never find a home and are euthanized. Sorry, but it's the fact. We have a schizophrenic culture regarding domestic animals. We make them our family members and we turn our backs on those who lead miserable lives in shelters.

        It is true that not all dog breeders are horrible, cruel, irresponsible people. (My sister-in-law is one who breeds one litter a year.) But you still have to face the fact that it's all based on a kind of eugenic nastiness and that non-purebred animals suffer because of it.

        It is eerily similar to the schizophrenia about rich vs. poor people.

      •  The winning collie is the son of (27+ / 0-)

        a deliberate merle/merle cross that is blind and deaf, a dog that is apparently currently the leading sire of collies.

        Merle is a recessive gene and the double merle case is associated with many serious health issues. While the winning dog does not have these issues, many people are horrified that the double merle breeder is being so richly rewarded, all for the sake of having 100% merle litters.

        I am with you that there are many good breeders. I am not against dog shows or purebred breeding. But, "backyard" practices are apparently going all the way to the top, and winning, which is a real shame.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:12:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  and by the arguments made (10+ / 0-)

          by those here about responsible vs. irresponsible breeders, of course, they will be banning this practice immediately so these dogs will never again be shown at Westminster, right?

          Except I think we both know it won't be, because there really isn't much of a line between backyard breeders and breeders who want to win.

          •  A friend of mine describes it as a peculiar sort (12+ / 0-)

            of "barn blindness" where is is only "They" who could ever be doing it wrong.

            http://equinetapestry.com/...

            The "rules of the game" - ie the breed standards - have to be designed with the welfare of the animal closely in mind. And it's critical that as new information becomes available and as the gene pool changes, that people are willing to revisit those breed standards.

            The focus on "purity" in conjunction with that standard is also more harmful than most people realize, because the two ideas together REALLY narrow the gene pool. If you're going for particular traits, the introduction of outside blood is probably a really good idea, especially in small populations.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 08:02:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have been around the horse (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              417els, 4Freedom

              industry more than the dog industry and it is a shame what modern breeding has done to horses.  In some ways, becoming pets/companion/show animals rather than working animals has been bad for horse breeding.  And of course, it is always a back yard breeder who is bad.  So virtually the entire quarter horse and throroughbred racing industries is necessarily made up of back yard breeders, and I wouldn't want to forget Arabs, Apps or increasingly homegrown warmbloods, plus what was done to the drafts to produce showier and huge horses despite the problems.

              •  what? (0+ / 0-)
                So virtually the entire quarter horse and throroughbred racing industries is necessarily made up of back yard breeders,
                The Jockey Club has a closed book. It definitely is not a backyard program. You can breed whatever you want in your backyard, but if it isn't with papered stock with a registered sire, you are not racing. Conformation is indicative of certain attributes but when you get down to it, whatever is fastest wins. And since there is a closed book, stats are copious and exacting going back over 100 years. Lineage goes back to the foundation sires, to the 1600's. We even have some of them immortalized in paintings by the great sporting artists of the day.

                Quarter horse racing has no such prohibitions, you can out cross all you want. I think you can go 3/4 not quarter horse, although what a quarter horse is, is not as easily definable as opposed to a TB.

                You can adopt a slow TB without all of the hassle and expense of a dog or cat, that's for sure. IMO they are better specimens for any purpose than any other breed.

              •  Yep. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Farugia, BigOkie

                When dogs were expected to be, well, smart, semiautonomous tools, with jobs to do, they generally had to be healthy and well constructed to do so.  

                Nowadays, when the only thing they have to do (in the case of show dogs) is trot around a ring, look good, and not bite, piss, or crap on anything in that time, the bar is ... lower.  I mean, there're now lines of dogs that can't even properly screw -- you've gotta do artificial insemination because they can't manage to hump properly -- and other lines that almost never can give birth without a C-section.  An animal that can't even fuck and give bith naturally would never have been tolerated, much less deliberately maintained and spread.

        •  What on earth were the breeders thinking? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4Freedom, akeitz

          No one with sense breeds two merles, the potential for Collie Eye Syndrome and deafness is too high!

          "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

          by Noor B on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:36:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I spayed my female for Collie Eye Anomaly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Noor B

            This also affects Shetland Sheepdogs.  My female is gorgeous with great form and is a keen stock dog, also love her odd eye ;-)  But after genetic testing turned up CEA in her line, we tested and she is a carrier.  

            Her littermate however is not, so she's had two fantastic litters - we were luckly enough to get a beautiful male from her most recent, but I'm not sure Auntie Fiver is happy crazy nephew Cowboy is in her household.

          •  Well, yes, but also no. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Noor B

            In a purely utilitarian sense, breeding a sport like this makes sense.  It means that any progeny will also be merles, even if you're breeding it with a non-merle.  Yes, that particular dog will probably be blind and deaf, but if you're going for merles, it means you won't have to reject a significant portion of the pups, which raises your profit margins, etc.  Of course, it also increases the number of potential partners you can use as breeding material, allowing you to pull from winning genetics without having to worry about possibly loosing the merle trait and then having to breed it back into the line.

            Ethics aside, since they can be debated, the creation of sports and other normally-denigrated practices (such as inbreeding and line-breeding) are actually very powerful tools in manipulating the gene-pools of an organism, and are not (at least from the view of the breed) necessarily a bad thing.  Unfortunately, they usually -are- a bad thing, in practice, because they are often employed by breeders with only the vaguest clue about how you use either to concentrate traits in a line -- and how any technique like this will also concentrate undesireable traits in a line unless that's guarded against.

            •  Line breeding can be a very powerful tool (0+ / 0-)

              for fixing desirable traits, like properly angulated shoulders, correct coat texture, etc, but you have got to know the pedigrees and the lines.  If you breed too closely in the line, you could have real trouble with debilitating recessives.  The one that scares me in my breed is epilepsy.  I've never seen a severe cluster seizure and I hope I continue to be that lucky.  It was bad enough seeing my senior rescue Husky have clonic-tonic seizures once every few months.

              "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

              by Noor B on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:53:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  A pure breed (9+ / 0-)

        means that the gene pool is closed.  No new genes entering the population.  When breeders select for certain qualities and require spay/ neuter of pet quality that is further limiting the genes in that populations gene pool.  Star dogs genes are used too often and concentrate genes in the population.   I don't see that as reputable behavior.  
        Some breeds have a very large number of founder genes and have a fairly healthy gene pool to breed from (e.g., labs) but breeds that were line breed in the 50's and 60's are a genetic minefield of problems and heartbreak.   No amount of breeding is reputable...it is cruel to continue those breeds.  The gene population of a breed as a whole must be considered.

        I have both purebreed and rescue dogs.  Luckly, all healthy so far.  

        People should be required to take a dog training class/test before they get a dog license or can adopt a dog.  That would help a lot towards overcrowding at shelters.

        •  One of the things I love (7+ / 0-)

          about the two feral kittens we took in last year is that they appear to have come from a population that was mixing it up in the wild long enough to have reverted pretty damn close to the appearance (and behavior) of their wild north african ancestors. Reminds me of the way feral hog populations start looking like Eurasian wild boars after a few generations of natural selection.  Anyway, the cats are kind of brownish grey tabbies, look just like the photos of F. sylvatica lybica, and are as smart and healthy and wildly athletic as the original.  I can't imagine dealing with some overbred Persian or god forbid, a hairless cat.  Give me a cat that's friendly but also small enough not to hurt me, and still has a lot of the wild left in it.

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:10:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My Pootie clan of 14 includes (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ivorybill, SuWho, 4Freedom, myboo, mideedah, zett

            the Feral-Baby-Making-Machine known lovingly as Lilly, and her six kittens.

            I was determined to trap her and get her spayed. It took over a year during which she had three litters and a total of six kittens, but I did trap her and bring her and all her babies inside.

            She is now one of the most elegant and dignified members of the CatLand clan and all but three of her kittens have decided that living life inside can be one very nice gig :)

            All the CatLand Crew are spayed/neutered and over time have created a very loving and supportive community and...none of them will ever be outside again.

            When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

            by msmacgyver on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:16:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  yanno, misinfo like this is what makes (0+ / 0-)

          conservatives viable.  

          All breeding should stop, certain breeds are bad and on and on, nobody should have a pet but a shelter animal etc. It simply isn't true and people should stop saying it.

          We should concentrate on having a living wage and then more people can have pets and time to spend with them and their families.

          Maybe we should be more vigilant about people neglecting children and old people than worrying about who has what dog or cat.

      •  We have one of those "pet" dogs and love (5+ / 0-)

        him to distraction.
        I had always had rescue dogs until I was married and had children. We adopted a rescue dog who was great with kids, great with women, great with my husband and my father, and a serious danger to all other men (he even bit one of my best friends).  Since we have lots of people in and out of our house, we couldn't keep him. A guy who had worked to retrain our dog (but in the end couldn't help him) gave us a labrador puppy.
        Since that rescue dog, we've had 3 dogs, 2 labs and now an English Springer Spaniel (who was the non-show dog in the litter of a breeder, just as you describe). And like you said, we emailed, talked on the phone, and made a visit to the breeder prior to getting our puppy.
        The main reason the last two dogs have been pure bred is that is we wanted our children to raise a dog from puppyhood, and you can't tell size or temperament of a puppy from a shelter. However, now that our youngest has had her puppy (the Springer), our next dog will most likely be a rescue dog two years old or older.
        I think there's a place in this world for both purebreds and mutts. And like so much else, people need to make the decision based on their own needs.
        My very best dog came from a shelter, and I still miss him. But my very worst dog also came from a shelter.

        We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

        by Tamar on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:03:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In addition, many breeders (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clues, 4Freedom, akeitz, Kitsap River

        require that a contract stipulating conditions of sale, terms for rescue and rehome.  I signed one.

        "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

        by Noor B on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:16:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I did too, and had to pledge that throughout (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          akeitz, Noor B, Kitsap River

          Sophie's life, the breeder would have the first opportunity to have her back if there was any reason we could no longer keep her.

          The breeder also had to list Sophie's genealogy and sign off that there were at least three preceding generations in her bloodline that were free from any genetic problems.

          At four, Sophie is healthy and wonderful and as challenging as a three year old, she is so bright and inquisitive. Her temperament is perfect for this home.

      •  And a lot of reputable breeders (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emmasnacker, WheninRome

        are very involved with rescue as well.

        I know this is true of many of the Welsh Terrier breeders I know.

        Yes we can! Yes we did! Yes we will!

        by Sister Havana on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 03:54:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hang on there, David. (6+ / 0-)

      I own a purebred Groenendael Belgian Shepherd.  I picked this breed because I happen to like and understand herding breeds, having been raised with collies and shelties.  I had particular traits I was looking for in a dog, and this breed fit my bill to a T.  

      My first choice was to go to the breed-specific rescue, after talking with people at dog shows about their breed.  But there were no dogs available at all.  So I visited some of their club meetings and talked to more people.  And I met a gal whose young male was everything I was looking for.  It turned out she had a litter of puppies on the way, due in just a few weeks.

      I got my girl from this woman.  She has been breeding, raising, showing and training dogs in her home for many years.  The puppy came to me well-socialized, absolutely healthy, with an incredibly sweet temperament, and all of her first shots.  And she came with full support from the breeder.  My girl is now 2 1/2 years old, and I can still call her breeder if I have a question, or want to talk about particular dog sports, or about breeding.  We often go to shows together and to herding practice.  

