Dial M for Murder....a 1954 Hitchcock thriller. Intrigue and deception abound as a man connives and conspires to murder his unfaithful wife.
But that's not like real life, is it? Chilling, callous behavior is the exception, not the rule.
For sure, this sort of activity would not be common in the dog world. Politics exists; but heck, no actual physical harm is done as the crawdads climb over each other to reach the top of the bucket.
Well ordinarily I could give a rat's patoot about who reaches the top of the dog show heap. But when show success becomes a justification for promoting a downright dangerous gene, it's time to speak up.
I have heard it said on several chat lists lately, that it would surely be a shame if the breeders who show merle Chihuahuas and merle Pomeranians were eliminated from the ring. They have done so much work to bring the qualities of the merle in these breeds to perfection.
HUH? I thought the idea was to select for the better DOGS, not to reward the breeders and handlers based upon the degree of hard work.
Hmmm. Well, ask any poodle or bichon person; a striking appearance and artful grooming can take you a long way. So perhaps it IS mostly about rewarding people for their hard work.
But, if we believe it is truly about the dogs, and selecting breeding stock, how is this a progress toward perfection? A gene that reliably produces some serious birth defects is the polar opposite of "perfection".
In 1968, UK Chihuahua breeder-judge Hilary Harmer wrote the book "Dogs and how to Breed Them", wherein she noted:
"The merle colouring is interesting, because it is connected with a semi-lethal gene, and, when it occurs in a double dose, the offspring may be blind, deaf or sterile. For obvious reasons, therefore, two merle dogs should on no account ever be mated together. In fact, it would be better for merle to be a disqualified colour in all breeds."
"Those problems happen with other colors, too....health problems come in all colors!"