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by Harlan Kilstein, Dogington Top Dog
All of the attention is focused on Malachy the Pekingese who won best in show at the Westminster dog show as well as all the other
But this article is all about the various losers at the show and how losing affects all of us.
Let’s start by acknowledging that for the nearly 48 hours that the Westminster Kennel Club show takes place, dogs command peoples’ attention.
With the generous coverage of USA Network, once a year people take time out to focus on dogs.
And while it seems that everyone loves dogs, the Westminster club continues its blue-blood traditions of ignoring all but the elite pure bred dogs.
The largest “breed” in the United States are mixed breeds and they are noticeably missing from the show.
Every year, Westminster is proud to add more breeds to the show but apparently, mutts are not worth consideration or attention.
A mutt may be the most loving, heroic, supportive, and kindest dog around but when it comes to Westminster, it might as well not exist at all.
Who would be harmed if a division was created for mixed-breeds? Banish the thought from your mind. The Martha Stewarts don’t want to hear about mixed breeds unless it’s to sell them one of her dog products.
Another loser were dogs for adoption. This year Westminster decided to replace Pedigree with Purina as a sponsor. The reason publicly given was that Pedigree’s commercials moved people emotionally to adopt dogs. The sad dog faces got people to take action and save pets from destruction. Plus Pedigree has donated 7 million dollars since 2006 to animal shelters.
But Westminster didn’t want sad dogs about to die. It wanted happy dogs in their commercials and Purina was happy to comply.
Westminster dog show host David Frei pulled no punches: “Our show is a celebration of dogs. We’re not promoting purebreds at the expense of non-purebreds. We celebrate all dogs,” he said. “When we’re seeing puppies behind bars, it takes away from that. Not just because it’s sad, but it’s not our message.”
It makes you wonder if Frei even believes the double-speak that came out of his mouth. If you noticed any celebration of “non-purebreds,” you must have eagle eyes because I didn’t see any of it.
And lastly, the real losers were dog lovers all over the world. This was the year’s biggest opportunity to celebrate mankind’s love for his best and most loyal friend. But, to paraphrase Orwell, some dogs are more equal than others.
Mixed breed owners can only dream that one day their loved children will be accepted at Westminster. But for now, racial purity – excuse me – breed purity – continues at the show.