      Sadly, shelters cannot give that kind of owner support.  They do not have the resources for it.  They will temperament test to the best of their ability and weed out the clearly antisocial and vicious animals.  But there can be unpleasant surprises.  Breed-specific rescues can and do support adopters, even without a ton of resources simply because they are true devotees of that breed.  As someone who has had rescue dogs before and has done fostering, I would unequivocally state that the toughest way for a person to get a dog for the first time is through a shelter.  My recommendation is to go through breed rescue.  These people are experts.  They've fostered and rehabilitated hundreds of dogs in a specific breed and know all the perils and pitfalls, including heritable health issues.

      The very worst place to get a puppy is through a pet shop.  Period, full stop.  They are often from puppy mills, where bitches are bred repeatedly, back-to-back litters until they are so worn out they die.  Puppies get NO socialization.  Nobody compares pedigrees and researches dogs to weed out those that have produced unhealthy animals.

      I actually recommend that people watch the shows and actually go to shows to watch, observe, and talk to people involved in these various breeds.  Go, ask pointed questions, like "What inheritable diseases are problems in this breed?  How do I contact breed rescue for adoption?  Who breeds healthy pups?"  And on that last, you'd better believe they'll warn you off someone who breeds sickly pups or produces litters with lots of Collie Eye Syndrome, or epilepsy, or heritable cancers, or dysplasia, or just ghastly temperaments.

      In my breed, we have two things we watch out for:  gastric cancer and idiopathic epilepsy.  We haven't overbred deliberately.  In fact, everyone with a show-quality dog or bitch is encouraged to breed at least one litter because of the history of the breed.  Belgian shepherds (Groenendael, Tervuren, Malinois, and Laekenois) were nearly wiped out in WW1 and especially WW2.  Many died in the trenches as messenger dogs, and later were deliberately targeted for extermination by the Nazis.  As a result, we have a very pure gene pool, and we need all the diversity we can get.  You'd better believe I've been looking at various kennels, checking pedigrees and the disease databases.  And regardless of breed, every conscientious breeder does exactly the same thing.  Don't diss us all.  The emergence of epilepsy or blindness or severe dysplasia in a puppy is a heartbreak for careful breeders as well as their puppy adopters.

      As for the Pedigree rejection by WKC, I do not understand that at all.  Purebreds and the progeny of "oops" litters wind up in all-breed rescues and shelters all the time.  Rescues have been slammed hard in the economic downturn as people have lost their homes.  As a result, dogs have been surrendered in record numbers because their people haven't the wherewithal to care for them.  Responsible breeders will rescue their own pups when contacted, and are often horrified to find one of their babies in a shelter.  I've seen instances of this on the Belgian shepherd listserv, and breeders just go off about families not contacting them about needing help.  Many wind up in shelters after being found abandoned.  The states where the shelters are most stressed, where most dogs are put down are the high-foreclosure states.  Breed rescues have been pulling dogs left and right out of kill shelters, and they are absolutely wrung dry of resources.  Sometimes dogs have been in shelter so long that their temperaments and physical health are completely ruined.  And if someone goes this route, I STILL recommend going to shows in order to figure out which breed is the right match for you, your family and your lifestyle.  Don't get a Malinois if you're a couch potato, and don't get a Maltese if you want a cross-country running partner.

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

      by Noor B on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:14:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Breeds absolutely network and support each other. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noor B, Sister Havana

        The Keeshond crew is fierce! All over the country, Keeshond people communicate about any strays or rescues. Caring individuals may drive hundreds of miles to pick up a rescue or to save it from death.

        The network also works with mixed breed Keeshonden (Kees-speak plural) and often deal with other breeds in emergency situations.

        There is much support for good breeding, sales and care practices among those who support a specific breed.

        •  That's true for the Welsh Terrier people too. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4Freedom, Noor B, Clues

          I'm on a Welsh Terrier list and people always communicate about strays or Welshies found in shelters, or even when they hear of someone who needs to give up a Welsh. There is also a lot of working together with other breed rescues (Airedale and Fox Terrier rescue in particular), especially in emergency situations, or when there isn't a Welsh Terrier rescue rep in the vicinity to pull a dog.

          I have driven legs to help transport rescue Welshies to foster or forever homes - it's all been coordinated through the network.

          Yes we can! Yes we did! Yes we will!

          by Sister Havana on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 04:03:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Certain breeds have temperaments that may or (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Noor B, Clues

          may not be appropriate for some people.

          As an example, Keeshonden are known as velcro dogs because they stick so closely to those they bond with. If you don't want a highly intelligent, constantly interactive canine in your life, a Keesie isn't for you. But when you have the time and energy for one of these super-bright, super-friendly and constantly engaging fur babies, you couldn't have a better four-footed friend.

          Thus responsible Keeshonden breeders screen prospective adopters very carefully. A bored Keeshond is not a happy Keeshond. When left alone too much or rejected too frequently a Keeshond can become destructive or exhibit other unwanted behaviors.

          If you want a lap dog, this adorable, fluffy, happy but high-strung breed isn't for you.

          •  The same is true of Belgians. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clues, 4Freedom

            Although Violet adapted wondrously to my lengthy post-neurosurgery rehabilitation, and is one of the calmest, most laid-back Belgians you could ever meet.  If I can get her through conformation to championship and get her through obedience/CGC testing, she will make an outstanding therapy dog.

            And Malinois rescue is just as careful in their screening as any breeder.  I just finished an adoption app for a very rare black Mal that came into rescue from a foreclosure situation.  It took me over two hours, and I think there are still things I forgot to mention.  Nothing crucial, but hey....

            "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

            by Noor B on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:45:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I told Charles that Bitty is a calm Toller (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clues, 4Freedom, Noor B

              Compared to many of the other Tollers I've met over the past thirteen years, she is. For a Toller, she is mellow and laid back. But bring out a tennis ball, and you will see a completely different dog, one who is so driven that she quivers a little as she waits for me to throw it, every muscle held so tensely so that she can take off like a red rocket towards the ball. She is completely focused on retrieving. All three of our retrievers are very birdy, from working hunting and winning show lines (their parents did it all). One of the biggest frustrations they get is when pheasants stand outside the yard and taunt them. Then they bark their heads off: C'mon, mom, shoot it! Shoot it!

              But don't take our Bitty as typical of the breed. She is somewhat calm (and now she's also 10 1/2) but most aren't like that. I do want a show and field bitch pup, and I know exactly what I'm getting into with the breed. Given a chance, one will outsmart me and Charles. It's OK. I'm expecting that, all the good in the breed and all the bad, too.

              Organ donors save multiple lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me and in others. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate and sign up to give others the gift of life.

              by Kitsap River on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 01:25:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Our sheltie we had as we were growing up was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clues

      rescued from a relative who had bred her sheltie to a champion.  His "crime"? Being born with ears that stood straight up.  I didn't realize until a few years ago when I read that the breed standard was "floppy" ears and my older sister confirmed it.  Mr. Mike was the kindest, gentlest, smartest, most sympathetic dog--and would herd us into the front hallway when we were rambunctious--so he also had the traits that a working dog would need (although putting up with 3 little girls wanting to brush you and dress you up and teach you tricks is work, too).  

  •  doesn't surprise me (35+ / 0-)

    after all, the AKC still registers those bulldogs that have lifespans under 5 years and horrific health problems. There's far less concern for animal welfare in these types of organizations than their should be.

    Pedigree deserves some support on this, I think.

    •  Pedigree is the food of choice for my (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      decembersue, nellgwen, msmacgyver, SuWho

      dogs.  I first started buying it because of the company's dedication to the adoption of shelter animals, and my pooches gobble it up - of course, they'd probably gobble up just about anything ;-).

      That which you manifest is before you - Enzo: "The Art of Racing in the Rain"

      by StateofEuphoria on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 08:35:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The AKC will register anything that has (0+ / 0-)

      registered parents.

      People assume that being registered by the AKC means that the dog is a "quality" dog.

      But the AKC doesn't inspect purebreed dogs. The AKC is a registry, and it's concern is pedigrees.  Not soundness.

      As for the AKC shows, some judges are great, some are not, but what wins is what breeders will try to reproduce...even if the result is a dog that is structurally unsound and tempermentally a mess.

      And, as is true for almost any human endevour, there will be people who will do almost anything to win....no matter how detrimental to their breed.

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:30:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  my rescue dog (79+ / 0-)

    a 1/2 st bernard, 1/2 husky looks a lot like a really furry humvee, wide, low to the ground, 130 lbs. and is one the sweetest and smartest dogs I have ever met. when we traveled and had to board him, we repeatedly warned the kennels that he can open doors and cages. Every single place scoffed, and said, we have it under control.

    The first place complained, when we got back, that he opened his own cage, then found his brother's cage, and let him out. (our second dog used to be a goofy lovely golden puppy - for all 15 years of puppyhood) the SECOND time he escaped (they jammed a u bolt in the lock to keep him from opening it) he removed the u bolt, unlatched his cage, then let out his brother, and THEN,  proceeded to open up half of the other cages. when they caught him doing it, he was in the process of letting out a sweet bull mastiff.

    The next place (we were barred from the first place) promised that their cages were dog proof. We put in Titan, and closed his cage. We then began talking to the attendent, promising that he could open anything. "NO, no way, it is impossible. These cages are specially desi . . .  WHAT THE HELL???" In those few short seconds, he figured out the latch, stuck out his paw and claw, and opened it from the inside, and sauntered up next to me expectantly.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 06:33:48 AM PST

  •  Westminster Is Fighting a Losing Battle (44+ / 0-)

    This isn't just about the dogs -- it's also about class.

    The "problem" with the dog circuit these days is that it has become somewhat like NASCAR. In other words, it's recreation for lower-class whites.

    I went to Westminster this year. My parents raise purebred dogs in a breed known for its health and longevity.

    There was a striking disconnect between the kennel club dignitaries in their black ties and evening gowns seated in the VIP section and the throngs in the audience.

    My guess is that there is a sense in the organization that they need to "elevate" the dog circuit away from the rest of the dog world, whether unsavory (dog fighting) or just mundane (pound dogs).

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 06:39:26 AM PST

  •  It's an image thing (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, Dillonfence, HamdenRice, quill, akeitz

    I know it's tempting to condemn them for this. But I understand their issue. Similar to how the Masters golf tournament has a brand they work very hard to protect, so too does Westminster. Putting a sad ad about shelter dogs was not on the table. Putting a happy one was.

    While the purpose of Westminster is to celebrate pure bred dogs, I think it's unfair to say they are explicitly anti-shelter because they felt an ad ran counter to the atmosphere they want viewers to have -- one of happiness to watch great dogs.

    •  well, i say fuck their atmosphere (27+ / 0-)

      right and wrong versus atmosphere.  some people just take themselves too damn seriously.

      ; P

      best in show is one of the funniest movies ever.

      My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

      by Cedwyn on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 06:57:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Except thats not what happened (24+ / 0-)

      PEDIGREE has been the show's sponsor for years.
      Theyve been doing shelter dog commercials for years.
      So what changed?
      Apparently the people running the show.
      They complained last year to PEDIGREE about their 'sad' commercials. And not putting the focus on buying purebreed dogs.
      PEDIGREE basically ignored their griping.
      So Westminster replaced them.

    •  Dog breeders want (27+ / 0-)

      people to buy their not-quite-show-level leftover purebred dogs rather than adopting from shelters. So it is more than an image issue. They don't want people interested in dogs to get their dogs from a source other than breeders. They don't want people remembering that they have the option of saving a life from death row or that shelter dogs make pets that are just as good (often better) than the purebred they would pay outrageous money for. That's why they don't want a shelter ad during the dog show.

      •  I really don't think that's it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        akeitz

        I think the real issue is that those commercials are very hard to sit through for many people. I also suspect that the people who respond to them are already on board with the 'adopt a shelter dog' message.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:20:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry you don't believe it (15+ / 0-)

          but there are more cats and dogs than there are homes for them, and it's a brutal competition to find homes (or in the case of breeders to keep up their revenues).

