alycewilson (alycewilson) wrote,

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LJ Idol Season 8 - Week 36: No Mutts Need Apply

This is my entry this week for therealljidol. I invite you to read and vote for the many fine entries. This week we're writing about six topics. This addresses the topic "Current Events," where we had to do something based on a news story.

Yesterday, I saw a Dachshund turn its nose up at a Chihuahua. It refused to sniff what it considered an inferior breed. As it walked away, it barked what was clearly an insult, perhaps followed by a command to "go back to Mexico."

The day before that, a gang of Spaniels jumped a Corgi and beat him until his collar fell off. The young Corgi had made the mistake of trespassing into the wrong territory. A foolish error, really: everybody knows that Corgis aren't welcome in that neighborhood, and you could smell the Spaniels a mile away.

The way I understand it, a group of Great Danes has been picketing the Westminster Kennel Club for selecting a Pekingese as Best in Show. They are questioning whether Malachy, whose full name is Ch Palacegarden Malachy, is really a purebred. Palacegarden, they argue, is a compound word and therefore, Malachy must be a mix. They're lobbying the judges to elect their favorite candidate, Brutus Maximus Thereafter, who is of course, a Great Dane.

I never thought I'd see a day when such canine prejudice came back into prevalence. No one wants to return to the days when public water bowls were marked "Purebreds Only" and when only hounds were allowed to sniff fire hydrants. It's easy to forget there was once a time when Schnauzers had to walk in the gutter, and when mixed-breed dogs were only allowed to fetch the smallest sticks. In those days, a poodle would never allow herself to be seen canoodling with a Jack Russell terrier.

Those benighted days are gone, thanks to the crusading of brave, dedicated dogs who banded together to create a world where dogs would be judged, not by the shape of their snouts but by the strength of their urine smell.

Naive young pups like to bark that canine prejudice is over, that today everybody knows that breeds of all types should be accepted. And yet, they still throw around the word "mutt," forgetting the sort of pain it brings to mixed-breed dogs. They are oblivious to such daily subtle prejudices as when a Dalmatian licks his nose after sniffing a Boxer, or when a Beagle barks at Springer Spaniels but not Sharpeis.

It's easy to overlook such subtle prejudices, easy to convince ourselves they're no longer relevant and that we live in a canine utopia of universal acceptance. That, sadly, is far from the truth. And if it takes news stories like the one circulating around the Internet, about an Irish Wolfhound who refused to be petted by someone who had just petted a Pug, then I say forward away. We need to remain vigilant against such prejudices, so that hopefully one day we will create a world where dogs of all shapes and sizes will live together in peace.


It's no less ridiculous when humans discriminate against each other based on racial differences, as demonstrated in this story about a congregation who refused to allow its pastor to marry a black couple in the church.

A scritch behind the ears to my husband, toanstation, a.k.a. The Gryphon, who provided feedback and ideas for this piece and suggested the title. A tail wag goes to roina_arwen for taking a look at it for me.

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Tags: lj idol, news, season 8

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