Ooh, there’s my new dog! I thought when I came across this internet photo. Finally! Then… let down. It’s an extinct carnivore. (Sigh!) For a moment I thought I had her: thick coat, large head, healthy set of pearlies, small tight ears, beautiful eyes – clearly a dog of presence. But no.Unless you’ve sought a dog with the criteria I’ve listed you cannot possibly imagine how rare they are… at least in the Northeast. Just out of curiosity I checked “anywhere” in Alaska on Petfinder and suddenly found far more heavy-coated dogs to choose from. In the sixties and seventies there were more thick-coated dogs around here too. But now? The herd-like mentality of human fads is sickening.
I prefer mongrels, hybrids, mutts, not scatter bred but well planned, selectively bred hybrids. Very few people perform this much needed work and so far I haven’t found a breeder that produces the type of cross I seek. Genetic diversity selected for health, intelligence and performance, for me that’s the way to go. Can you imagine what the human race would look like if all breeding stopped and the only humans left were from pockets of inbred families? Sterilize all individuals with genetic diversity? That’s insanity, folks. What are we doing to dogs as a species?
Think I’m wrong about the enfeebling of many dogs in America? Check out this article explaining how police and the military have turned to former Nazi and Soviet dog populations to find quality individuals. Okay, guys over there are breeding specific populations but – with an eye to performance.
In the ideal world though, you’d also have a discerning, erudite populace who are responsible and nurturing with their charges. Those would be the buyers. A couple breeders I’ve spoken with told me they stopped breeding because of the poor grade of humans who came knocking. I totally get it. While the quality dog population has dropped, affluence, ignorance, irresponsibility, laziness and an astounding sense of entitlement, have lowered the quality of our human population.
Many dregs I encounter as dog owners would not be worthy of the dogs from the above cited article. I’m the first to admit as a broken old man, I myself can no longer handle the intense high energy dogs of earlier years.
Fifteen years ago I was heavily involved in rescue. I saw hundreds of caged dogs, saw the incinerator in which dog carcasses were burned every Tuesday at a certain facility. In a different city on the other side of the state I saw large freezers packed with dog corpses. It was horrible and can still bring tears at the thought. Each dead dog was a potential best friend.
Want to know how much the picture has changed? I recently offered to foster for that very same incinerator facility and they said, “If you work during the day, you’re away too long and we wouldn’t consider you for fostering.”