          Whether Westminster cancelled the Pedigree sponsorship because the ads were depressing or because the ads less directly show the actual depressing situation that dog overbreeders contribute to, who cares? If Pedigree was using ads to make people face that reality, what an unusual use of advertising, and one I respect all the more.

          The Westminster types, on the other hand, would rather say, "Let them eat cake!"

        •  So go get a snack while the commercial is on (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nellgwen, makettle, mideedah

          I find many commercials hard to sit through, for a whole variety of reasons.  That's why I either take the opportunity to go do some little chore around the house, or better yet, pause the show on my DVR and putter about, then come back and fast forward through a whole set of commercials.

          I don't watch dog shows on tv, ever.  I don't even have a dog.  But I have been made aware (via Stephen Colbert and DKos) about Westminster's decision.  So in the court of my public opinion, Westminster loses and Pedigree wins.  And I think that's the core of the matter right there.

          •  Just pointing out that a lot of people (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            akeitz

            including a lot of people deeply involved in dog rescue, really don't like those commercials. It's not a black-and-white good-guys-v-bad-guys divide.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:00:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Well, yeah. Advertisers do this all the time.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        someRaven, akeitz

        Why get well made clothes at consignment when you can go to Nordstrom's?

        Get a new loaded Lexus when there is a great used vehicle for half the price?

        Build a Mcmansion when there are perfectly sized homes already built?

        Advertisers sell us shit we don't need all the time under the auspices of it being "new" and "perfect." That's what they are doing here. Its manipulative, but hardly amoral.

        •  these are living beings - (5+ / 0-)

          not a cold piece  of cloth
          and because they are living being-that are incredibly wonderful by the way- it makes it immoral

          •  Purebreads are living too... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            akeitz

            Dogs are dogs. I see no issue with a show pimping purebreads having advertisements that reflect the nature of the show.

            Some people adopt kids, some people have their own. Some people adopt dogs, some get them from a breeder. Regardless of how or why they were put on this earth, all of them deserve a home.

            •  That's a bit like encouraging (0+ / 0-)

              people to breed more American workers rather make room for immigrants though. My first two dogs were purchased from breeders but I came to realise than while I could appreciate the desire for 'purity' that ultimately it wasn't really moral to be encouraging breeding more dogs while so many need homes. My last four dogs have been rescue dogs and while I still sometimes hanker after  another beautiful Japanese Spitz I know I'd have a guilty conscience if I gave in to temptation.

      •  Nope - not exactly true. (4+ / 0-)

        There are purebred rescue groups for every breed that spend lots of time and money "saving" purebreds and mixes by pulling them from shelters, providing them good vet care (incl. spay/neuter, vacs., often surgery to fix ortho problems, heavy-duty treatment for heart worm, etc.), fostering them and then placing them.  Those dogs aren't in shelters "because" of purebred breeders - they're there for the same reason all dogs are there - people can't/won't care for them anymore.

        You are correct that show breeders fund their "hobby" in part by selling their puppies, show quality or not, sometimes for big bucks. Most/many will claim they lose money doing this, but that's not exactly true. But that doesn't mean they're depriving shelter dogs homes. The people who buy those expensive purebred puppies were never going to get a shelter dog anyway.

        I think the reason the AKC/Westminster wanted to disassociate from "sad" needy dog adoption ads was to attempt to control the message about the purebred show dog industry, which is in big trouble financially. What a stupid way to do it.

        Then again, it also could be pay-back for Pedigree Dog Foods dropping their sponsorship of Crufts in response to Pedigree Dogs Exposed.

        "Personally, I tend to let my melons sprawl on the ground." - OH

        by mikidee on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:36:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Our show breeder really put us through (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mikidee

        the ringer before she'd sell us the runt of one of her litters.  She wanted to be sure we'd be a good family for him.  We got Duffy but only after we promised to have him neutered.

        Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

        by Ice Blue on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:21:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree: there are a lot of people who don't like (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deweyrose, Clues, George, DMiller, Tamar, akeitz

      them.

      It's not because they are shelter dogs, but because the ads are sad and manipulative... and to do what exactly? To guilt people into going out and getting a dog they're not prepared for? To guilt people who already have as many adopted dogs as they should? To make little kids cry?

      I am a strong proponent of shelter dogs. But I think if you want to promote adoption, a happy commercial about how great it is to bring home a dog from a shelter might be a better way to convey the message.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:18:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  True that all advertising (5+ / 0-)

        intends to be manipulative. That's the point of advertising and why we should all avoid it as much as possible.

        But any decent shelter organization will not adopt to those you describe--not ready, overpopulated with dogs, etc. If anything, the guilt is used to get donations. And that is fine with me.

      •  Rescuing a dog is a great (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clues, Ice Blue, Noor B, 4Freedom, akeitz, mideedah

        idea in concept, but don't kid yourself.  Lots of rescue dogs are really screwed up and you have to be prepared for a project.

        This is a list of the damage done by my rescue dog in the first month (with me staying home and watching her and being with her every day):  chewed the couch (and assorted throw pillows), chewed the comforter on our bed, peed all over the carpet in two rooms before we got it straightened out that we'd let her out if she asked, destroyed uncounted hoses and extension cords, three pairs of dress shoes.

        With that being said, I love this dog to bits and wouldn't give her up for anything.  She's awesome.

        Obama is not a dark-skinned anti-war socialist who offers free healthcare. You're thinking of Jesus.

        by DMiller on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:09:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Um, are there dogs that don't chew up all (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DarkLadyNyara, imokyrok, makettle

          your stuff?

          Mine grew out of it, but it's a pretty standard dog thing to do.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:55:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes they do exist ;-) (0+ / 0-)

            Some of my dogs were champion chewers, some not so much.  At the high end I've had dogs that you shove a chew toy under their noses and they're good.  The low?  My youngest has chewed through too many socks and unmentionables....

            •  Our Raven ate my underwear. (0+ / 0-)

              That was an expensive emergency-surgery situation.

              Organ donors save multiple lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me and in others. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate and sign up to give others the gift of life.

              by Kitsap River on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 01:42:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  My Annie was all fucked up in the head (0+ / 0-)

          when I got her from my local shelter.  

          When I got Annie she was dumped at the shelter for the second time.  That alone is devastating for a single person breed.  I'm home almost all the time but she was so needy she was practically up my ass.  After about three weeks I finally got her to settle down on the couch.  Then, since it was a nice day, I figured I'd tether her outside while I went over to my neighbors' house.  Big mistake.  That twenty minutes I left her tied up alone sent her back to square one.

          She settled down into our household routine but I didn't think she was going to demand an hour long walk first thing every morning.  Oh, well.  Human companions have got to give a little, too.  

          Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

          by Ice Blue on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:40:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  They did (0+ / 0-)
        I am a strong proponent of shelter dogs. But I think if you want to promote adoption, a happy commercial about how great it is to bring home a dog from a shelter might be a better way to convey the message.
        But they did. One pretty little oppressed dog, I guess so many people took an interest in the commercial that they did an update commercial to show that the little fellow had been adopted by a large and loving family. Maybe that's what should occur for all the sad puppy ads.
    •  I think you're right. Purebreds in shelters too (10+ / 0-)

      There are probably as many purebreds in shelters because people go to pet stores buy cute purebreds without thinking or knowing what it means to have a dog, and then dump them in shelters assuming that a pure bred dog is likely to get adopted.

      I didn't get where the AKC said that it was because shelter dogs were mixed breed.  It was because the ads are sad.  

      Wouldn't it be better to get people to adopt shelter dogs by showing how happy they are once they are adopted?

      Btw, while I despise Westminster/AKC, not all purebreds are inbred.

      My dog is a purebred Golden Retriever.  But he is from a working/hunting line from out west who would have as much chance in the ring as a mutt.  

      I saw something on tv a few weeks ago about show German Shepherds that was horrifying -- how breeding for that weird slope back stance was creating lines of dogs that couldn't walk.  

      This is what they did to one of the ultimate working dog lines.

    •  But this is a MAJOR problem (7+ / 0-)

      My folks volunteer for homeless dogs in rural South Carolina.  West of India, it doesn't get much worse than as far as abandon dogs go.

      Things are so bad in South Carolina, and so good in New England area, that they actually ship thousands of stray dogs up North to be adopted.

      And they still can't keep up.  These are some of the sweetest dogs you'll ever meet.  There's just not enough owners, and many (most?) are put to death.  

      It's really quite sick, and for people on the front lines, this is about more than an image problem.  It's a human problem.  And Westminster only encourages it, in the end.

      knuckle-dragging Neanderthals

      by Deadicated Marxist on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:03:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pure bred dogs are the Rethug ideal... (17+ / 0-)

    for humans.

    Overly specialized, easily replaceable, dependent on their overlords for literally everything...

    And those that don't do EVERYTHING that the master wants go to shelters, where they are put to sleep.

    /snark

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 06:53:23 AM PST

  •  What a shame (13+ / 0-)

    People who truly love dogs care about the unwanted and abandoned dogs who are in shelters, especially kill shelters.  

    The best dog I've ever had was a little Lhasa Apso mix I rescued from the Hayward, CA animal shelter when he was 3.  He lived to be 18 and was a true joy.  I still miss him.

    I wish there was a way for me to support Pedigree because I like their focus on adoption.  I just don't think their food is very healthy for my dogs.

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 06:54:46 AM PST

  •  Support shelter efforts... (19+ / 0-)

    Here's a source where you can let people know how you feel. I have a "Please don't breed or buy while shelter pets die. Opt to adopt" sticker on my car. It gets a lot of comments and questions, and I never hesitate to tell them that breeding operations not only created in-bred animals but are partially responsible for the euthanasia of more than six million perfectly healthy cats and dogs every year.

    http://shop.cafepress.com/...

    •  That's not exactly true. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamar, mikidee, carp, akeitz

      Let's put the blame for unwanted pets where it belongs.  You are doing the equivalent of blaming GM for poor Yugo sales.

      The blame for unwanted pets in shelters belongs squarely on the shoulders of bad pet owners, and backyard and irresponsible breeders.  If you don't address this, you don't address the problem.

      To say that animals in shelters are the fault of someone who obtained a pet from another source is ridiculous.  There is such a thing as a responsible breeder, and there are very legitimate reasons for people to obtain dogs from responsible breeders.

      •  And just to add (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tamar, carp, mikidee, akeitz

        Fixing a problem requires envisioning the solution you want to bring about and working toward that.  Assuming that most of us agree that owning pets is a good thing and should continue, what is the solution we'd like to work toward?

        The solution I see is that all pets come from responsible breeders.  Responsible breeders, by definition,  follow up on a dog for the lifetime of the dog, and produce contracts that ensure that the dog never ends up in a shelter.

        There is a lot that can be done to make that happen, including getting registry organizations like the AKC to restrict registrations.  We should avoid kneejerk responses that preclude responsible groups from working together to achieve a good final goal on this.  Insisting that there is no reason for purebred dogs to exist and that there are no good breeders doesn't help the effort.

      •  Blaming the individual... (6+ / 0-)

        and not the system... Hmmm... seems a very right-wing thing to do.

        Yes, there are plenty of bad pet owners. There are also plenty of desperate people who abandon their pets after their homes are foreclosed on. There are plenty who abandon their pets after getting ill and not being able to afford to take care of themselves.

        But there are just too many. So why isn't the AKC shutting down puppy mills? Why isn't it encouraging a cooperative rather than a competitive relationship with animal rescue organizations?

        I try very hard not to condemn people for buying purebred dogs from breeders. I try not to blame those individuals either. I have friends and family members who have done so (and one who is a dog breeder). But the pet breeding system is messed up. And it is a system that is completely entwined with our late capitalist state.

        •  Insufficient pressure on the AKC (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DarkLadyNyara

          Don't get me started on the AKC.  I understand somewhat why they are they way they are, because I know their history, but they need a good hard shove.  They have taken a couple baby steps in the right directions by opening up some AKC events to mixed breed dogs, but they have miles and miles to go to promote responsible ownership.

          I think the gulf between people who support shelters and responsible breeders is partly to blame for the lack of movement on this.  At the very least, it's not helping.

          The AKC is solely a registry organization.  They exist to maintain the integrity of the registry.  What needs to happen is that "the integrity of the registry" needs to be expanded to include more than just simple bloodline confirmation.  It needs to become more exclusive and include ONLY responsibly bred dogs.  You'd think that someone could sell this idea based on the desirability of becoming more exclusive.

          Another idea is to support one of the other less-widely known registries to make them more popular than the AKC, and get them to support responsible breeding goals.

          And yes, I know that not everyone who takes a pet to the shelter can help doing so, and I applaud them for taking that difficult step instead of just abandoning their animals.  I can pretty well tell the pulse of the economy by what's showing up on my doorstep looking for food.  (9 cats as of this moment).  There's a special place in hell for people who dump animals in the woods.  But still....it's possible to get shelter populations low enough to get them all adopted if we're just dealing with bad luck and not bad judgement.  I know that Maine actually imports shelter dogs from other states because they don't have a problem there.

        •  Am I being called a winger here? (0+ / 0-)

          Blaming the individual is sometimes appropriate when the individual is at fault.  Not everything is the fault of a "system", and not everyone blaming an individual is a right-winger.  Take me, for instance.  I fall well to the left of the liberal scale, and if I see someone get a dog that's inappropriate for their situation, fail to train it or pay attention to it, then dump it in a shelter when it misbehaves, then yes, I blame the individual.  Who do you blame for that?

          My post also blamed backyard breeders, and irresponsible breeders.  If someone loses their job and their house and has to get rid of a pet, if that pet came from a responsible breeder, then it's very likely that pet has a home to go to.  So yes, I blame an individual backyard breeder for not being responsible for the puppies they produce for the life of the puppy.

          •  I'm just pointing out (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SuWho, mitumba

            that when it's time to get a pet, every INDIVIDUAL has a choice: pay a breeder for a dog or cat or get one at a shelter. If I go to a breeder today and get a dog, the dog I would otherwise get at a shelter may be euthanized.

            Someone claimed that people who buy from breeders would never adopt from a shelter, but I don't believe that. I believe that many people are convinced, as you are, that it's an individual choice and that buying a dog from a breeder is harmless.

            I don't believe that in the current system that's true. I believe that, yes, dogs in particular were once bred for certain kinds of work. I believe there's no problem with that on one level. But we are a far cry from that time in history. So fine, make it a requirement that anyone who wants a purebred border collie works it on a farm herding sheep rather than locking it in an apartment for eight hours a day just so he can say he has a smart dog, a practice that is destined to drive the dog insane and land it in a shelter where some other well-meaning person will adopt it and have to repair the damage or abandon it again.

            It is also true that people have a right to get whatever kind of pet best suits their needs at the time. But almost all of the "bad owner" and "you can get a crazy dog at a shelter whereas your breeder-obtained puppy will be just what you want" arguments avoid the fact that these problems are linked to other problems.

            One is that there are too many cats and dogs for the good owners to take care of. The other is that people think of animals as comparable to inert machines (like cars) and other commodities, and believe it's all about what they want and not about what animals need when it should be about both.

            I don't blame everything on the system. I make my choices about pets as an individual. I just get sick of people who think of animals as all about them talking about how much they love animals. Too many love only their own animals and only insofar as the animals suit their desires. That's what I call an instrumental relationship with animals, and I think it's not love.

            •  I guess I see it differently (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              4Freedom, mikidee

              There are plenty of good shelter dogs.  I've had some.  I've rescued plenty of abandoned dogs as well.  I've also rescued problem dogs and gotten problem dogs from a shelter.  I think you take the breed characteristics thing too lightly.  It's not just about high-drive working dogs.  Some breeds are couch potatoes, some require lots of exercise and activity.  Some are better with kids, strangers, small animals.   Some are highly trainable for  activities like flyball, agility or frisbee.  There is such a wide range of behaviors that this SHOULD work to our advantage in matching people with a dog that is suitable for them and much less likely to end up in a shelter.

              Let me give you a personal example of why I disagree with you.  I have lost all my dogs to old age and at some point I will be getting another dog.  This will be a nerve wracking decision for me, as I'm getting on in years, and it's likely this will be my last dog.  This means I need to be as careful as I can to get a dog that won't have health issues, or temperament issues, or won't be a complete mismatch for me in terms of activity level, etc.  If I can only have one more, it has to be the right dog.

              I can maximize my chances for success by choosing a breed that suits my needs, finding a good breeder, evaluating the parents and grandparents and discussing health issues in the related dogs.  Or I can go to a shelter and spend 10 mins. with a dog there, take it home, lose my heart, and deal with whatever the consequences are.  (In the past, these consequences have included having to put a dog down for unredeemable viciousness, and spending 15k to treat a dog with stomach cancer)  Do good breeders sometimes produce unexpected results?  Yes, because it's not an exact science (yet), but my chances are greatly improved by dealing with someone who has spent years trying to reduce bad traits, and by choosing a breed that matches my lifestyle.

              Please note here that I am talking about responsible breeders -  the people that follow up on their dogs for the lifetime of the dog, take them back if there's any problem, and do all the required health and temperament research.

              Now I'm a good pet owner.  A bad pet owner who encounters some of the things I have would either take the dog back to the shelter or dump the dog in the woods.

              My approach reduces the number of pets going into the shelter in the first place, while yours increases the number coming out.  I don't see any permanent solutions without recommending both of these approaches.

              If we want to talk about individuals and choices, there are two valid choices to acquiring a pet, and there are valid reasons for either one, and benefits and drawbacks to each.

              •  We agree on some things, no doubt (0+ / 0-)

                about it. There is a huge difference between a responsible breeder and a puppy mill or irresponsible backyard breeder. And I respect people who need particular characteristics in a dog for certain tasks. And I sympathize with your choices regarding your "last dog."

                I also agree that we not only have to find more homes for pets in shelters but we should stop as many as possible from being there in the first place. I have participated in spay-neuter efforts for that reason.

                In an ideal world, even one that commodifies animals, supply would meet demand pretty evenly. But it's clear that in the real world right now, there are too many animals to find good homes. That's why I just find it terribly problematic for anyone to keep willy-nilly producing more.

                Your assumption that breeder-obtained dogs won't develop behavioral flaws or illnesses seems way wrong. The many purebred dogs that end up in shelters were originally adopted by people with that same assumption. But any dog, no matter how well bred, can develop problems if its needs are not met. I think the breeding world breeds the idea that its animals are way more predictable than they are.

                And certainly decent rescue organizations seek to place dogs with different breed characteristics in homes where those characteristics will fit. In addition, a decent rescue organization will have assessed a dog's temperament and euthanized those with big problems.

                I have worked with two different animal rescue organizations, and both had the policy that should you be displeased with an animal or have to give an animal up, you were to return it to that organization.

                But the point is well made that, just as there are better and worse breeders, there are indeed better and worse animal rescue organizations.

                For me, honestly, this comes down to a similarity with the healthcare issue: profit is not the greatest motive. And, though some breeders do it out of a love for a particular breed of dog, most do it for profit. Would that we had a better way of sorting the bad from the good all the way around.

                •  I've heard an idea floated (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Lisa Roney

                  and it relates to this -

                  Your assumption that breeder-obtained dogs won't develop behavioral flaws or illnesses seems way wrong. The many purebred dogs that end up in shelters were originally adopted by people with that same assumption.
                  My assumption was that well bred dogs were less likely to develop these problems.  Also, well bred dogs do not end up in shelters.  It's part of the definition of a responsible breeder.   My comments were all in regard to responsible breeders.  The others need to disappear, just like the bad pet owners need to disappear, in my opinion.

                  There's a very easy way to sort them out, and you don't need to discern motives or anything else to do it.  Does a breeder follow up on the dogs they produce over the entire life of the dog?  If not, they're not a responsible breeder.  (Being responsible involves a lot more than that, but that's the key "tell")

                  But your comment interested me because I have heard suggestions that all AKC registered dogs be required to be microchipped.  Any showing up in shelters can immediately be traced back to their origin, and if that person cannot accept physical responsibility for the dog, they can at least accept financial responsibility for it.  I think that would be some good legislation to push for.  The good breeders wouldn't mind that a bit.  They sometimes have to fight to get their dogs back if one ends up in a shelter.  The bad breeders would lose a good bit of money reimbursing those costs.

          •  By the way, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            4Freedom

            I do not mean to call you a winger. I assume no sincere participant in Daily Kos is a winger. I was just trying to use the comparison to make you think about your position on dog breeding. I do think it's a salient comparison, but I'm well aware that few of us are completely consistent in our logic. All best...

  •  I've Had Two Mutts in My Life (6+ / 0-)

    Both great dogs.

    Yeah -- I agree with your remarks about the inbred stuff, and breeding to bring out supposedly desirable outward appearances while destroying the breed.  

  •  My mutt was an angel (10+ / 0-)

    Part collie, part shepherd, all love.

    Come to think of it, all of my cats have been mutts, and almost every dog or cat I've ever had was a shelter cat.  

    AKC?  You're assholes.

    "Republicans are poor losers and worse winners." - My grandmother, sometime in the early 1960s

    by escapee on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:15:16 AM PST

  •  Tone deaf much? (5+ / 0-)

    It is hard to understand the "logic" behind this decision. May the show sink into deserved oblivion.

    I'm sick about hearing about the moppy little thing that won best in show this year. THAT'S a DOG?

  •  I understand Westminster's interest in (7+ / 0-)

    producing a upbeat product for television and do no have a problem with them wanting their sponsor to 'stay on message'.

    However, Westminster could be a more responsible advocate in the treatment of all dogs, regardless of heritage.

    They exist to promote and preserve pure bred dogs, but I think there is room under that tent to raise public awareness that plenty of fine mixed breeds are available in local shelters, pounds and rescues.

    No dog should be denied a good home simply because it doesn't have the proper papers. Everyone looses under that scenario.

    Measure twice, cut three times, repeat as necessary.

    by SpiffPeters on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:22:05 AM PST

  •  Glad to see some light put on Westminster's (7+ / 0-)

    really poor behavior. How Republican of them.
    I read just a little about it last week. But it seems to have been largely ignored by the news media, currently obsessing over wimmin's naughty bits and what must be done about them.

  •  While We've Taken Rescue Dogs Ourselves (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    labwitchy, elfling, Tamar

    we absolutely can't stomach those ads. I've never seen more than 10 seconds of one.

    I understand the rescue situation, we have a friend who works in 2nd tier rescue operations, but I can say as a business owner if those ads ran in connection with me I'd have viewers flipping away by the thousands before they got to my pitch.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:25:56 AM PST

  •  While I appreciate ... (6+ / 0-)

    ... Pedigree's willingness to throw light on shelter dogs, it needs to be pointed out that they sell a sub-standard product.

    That aside, my daughter runs an animal rescue and it's been quite an education to see behind the curtain of the breeding and show dog worlds. A few years ago, we adopted from a rescue groups a border collie that was as psychologically damaged a dog as I've ever seen. A breeder in Kentucky had force-bred her at seven months and tossed her back in a crate, isolated, terrified and alone. Smooth coat border puppies are valuable and this dog had done her duty for their bottom line. Her value was gone.

    I thought there was no hope for her, but my wife brought her along and today she's a great companion, if a little eccentric at times. Why was she treated like that by the breeder? Because she was looked upon as nothing more than a commodity. How did we end up with her? Because the breeder decided to move back to the U.K. and couldn't afford to push its dogs past British quarantine rules, so they called border collie rescues here and surrendered the dogs.

    Want to know how bad pedigree breeding can get? Take a look at what's happening with the incidence of cancers among purebred goldens in the U.S. or the serious spread of syringomyelia among British King Charles spaniels, which, thanks to the show dog industry, is now a threatened breed.

    •  the late great divine Miss D (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      megisi, operculum, joe wobblie, pfiore8, SuWho, zett

      the rescue yellow lab that died of cancer last year, was rescued from a puppy mill situation.  she had been forced to breed so many times.  i don't think anyone knew what she'd been fed.  she was however, the sweetest, gentlest most loving lab i've had, and i've had a couple of them.

      interestingly enough, someone had worked with her.  she passed all her obedience tests with flying colors and was on her way to becoming a companion dog for me when disaster struck.  we didn't even have 24 hours left with her on that last day.  we stayed with her though, and held her while the emergency vet gave her the medication.  we stayed with her for at least an hour after that.

      her ashes now next to our 17 year old chocolate, in a lovely box on a shelf of honor.    i hope we made her last year and a half happy.

      Republicans ARE cooties!

      by labwitchy on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:38:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I knew a woman whose dog (0+ / 0-)

    Won  best in breed for Bulldog last year,i also know a Japanese woman ,who treat her dog just like he is human ,she usually put him up in a pet hotel ,if she is out of town from Tokyo

  •  not happy about westminster either (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie, Amber6541, a2nite

    curious about something that  never hit the news.

    just at the final judging, someone, looked like a man, was "escorted" out of the garden.  you could just see it on camera.  no one has reported why.

    as for the animals, yes, they disrespect shelter dogs.  even rescues. we've had two labs that we got from a lab rescue.  one sadly died of cancer (labs being stoics, no one knew she even had it) 1.5 years after we got her.  the other is still going strong.

    we purchased from a breeder because, when we were looking for our next lab, the lab rescue people screwed up so much, they gave away the dog we had chosen, the second dog we chose, we couldn't even get them to return calls on.  i needed a new companion, so, i used a good breeder with lots of information and a great reputation.  

    when i need a new doggy, in future, i will again try lab rescue.  maybe they've gotten their act together again.  i'd much prefer another rescue doggy although my miss annabel lee is turning out to be a great lil animal friend.  she's getting training, by me with the help of a fabulous trainer/animal behaviorist with a master's in AB we found at petsmart.  we start intermediate training next week.

    btw, we were pulling for the shepherd, not the dustmop.  from what i could tell, that pekingese almost couldn't walk.  malachy's legs were entirely too short, then again, my breed (labs) are big dogs, which we love.

    annabel has also, helped me quit smoking!  

    Republicans ARE cooties!

    by labwitchy on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:29:17 AM PST

    •  Please do (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      labwitchy, Clues, BlueOak, SuWho, mitumba, mideedah

      try rescue groups again. I know it can be frustrating to deal with some rescue groups. But please understand that the people who run these organizations are almost always living on the edge. They are not making money from their efforts and they are often working other jobs and patching together the funding to save animals.  They are often overwhelmed with the demand.

      Indeed, maybe it would help to think of patience as part of the process, rather than ordering up another dog the instant one is wanted. I know it's tough if a group seems less than on top of things, but if you love a breed so much, perhaps you should volunteer to help! Help is always needed--whether it's fostering dogs, helping with adoptions, returning calls, updating web pages, or simply giving.

      •  oh we had waited (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie, BlueOak, SuWho

        and waited and waited and waited.  i think they were having a hiccup there.  as i was trying to quit smoking again, it wasn't a good time to be dealing with the rescue org which seemed to be having some problems.

        we'll definitely go to rescue first.  hopefully not soon because we have two labs now, but, we'll be back there i'm sure.

        we still have a standing monthly donation going to them in the hopes that they can straighten out their admin problems and get those lovely doggies adopted.

        Republicans ARE cooties!

        by labwitchy on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 08:49:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I liked the Doberman, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, labwitchy, Hastur, tapestry, Ice Blue

      even though I don't usually care for them.  But how can you resist a Dobie named Fifi?

      Agreed about the Pomeranian that won.  It was like a caricature of itself.  

    •  The pekingese looked fine to me, (0+ / 0-)

      one forgets the show ring is smaller than the group rings and smaller dogs move slower.

      I've been fortunate to know just about every breed there is, and labs would be last on my list to own, but that is why there are different dogs for different folks. I like pekes, but have a pug instead because I'm not an avid hair brusher and pugs are the most even tempered consistently reliable creatures I've ever encountered.

      As for large dogs I'd be partial to a Giant Schnauzer or a Briard and those Neopolitan Mastiffs. But I don't need a large dog, and a pug thinks they are a large dog, as do most of the terriers. They have no idea they are short. they are pets, and they seem to know that is their function. Persian cats are similar in that regard, a more pleasant goofy cat is not to found than a Persian.

      If you want a protector, then a Scottie is your best bet. No dog is as fierce and as loyal and discriminating as a Scottie, but they are not for everybody. They smell like bears even right after a bath and they generally only like who they like and they are not obedient. In temperament they are closely followed by the Sealyham, and the Wire Fox Terriers and Irish are right behind.  

  •  Join the Mutt Revolution! (12+ / 0-)

    I love pound puppies. Screw Westminster.

    "Plan for the normal, live with the abnormal." Great gardening advice from Frankenoid (equally applicable to relationships).

    by surfbird007 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:29:47 AM PST

  •  Both of those foods are horrible (8+ / 0-)

    and nobody should feed them to the dogs they love.

    Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

    by psilocynic on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:31:50 AM PST

  •  How many Westminster dogs eat Pedigree anyway? (4+ / 0-)

    I would bet none.  Surely they all eat fancy brands or even custom foods prepared from scratch.  This is just another area where hypocrisy reigns.

    Private health insurance: a protection racket without the protection.

    by rustypatina on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:36:26 AM PST

    •  Don't be so sure... (0+ / 0-)

      My SIL raises dogs for show and her dogs (and one of mine, which she also shows) eat Kirkland dog food from Costco...no wheat, no corn in it.

      We know lots of breeders that feed with this product.

      BTW I would never feed Pedigree OR Purina OR Royal Canin to my dogs; loaded with wheat and corn which my Lab (who is a rescue from the local Labrador Retriever Society) is allergic to.

      •  Costco food is great. (0+ / 0-)

        All three of our retrievers have been on it for years. I have shown and won a major on it, with my late lamented Bonehead. Raven and Quinn and Bitty have been on Kirkland food most of their lives. The little dogs are on Kirkland's little-dog food, and the pooties are on Kirkland cat food.

        Organ donors save multiple lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me and in others. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate and sign up to give others the gift of life.

        by Kitsap River on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 02:07:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Rescues and Humane Societies (9+ / 0-)

    are excellent places to find a new four-legged family member.  Whether a mutt or a pure-bred dog, so many are abandoned because it's too easy to throw them away when the novelty wears off.  All of mine have been rescues, young and old.  And if you are lucky enough to have a senior dog join your family, well, there will be no more loving and loyal companion than that.

    Every day is a good day. Some are just better than others!

    by BabeInTotalControlofHerself on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:37:06 AM PST

  •  I'm very squeamish about selective breeding (4+ / 0-)

    I do understand it can lead to benefits, especially in agriculture, and in rural areas where dogs work as hard as anyone else and specialization makes sense.

    But how far is too far?  The dogs at these shows are judged on the fetishization of the useful traits the breeds were developed for.  But for nearly everyone in the modern world, the traits themselves serve no particular purpose.  What is the benefit in breeding dogs for looks?  

    "You're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic."

    by nominalize on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:37:13 AM PST

    •  Perfect question - (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DarkLadyNyara, pfiore8, Clues
      What is the benefit in breeding dogs for looks?
      Some forms are clearly functional, while others are not. But what is on display at Westminster and other less hallowed AKC conformation shows is not and cannot be about anything other than looks.  Temperament, health, performance - these critical attributes cannot possibly be judged in two minutes.  Arguably, looks can.

      The conformation show mythology states that shows are about judging breeding stock. With that in mind, no wonder purebred dogs are in trouble.

      What a freakin' mess....

      "Personally, I tend to let my melons sprawl on the ground." - OH

      by mikidee on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 09:51:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My dog is a rescue. (8+ / 0-)

    An Australian Shephard.  She's a gem.

    My last dog was also rescued, but not from a rescue organization, but from a pound.  For 11 years, she was everything to me, and I was devastated when she died last year.  I'm still not over her loss.

    Shame on the dog show for not highlighting the plight of these wonderful animals and not wanting to participate in the promotion of their adoption, just because they're not "dog show material".

    Breaks my heart.  They need to be shamed into doing the right thing.

  •  I couldn't care less about Westminster. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles

    It's a racket that creates weaker bloodlines and unhealthy animals.

    Give me a field of happy dogs at an agility course any day.

    "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

    by Wayward Son on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:47:50 AM PST

  •  "Pulls a Komen" enters the lexicon. (13+ / 0-)

    Brava!

    Vote rape. Vote torture. Vote War Crimes. Vote with the American top 1%.

    by Yellow Canary on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:52:18 AM PST

  •  sam thinks your dog's wicked cute (11+ / 0-)

    i concur.

    what a bewildering and disappointing and cruel stance they've taken. completely heartless.

    as much as i do occasionally enjoy the occasional televised dog show, and NOT to diss purebred dogs nor responsible breeders, i can't help but recognize that i've long found something offputting about it all lurking in the background. this eugenic purity thing. harkens to dark stuff documented in the tales of us non-canines. end result can be / sometimes is a creature inbred to the point of compromised health and faculties. think: royalty.

    my spouse and i adopted our shelter dog on father's day two years ago. to say our lives have been enriched for it barely scratches the surface.

    Photobucket

    keep your eyes on the sky. put a dollar in the kitty. don't the moon look pretty. --becker&fagen

    by homo neurotic on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 08:02:47 AM PST

    •  had one that looked like yours-trouble maker (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homo neurotic

      and the hardest head ever. couldnt tell what to do! and also the most fiercely loyal dog ever

      •  heh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SuWho

        we picked so very well, if merely to have simply been at the receiving end of a fortunate roll of the dog adoption dice.

        sam has his goofy moments, but on the balance he's a very sweet, gentle, drama free dog. papillon mixed with who-knows. keen to say hi to anyone and everyone, two legs or four (exception: snorty / snarfy dogs, e.g. pugs and frenchies, those he seems to find them a little unnerving for some strange reason).

        keep your eyes on the sky. put a dollar in the kitty. don't the moon look pretty. --becker&fagen

        by homo neurotic on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 08:22:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  smooches to you! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homo neurotic

      your pooch looks very sweet and cuddly...

      my girl is one of my best friends and she's really very funny. with a touch of PTSD from whatever happened to her in Romania. it just all of sudden pops up... she won't go near bushes or she starts cowering. it's sad.

      but she is a good one!

      come visit over at writing in the raw, hn.... come and write!

  •  Occupy Westminster Kennel Club! (nt) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 08:08:56 AM PST

  •  We adopted 3 puppy mill dogs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1

    one each of the Highland Breeds, Scotty (Angus), Cairn (Nike) and Westy (Macy). We also have a Golden (Baylor) from a reputable breeder.

    "You don't have the right facts!"~My Tea Party Neighbor

    by Therapy on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 08:09:20 AM PST

  •  might as well talk about my dogs! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho

    i love to. have had nine dogs over the years. one was a purebred boston terrier- my first dog and i still get kind of teary over her.
    the rest were all mixed breeds some from shelters some just kind of showed up at our door.
    all were incredible.

    this story of dumping pedigree makes me mad.
    i dont need westminster or care if my dogs have papers or not. i know i come from a mixed background and am proud of my dogs gypsy heritage.

    thanks for this diary. think i will email the AKC and westminster. throw in my two cents and eventually two cents adds up.

  •  Your dog... (0+ / 0-)

    is beautiful.  What a wonderful thing you did.  

    I watched the dog show for a bit.  The dogs were all awesome, but you know it's a big money maker for someone, just like everything else.  

  •  AKC enables puppy mills, unethical breeders (8+ / 0-)

    If AKC wanted to crack down on puppy mills they could. AKC depends on the revenue for the AKC papers from these mills, and in doing so condemns many dogs to death, abuse, and disease.

    Moreover, they have conned many Americans into thinking that pure bred dogs are superior. They are not and often have more complications genetically than mixed bred dogs which are often healthier. Besides, eugenics has been completely discredited among humans so WTF are dog breeders still practicing it?

  •  Tell this all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StateofEuphoria, Floja Roja, SuWho

    to my beloved adorable puppy-look-forever Hector, 1/2 Boston Terrier, half unknown (though we think, mostly rat terrier.)

    Photobucket

    We have had him just over a year, adopted through a rescue group via petfinder, and he is the apple of our eye. We will be rescuing again soon to get a second doggie (a girl this time!), and I love the mutts - the purebreeds are so often prone to health problems. I was looking for a Boston Terrier (which is how I found Hector since he is a BT mix) but really was disgusted at how extreme their features are for them and just couldn't justify supporting that, even as a rescue dog. When I look for our new dog, I will be looking ONLY at the mixes/mutts. (And NOT designer mixes either!)

  •  Colbert covered this the other day. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1

    Sorry I couldn't get this to embed.
    http://www.colbertnation.com/...

  •  The View (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StateofEuphoria, live1

    Today, The View is hosting their 4th Annual Mutt Show sponsored by Pedigree. :)

  •  Don't even get me started on dog shows... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1, pfiore8

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 08:50:56 AM PST

  •  Before the event, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8

    I told my spouse that the winning dog would be a Chinese breed.

  •  I don't agree with their decision but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, kalmoth

    I also don't like those sad puppy commercials. They make me sad, even teary-eyed, something I avoid. I switch channels when they come on.

    I wish Pedigree would make happy commercials of tail-wagging dogs getting adopted from shelters. Owners showing off their healthy, happy shelter dogs.

    Like I said, no excuse for Westminster to cut ties to Pedigree and I expect it will turn out to be a huge public relations mistake for them.

  •  I have had several wonderful friends that came (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8

    from a shelter. I guess you can add Westminster to the list of organizations that can kiss my hairy backside!!!!

  •  Let's get Peidgree's back (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8, Damnit Janet, SuWho, ratzo

    How about a link to Pedigree so we can tell them we appreciate all they do for shelter animals?

  •  Being anti-mutt is Anti-American! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8, CTMET

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

    by mole333 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:04:43 AM PST

  •  Too soon. We lost our dog of 15 years on Feb 1st. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1, pfiore8, jcitybone

    The single best companion in canine history.

    Ive always felt that national dog shows were elitist and hoity toity. Dont care much for them.

    "Seems like too many people in this country would rather be fucked by business (in many cases repeatedly) than helped by government." BF

    by A Runner on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:05:52 AM PST

  •  To be fair: (0+ / 0-)

    The Westminster dog show is all about pure bread animals and purebreeding of animals under very specific and controlled settings.  If you look into it, there is actually very strict criteria for a dog to actually be considered "purebred" and while many people claim the breed they sell is pure, in many cases it isn't according to the rules.

    And of course, this criteria is in place to prevent harmful breeding practices often used by puppy mills.  A proper pure bred dog seller wouldn't sell a dog to someone if they even had the slightest suspicion it would end up being abandoned or put up for adoption.  Many have contracts where they get the dog back if the owner no longer wants it.

    So I don't think this is an attack on adopting dogs.  I think this is more about them upholding their beliefs which, in theory, if everyone followed there wouldn't be so many abandoned or abused animals up for adoption in the first place.

  •  My daughter is fostering (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8, jcitybone, live1, SuWho

    a shelter dog.  I went with her top pick him up.  He is a very loving animal - very eager to please.  You can tell he hasn't been trained very well - but he is making every effort to try to do what you ask him to do.  He is already picking up on several commands and when you tell him not to do something he stops.  A very good dog.  I hope someone adopts him although I have a feeling this might turn into a failed foster situation.  :)

  •  Not just an "image" problem (7+ / 0-)

    Sure,  WKC said those ads with sad kennel pups might turn people off. I call BS. I think the real problem is that promoting adoption of rescue dogs means that the breeders of pedigree dogs won't make as much money. And WKC is of, about and for the pedigree dog industry. When it comes to what you see on TV, MONEY TALKS, everything else whispers.

    Democracy - Not Plutocracy!

    by vulcangrrl on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:36:46 AM PST

  •  Shelter dogs can be pure breeds also (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8, SuWho, CTMET

    I adopted a Great Pyrenees from a shelter and he appears to be full 100% bred, having the double dew claws and all.  

    Even if people want a particular breed so that they can get that temperament, there are many in shelters waiting for a home.  My dog is a great guy and was almost put to sleep.  If the AKC really cared about the dogs and the breeds, they would like seeing the breeds adopted also.  

    It is about money to them.  I saw that poor dog that won on the news and it reminded me of Toddlers and Tiaras.  

  •  This surprises you? (6+ / 0-)

    From an organization that promotes bad standards for dogs that, among other things, requires mutilations of their tails and ears (called "docking" and "cropping"), breeds brains out of cocker spaniels because shape matters more than intelligence, and promotes bad breeding standards that decrease dog life...this surprises you?

    My husband and I watch the Purina Pro Plan Kennel Club dog show every year, but we know the evil they do to dogs. They have no interest in broader dog well-being, or even purebred dog well-being. They're interested in the money, baby. Just like all the other 1%ers out there.

    Good on Pedigree. My in-laws own dogs. I don't know what brand they use but if they're ever looking for a new one, I'll recommend them.

  •  Such a shame WKC took this tack. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8

    They really need to rethink this for next year.

    "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

    by Noor B on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:51:46 AM PST

  •  "Real dogs" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho

    I know many small dogs are super buddies and great pets, but something about the strange breeding that gets them to that point creeps me out.
    Give me a Lab or other bigger dogs, closer to the original little wolves who were their ancestors. When I look into my dogs eyes, I can almost see the shy little wolf who first let one of our ancestors pet his/her head millenia ago.
    Love my Lab to death...

    WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

    by IARXPHD on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:58:47 AM PST

  •  Romney's PR machine at work (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CTMET, Calamity Jean

    He doesn't like dogs

    Re-elect President Obama because we don't need another selfish President

    by Timmethy on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 11:02:50 AM PST

  •  All our furry four legged guys and gals from the.. (0+ / 0-)

    animal shelter all took Best Of Show!

    But don't anyone let on to them that their "awards" weren't sponsored by "that dog group":  You'll break their precious hearts.

    "..tinfoil hats have become a common, if not mandatory, G.O.P. fashion accessory." Paul Krugman, New York Times Op-Ed, 2/12/2012

    by LamontCranston on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 11:45:30 AM PST

  •  It diminished them to me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, Brown Thrasher

    I thought the pedigree commercials were sometimes overdone but they made the point, one those breeders at the akc event were not comfortable with--too many pets being born and too many breeders doing it for the profit.  As greyhound rescue adopters, we know that once a greyhound is no longer profitable, it is dead.  Left to starve or die of injuries from the track, or killed outright by the owner/breeder/racetrack ownership/handler and dumped after having their ears cut off so their tattoos cannot be identified.  I often wonder if these racing breeder types cut off the ears while the dogs are still alive.  

    I was saddened by the addition of even more recognized akc breeds this year.  More genetic problems probably.  As for us, we adopt rescued greyhounds or adopt from the pound--wonderful pets.  Our last pound puppy just passed after 12 years--years that flew by for us--I could not take him anywhere without people actually going out of their way to approach, ask to pet him, and ask what kind of dog he was.  They always had their own idea, but no one ever knew.  He was a mix, a wonderful gentle dog who loved the attention of dog lovers and children, and a dog who was a day away from being euthanized--allright--killed, at the pound because his owners no longer wanted him--at age of 2 he had grown too large for them.  A wild mess of matted, feces covered hair down to the ground he was.  But the lady at the first dog grooming place we passed on the way home took him in, bathed him twice, cut his hair, and exclaimed--What kind of dog is he!? When we told her we had just adopted him she charged half her fee.  Max, a wonderful dog.  And their are millions just like him at the local pounds.  Stop breeding dogs!

  •  Exaggerate much? A Komen? Really? Because (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anastasia p, weatherdude, Clues

    a club of dog breeders doesn't want to pay money to support shelter dogs instead of the dogs they breed?

    Look, I am all for no kill shelters and rescue animals and have them myself, but the Westminster Kennel Club membership consists of breeders.  Ask Chrysler to run ads for Toyota and you'd get the same reaction.

    But in no way is their decision some right wing plot to deprive women of health care, nor is it even comparable.  Please don't use those terms for a corporate decision of which you disapprove.

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Susan Grigsby on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 11:52:38 AM PST

    •  Not even remotely comparable (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan from 29

      That was about using an incendiary partisan inappropriately to drive off a majority of its core donors, who would be apt to disagree with this position. This is a fight focused on dog ownership and derivation. It might be more comparable if they had taken, say, controversial position on fracking. This is an in fight.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 12:06:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  okay. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brown Thrasher

      your subject line is a bit nasty, but okay. i can understand your point.

      mine is simple: it's the glamour and power of one organization vs. the hard path of small shelters ...

      it seems like a fair comparison. Komen is far more than breast cancer. it is the question of influence of both politics and money in any big fancy, shiny charity organization. i donate money to the shelter in Romania where my dog came from. i donate to kossacks here in need.

      but for a long time, i have stopped giving money or time to orgs like Komen.

      btw...what you should know about me? i think all earthlings are important and don't think humans are more valuable than say a dog.

      all life needs to be respected and there isn't some sliding scale. at least in my opinion... and one that has been reinforced by some stupidity on my part, like trying to get rid of snails in my garden.

      •  But it wasn't about that, was it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Susan from 29

        I skipped watching it this year, and have only read some bits about it, but it seems that Westminster wasn't doing anything at all to beat up shelters, they just wanted a different tone in the shelter ads.  Happy dogs with happy adoptive families, right?

        If that's true, even the basic premise of the diary is wrong, to say nothing of comparing it to Komen, who actively seeks to deny healthcare to women while pursuing a shiny Madison Ave. strategy to getting donations in the name of women's healthcare.

        •  ummm... Komen is synonymous with PR fail (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          makettle, Lisa Roney

          as a friend of mine pointed out. i'm writing about my reaction to WKC decision... and I think there are many dog people who will find this objectionable. and will see it as a PR failure.

          simply, this is about my love for dogs and my distaste for these animals being objectified. when shine is more important than the plight of millions of shelter dogs.

          Komen objectified breast cancer and patients... branded them, made lots of money off them...

          Westminster, intended or not, fuels some of the worst in the "dog industry" ... I know people who adopt these dogs when their show days are done... they were never pets. just pretty objects. because how do you let your family member go like that????

          •  Amen (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pfiore8

            They did "pull a Komen" in my eyes. Total PR fail.

          •  Generalizations are never right. (0+ / 0-)

            I know some of these dogs and they ARE pets.  Some aren't.  Some of these people are in it for the wrong reasons, some aren't.    Westminster is just a kennel club, and the Westminster dog show is just a conformation show (one of many types of shows) sponsored by the kennel club.

            The beefs you (and some of the rest of us) have with the current system of pedigreed dogs in this country have to do with :

            The AKC
            The various breed clubs
            Bad breeders and owners
            Bad laws and customs about pets in this country
            (and possibly) conformation shows in general

            Laying it all at the feet of the Westminster kennel club on the basis that they want happy rescue ads rather than sad rescue ads just seems to show that you don't understand how this dog world works, and that you think for some odd reason that it's only ok to show sad and abused animals in rescue commercials.  The diary's approach seems odd and a bit misinformed to me.

            •  generalizations can be useful. (0+ / 0-)

              look at yours:

              Laying it all at the feet of the Westminster kennel club on the basis that they want happy rescue ads rather than sad rescue ads just seems to show that you don't understand how this dog world works, and that you think for some odd reason that it's only ok to show sad and abused animals in rescue commercials.  The diary's approach seems odd and a bit misinformed to me.
              in fact, i think the literary term for your description above is "sweeping generalization."

              i didn't say word one about sad or abused dogs...  i'm talking mutts and shelter dogs. the reporters use those terms in the sources i use. not me. seems to me you're moving beyond generalizations and into either speculation or assumption about what i feel/think when writing/thinking/speaking about shelter dogs and/or mutts.

          •  If you can look at Komen and only see a PR failure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clues

            you may be missing the point.

            "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

            by Susan Grigsby on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 04:31:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You're comparing a battle between two corporations (0+ / 0-)

        for the advertising revenue of a dog show to the defunding of Planned Parenthood by a newly exposed right wing front operation.

        Nope, still don't see it.  Unless Westminster is somehow different from what it appears to be ie a group of dog breeders showing their animals, what they do and how they spend their advertising dollars just doesn't rank up their with real injustice.

        Rant about Purina or whichever one it is that is failing to include shelter animals in their commercials but don't compare it to real injustice.  

        It is a commercial.  

        Being shown on an animal beauty contest.

        "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

        by Susan Grigsby on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 04:30:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Last year, the Pedigree program (0+ / 0-)

          in support of animal rescue raised over $500,000 in donations based on their shelter ads that ran during Westminster. I think that taking away that kind of revenue source is a problem. No one questions Westminster's right to do it, but a lot of dog-breeding is done immorally. I won't say all of it, but the AKC allows overbreeding practices that produce a lot of ailing or neurotic dogs and a lot of them end up in shelters.

          The Komen foundation has a right to be right-wing. It is a private foundation. But I don't have to give money to them. I can give it to Planned Parenthood directly. And I can give my money to animal rescue programs directly too and not support head-in-sand mentalities wherein people pretend that shelters are not tragedies.

          Formerly, Westminster at least made a nod in support of all dogs everywhere, no matter their level of privilege and prestige. Now they don't. I think it is worth knowing about. And I think that the comparison between Komen and Westminster is apt. Comparisons are comparisons. They do not mean that one thing is exactly the same as another.

  •  PETA and other "nonprofits" (0+ / 0-)

    have gone Komen and are importing stray dogs from other countries now without telling the different communities that these dogs are not from "irresponsible" citizens in their communities.  We have communities in the U.S. now who are very very pet responsible.  The Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes states now have pet populations that match the families that support them.  Their pounds were running out of dogs, and "homeless" dogs are now a big business.  It usually costs $200 plus to "adopt" a stray dog and the nonprofits have become accustom to a certain level of profit....just like Komen.  So they import dogs into these communities.  And they import dogs from other countries, and when they do they now have specified they only want young dogs....preferably puppies.  Specific saving is not very humanitarian?

    Responsible communities deserve the truth about the dogs being imported into their community.  Responsible communities now deserve to select the dogs that become their family members guilt free if that is what they want.  Purebred dogs have in general "specific" characteristics that those of us who choose them see meshing with our family in desirable and responsible ways.  Just like this Standard Poodle laying next to me that is my frail son's service dog because German Shepherds don't do frail people consistently.  And this poodle can go easily into hospitals and be around people with allergy issues much easier.

    I support Westminster's decision to not be a part of the big business that is now "stray" and "homeless" dogs.  I reserve the right to choose my birth control, and I reserve the right for communities to be fully informed about how many of them have been guilted out of sharing their lives with dogs they choose for themselves and that fit the needs they have.  I have seen too many people guilted all to hell by the nonprofit organizations too when a stray that they paid $200 for doesn't fit, has temperament problems, and is making their family life no longer joyful, and the dog must be returned.

    I am so over genetic testing, temperament testing, purebred breeder guilt.

    •   I sure would like to know how communities get to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pfiore8, melfunction

      the point of having to bring in stray dogs for adoption because there aren't any available! I live in Idaho and we have struggled for years trying to get the population down. I work with our humane society and we see people buying dogs from a pet store that gets their dogs from backyard breeders, which further encourages these breeders because this store will always take them. In the meantime, our shelter consistently puts down hundreds of dogs and way more cats because there aren't homes for them. It's a huge battle. I applaud Pedigree for their ads and hope they convince at least some people to adopt from shelters. I didn't watch the dog show this year, partly from not caring and partly from being busy trying to help the abandoned animals here in our communithy.

      "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." Anais Nin

      by SuWho on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 12:04:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Backyard breeders? (0+ / 0-)

        First of all, everyone knows that buying from pet stores isn't a good idea.  But notice this, whenever I talk to anyone like you, either someone only has a few litters a year and is a hideous "backyard breeder" and they have many litters a year and they are a "puppy mill".

        I don't know who you are, but I do know someone who really does volunteer for the shelter here, and scoops all sorts shit, and grooms dogs, and shows them in dog shows too.  Alabama and Florida are problem areas, and other areas aren't and they have people with good incomes in their communities and the nonprofits are importing dogs from other countries that nobody knows anything about to "sell" to those people.

        In your opinion I'm a  backyard breeder.  My dogs that I breed have all passed a very strict temperament test which includes a hostile stranger threatening me though.  I pay a lot of money for my dogs to take that test and no guarantee they will pass it but they do come from a long line of dogs documented in passing that test....and all the genetic testing too from DM to hips and elbow films.  I make no money doing what I do.  I simply have chosen to be one of the people preserving the alleles of the German Shepherd breed in the United States.

        Are there puppy mills out there?  Most certainly, and I can promise you that they were not represented at Westminster.  They don't care what they breed, they just want the money like the "nonprofits" do now.  You have to care about what you are breeding most of the time to make it to Westminster.

        Is every puppy you buy at a pet store a walking nightmare?  I don't know, but they typically don't come from "backyard breeders", they come from puppy mills in Missouri.  I don't get dogs from pet stores.  I get dogs from pathetic jerk heinous backyard breeders that will have to pass me on the street and look me in the eye like me.

        •  So nice of you too... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pfiore8, jcitybone

          ...demean the work of volunteers a dog shelters.

          Shame on you.  If you're here for real, then you know better.  

          knuckle-dragging Neanderthals

          by Deadicated Marxist on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 01:02:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  just fyi (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mikidee, zett

          I'm not sure how that person was using the term "Backyard breeder", but the real definition of the term isn't "someone who breeds small numbers of litters at their house."  When people say that, they are talking about some family that lets their pets reproduce for silly reasons, and without any health or temperament checks or testing.  This is the family that "wants the children to see the miracle of birth", or thinks that their dog is so great they should make more just like it, or because their brother wants a puppy, or because they just don't give enough of a damn to get the dog spayed or neutered, or because they can get 50 bucks each for them through a classified ad.

          Most responsible breeders are people who breed very few litters at their homes.  The difference is that they have their dogs independently evaluated for health, temperament, conformation, and genetic background before producing a litter, they follow up on all their puppies for the life of the dog, and they take back any of their puppies at any age if the placement doesn't work out.

          Just an explanation of the terms people use sometimes when discussing this....

      •  Some of it is just (0+ / 0-)

        community expectations, some is local regulations.  I think in many places, pet stores that sell puppies have been protested out of business.  I know in one or two specific cases, people have pushed AKC investigations into the origins of these puppies to the extent that these backyard breeders can't register them.  No registration = no bucks.  I think now you can even get the AKC to demand dna testing of a litter and the parents, which really drives these sloppy breeders crazy.

    •  Actually, You're Wrong (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pfiore8, zett, melfunction

      My folks live in South Carolina where there is an "over-population" of stray dogs.

      They work with local shelters, and routinely send hundreds of dogs North to New England for adoption.  

      All...let me repeat that...ALL of the dogs sent North would have been put to death if they weren't shipped out.

      The space on the trucks is limited.  They can't ship every stray out of places like South Carolina.  There's simply too many strays.  

      I imagine people pay something for a dog when they get it.  In case you don't already know, all the people I know are NOT getting rich doing this.  In fact, any money is quickly spent on other dogs, food, shelter, vaccines, vets, etc.

      I don't know what you're talking about regarding contraception, but please don't call something "X" when you don't know "shit" about it.

      knuckle-dragging Neanderthals

      by Deadicated Marxist on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 12:58:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seems most of the places with too many dogs are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clues

        Red States. There is a big business of moving stray dogs from the South to the North for adoption.

        http://animal.discovery.com/...

        My rescue dog came from Tennessee. She was brought up by Petersons which is profiled in the show.

        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

        by CTMET on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 08:10:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  wow. you need to provide links for this. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lisa Roney, melfunction

      i don't even know where to begin with your comment.

      but I will address this: Westminster's decision had nothing to do with disapproval of the stray and homeless dog "big business" but because of what it describes as wanting to see a dog with a smile... and not be made ashamed of the stray dog problem.

      one other thing: dogs are not objects. Westminster fuels bad breeding, whether they intend to or not, because apparently, dogs are big business.

      maybe we ought to downplay the glamor and shiny coats and show the consequences when humans, unprepared and ignorant, irresponsibly adopt any pet...

    •  Neat that you do GSDs. (0+ / 0-)

      Will be in touch at some point; when my life stabilizes, I want a GSD again.

      Nothing is funnier than watching one confronted with a large grasshopper.

      When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

      by Alexandra Lynch on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 08:23:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dogs... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8

    Your two dog photos made smile.  I recall bringing home my rescued Jack Russell Terrier a few months back and how he had that look on his face that your dog has in the first photo.  Bewildered and a little nervous.  Now he owns the place!  

    They have such wonderful personalities and are so capable of love.  I was so heart broken when I had to put my last dog down in the fall (Cracker) and that hole in my life wasn't filled until I went out and found a new furry friend.

    I strongly recommend anyone looking for a dog take a look at the pounds and at rescues.  Not only are you doing something great for the dog but you'll find a wonderful friend for life at a very reasonable cost.

    •  Pedigree is junk food for dogs... (0+ / 0-)

      Here's the ingredient list for their Chicken, Rice and Vegetables:

      INGREDIENTS
      ground whole corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, animal fat (preserved with bha/bht), wheat flour, chicken, rice, dried whole peas, dried beet pulp, wheat mill run, natural flavor, salt, potassium chloride, carrot powder, caramel color, vegetable oil (source of linoleic acid), vitamins (choline chloride, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate [source of vitamin e], l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate [source of vitamin c*], vitamin a supplement, thiamine mononitrate [vitamin b1], biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement [vitamin b2], vitamin d3 supplement, vitamin b12 supplement), minerals (zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, potassium iodide), added fd&c and lake colors (yellow 6, blue 2, red 40, yellow 5)
      Read the review of this product: http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/...

      Seriously, there are much better foods for your dogs.

      Yes, they have great ads.  But it's not a reason to buy their dog food.

      •  while i agree, this isn't about buying dog food (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brown Thrasher

        and it would be great if you followed this story up with one about dog food... seriously.

        there is a lot of money made selling junk. but then, too many of us allow too much junk in our homes, from plastic toys, storage containers, phones... and junk food made of lots of non food.

  •  From Westminster's Website (0+ / 0-)

    Under the "Other Charities we support" section:

    http://www.aspca.org/

    "Founded in 1866, the ASPCA was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Our mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” The ASPCA works to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with shelters nationwide."

    Wow, Westminster is so charitable.

    knuckle-dragging Neanderthals

    by Deadicated Marxist on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 01:07:34 PM PST

  •  After looking at the Pedigree commercial, it's (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8, Clues, Brown Thrasher, mideedah

    not as bad as Westminster is making it. The way they described it made it sound like those goddamn ASPCA guilt trip ads they show every 5 minutes. If that what Pedigree was running I would understand: just like with people constantly sharing animal abuse photos on Facebook with the intent of rubbing your nose in what other despicable humans do, there's only so much guilt and depression before it goes from "aw I need to help them" to "oh Jesus Christ not this again. *changes channel*"

    But that Pedigree commercial is nowhere near the depressing guilt ads the ASPCA (and a few other groups) show. It was actually a good, moving commercial.

    (I do object to the "Komen" comparison, though. Not even in the same ballpark.)

  •  I dunno. Sounds like they objected to the "sad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clues

    puppy" ads more so than that they were for shelter pets.

    And if that's the case, I sort of understand it. And what's wrong with showing happy shelter puppies, the joy the can bring into people's lives? Personally I hate the sad puppy ads - I find them manipulative. They make me feel awful. So much so that at one point I purposely muted the sound whenever the ads played.

    So is this about shelter dogs or is it about sad, emotionally manipulative ads playing during a high society dog show?

    The quote seems to suggest it was the ad content, not its subject. And if so, seems the solution would've been to produce a different ad using shelter animals as the subject. It could've been a great ad campaign, actually. Mixed breed dogs jumping laughing licking chasing being a part of the family...

    I've become re-radicalized. Thanks a lot you bunch of oligarchical fascist sons-of-bitches. But once again, I have no choice. Bring it the fuck on.

    by mdmslle on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 01:30:22 PM PST

    •  see my comments above-- (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pfiore8, jcitybone, Brown Thrasher

      why shouldn't we be faced with the reality of shelters, if we really love animals? Because it hurts our little feelings?

      •  I love animals. I love humans. (0+ / 0-)

        but as I stated, I think those ads are excessively emotionally manipulative. And they have the exact opposite intended effect for me. I'm sure I'm not alone. In fact, I read an article about this not too long ago, as I was doing some research on non-profit fundraising.

        Turns out, there's such a thing a cause fatigue. The types of appeals you see for starving children and yes, sad shelter puppies. Some research suggests that while highly emotional appeals have been successful in the past, it seems that for many people, it brings about the opposite of its intended effect. There was a lot of theorizing about why this might be - about whether this could be related to the economy or something temporary or passing or whether this represented a shift in how we're processing information in the technology age.

        It was an interesting read. And one that raised more questions than it answered.

        So maybe, yes, it IS that people don't want their feelings hurt. That may indeed be true. Who knows? But as I said, if the westminster show didn't want people slammed about the head with those sad messages while watching the dog show, the easy solution for pedigree would've been to simply produce an ad showing all the wonderful things about adopting a shelter dog.

        That didn't happen.

        Maybe it was the issue of non-pure bred dogs. Who knows?

        I've become re-radicalized. Thanks a lot you bunch of oligarchical fascist sons-of-bitches. But once again, I have no choice. Bring it the fuck on.

        by mdmslle on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 02:38:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Last year, (0+ / 0-)

          the New York Times reports, the Pedigree ads during Westminster produced "$500,000 in pledges" during the two days of the show.

          If you think these ads are so manipulative, I would recommend that you spend a few weeks (or months or years) volunteering in an animal shelter. These ads are nowhere near as painful as the reality.

          I think you are making a fundamental argument that advertising should always make you feel good. Usually it does indeed. But we have turned way too far in that direction. Maybe it would be better if we talked about these "ads" as public information spots that were once sponsored by Westminster as a nod to caring about all dogs even in those in need.

          Besides, the "ads" are not really all that terribly sad. They show a few cute dogs in cages. That's all. They don't even approach the terrible conditions many of these dogs came from--starving and abused. They certainly don't show the process of dogs being given the needle and dying, or any part of the six million cat and dog corpses that shelters must dispose of every year after euthanizing them.
           

  •  Maybe we should be more interested (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo, zett

    in rescuing people, who then in turn could have pets if they had more stable lives.

  •  My Chloe is more beautiful than any purebred. (5+ / 0-)

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 04:07:41 PM PST

  •  Westminster Dog Show doesn't (0+ / 0-)

    seem like it belongs on the Characters Unite channel.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 04:44:19 PM PST

  •  i hope AKC goes out of business (0+ / 0-)

    from this... this should certainly help their faltering business toward their inevitable demise.  elitist fuckers.

    Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

    by gnostradamus on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:16:47 PM PST

  •  Is there any evidence to support this claim? (0+ / 0-)

    I clicked through and read the article, and clicked through some of the links there. And while I'm sympathetic with the argument, and can easily make the circumstantial jump -

    I don't see a statement from, or smoking gun from the dog show saying this is why we switched sponsors.

    It could easily simply be based on money - Purina was willing to pay more. Look at how networks bargain to carry sports programming - it's all about who offers the most money.

    I'll not be shocked to learn that's all that is behind this switch.

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:47:15 PM PST

  •  i think you are missing a very serious point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WheninRome, rcnewton

    here about westminster and about people who breed "show dogs".

    the majority of people who work to protect the breed ALSO make sure that their dogs do not end up abandoned - many hold dual "ownership", which means if there is a problem, their "sold" puppies return to them.

    they are careful to protect the integrity of the breed (for the most part) - they try to insure that dysplasia and other serious genetic issues are not passed on.

    i have friends who show, breed and are maniacal about the care of the dogs that come through their lines.

    they also are active in rescue, both of pure breed and mixed breeds - they work actively for spay neuter clinics and educational activities for the public and they are more committed than pedigree or other for profit companies ever could be.

    i think that this diary misunderstands the motives and actions of breed lovers - and is doing a disservice by trying to make an issue of this.

    pedigree has many forums for shelter dogs - to work to rescue them.   westminster is the one show where the purebred is celebrated and honored.  perhaps the sorrow that the pedigree ads brought to the table hurts those who work so hard to make sure that there are reputable breeders out there who do NOT cause the shelters to be overflooded.

    spay, neuter, micochip, rescues - those are the major functions of the breeders who try to carry on the best in the breed while making sure the puppy mills are shut down.

    i think you misunderstand the owners and breeders of purebreds who are shown to this level and are loved and protected like a member of the family.

    sorry - i disagree with your premise entirely here.  i have firsthand knowledge that you are off the mark - seriously off the mark here!

    there are other forums for pedigree to speak out - like, the superbowl - the puppy bowl is one way.

    westminster is not that forum.  it implies that these well cared for, immensely loved pets are somehow "better" than shelter dogs - when those of us who love purebreds (mine is the samoyed) know full well how many purebreds end up in shelters for numerous reasons.

    my boy originally was purchased for over $1000 - the family wasn't prepared to deal with 5 lbs of hair 2x a year - plus a highly intelligent hyperactive mischiefmaker.

    breeders try very hard to make sure the matches understand what they are getting into in a relationship - with purebreds, the traits are fairly clear.

    still, when a match doesn't take, the rescues for that breed step in immediately to take and rehome that dog until the perfect match is found, no matter how many tries.

    and, add to the mix, the cross breed, recuse are there for those, too.

    so, back off westminster and learn more about the good breeders of dogs and their responsibility in making sure that dogs DON'T end up in shelters!

    EdriesShop is currently reloading! More to come in the next few days! - Is GlowNZ back yet?

    by edrie on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 08:58:05 PM PST

    •  sorry, but i don't agree. (0+ / 0-)

      the premise of this diary and the work quoted here is about WKC and its position that the image of sad or abused shelter dog is not an image they want to promote along with their own.

      there are good breeders. there are bad breeders.

      as in all things, it's a mix. But the WKC is one umbrella under which they fall and whether it is intended or not, it speaks for breeders.

      imo, this is not the message i would sent out ... that an organization about dogs isn't for all dogs.

      and let's be clear: many breeds are in serious trouble from being over bred. and many of the show dogs are not beloved pets... once they are over their show life, they end up adopted out. that is NOT a pet.

      i think purebreds add to the whole mix of dogs, certainly. but i've seen too many labs die at 8 years old; three Berners dead at 6 or 7 from lymphoma. too many pugs and bulldogs with breathing problems.

      the less popular dogs are the lucky ones.

      •  my strong objection to this diary is the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rcnewton

        use of "pulling a komen" - this is NOT the same issue at all.

        i really found that comparison offensive.  

        i just think that the wkc is the wrong target for this campaign.

        EdriesShop is currently reloading! More to come in the next few days! - Is GlowNZ back yet?

        by edrie on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 01:59:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i think it is quite apt (0+ / 0-)

          as a comparison.

          you have the glossy vs the gritty.

          WKC is glossy and paints pretty pictures; Komen was glossy and sexed up breast cancer (i've listened to lots of survivors talk about their distaste for the images not aligned with reality) and I think it's the same in the dog world.

          re breeding: lots of dogs have been harmed by over breeding. that is the ugly truth. restricting the gene pool is actually the WRONG tactic if breeding healthy animals is the goal. it doesn't really seem to be the goal. traits are first... not health. it is what they LOOK LIKE. kinda crazy if ask me.

          add to that Komen is now synonymous with PR fail. and guess what? i won't be the last to make that connection.

  •  My housemate buys a brand (can't remember (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8, Notreadytobenice

    the name right now) that I'm pretty sure it's from Purina. After I confirm that, I'm going to try to talk her into switching to Pedigree.

    She buys enough each week to feed two large, and one very large dog.

    Reaganomics: The belief that: 1) Unregulated capitalism can produce unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources; 2) We can increase revenue by decreasing revenue.

    by FrY10cK on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 03:06:26 AM PST

  •  Two Sad Dogs ... Old, too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moira977

    Now happy because we fostered and adopted them.

    Mr. Boo, maybe 11 or 12, two bad hips, badly healed back knee. Shletr said he would last 6 months. We've had him 3 years as of Feb 10.

    Emma, maybe 7 or 8, arrived in November from a rescue.

    Boo is a black Lab mix, Emma is a flat coated retriever.

    The point is this: Boo was going to be put down, and my wife Kate said he looked at her with such hopeful eyes she couldn't let that happen.

    Sad dogs to happy. THAT is the point.

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 04:11:37 AM PST

  •  The Westminster Dog Show is all about (0+ / 0-)

    showing everyone you have enough money to pay a stupidly large amount of money for a dog and to travel with it to show everyone how much money you have. I knew some people who went. They are snotty fools. This decision is no surprise.

    Nothing against the dogs, of course.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 05:27:24 AM PST

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