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5/23/11

We Should Be Grateful to Our Dogs

I love dogs - everything about them. Even when they bark or misbehave or smell bad or roll around in their own filth. Dogs just have a joyous sincerity about them. But even considering their cute widdle faces, we need to feel grateful everyday that dogs don't just rip our throats out and eat our food. Or us, for that matter.


Domestic dogs must struggle with this everyday. Every command you give must be met with the thought train of "Well, I could sit. Or I could rip her throat out. Ah, well, I guess I'll just sit." I'm not sure if the desire to sit, rather than kill, is an act of love or an act of laziness. But every once in a while you'll hear on the news of a dog, often a pit bull, attacking someone. People say that this is because pit bulls have a higher predisposition to insanity. But what if pit bulls are just not as lazy as some other breeds?


Obedience and docility are, obviously, intended goals in breeding. For some reason or another, at some point in history, someone looked at a wolf (probably while it was tearing through a deer carcass) and said "If only I could find a way to get that wolf to snuggle up in my lap. That'd be AWESOME!" I wouldn't be surprised if the history of dog breeding chock full of maulings. So many maulings...


The beginnings of such breeding is pretty straight forward - take the animal you prefer and select the ones with the most favorable attributes. (Generally we're talking cute factor + gentle demeanor. But as time goes on selection is more specific for different purposes. Sense of smell, physical strength, intellect, etc.) Breed the "best" males and females that fit your standards. Sort through the litter to find the best looking, most docile puppies. Kill the rest. (For more insight, listen to this episode of Radiolab, in the act "New Nice". Also check out Dogs: Decoded)


For the most part, this has been successful yielding amazing (and sometimes disturbing) results. But some foibles emerged. The French Bulldog, for example,  with it's stubby legs and barrel chest, is a design nightmare. Its pelvis is so narrow that it can only safely give birth via cesarean section. WHUT? French bulldogs, along with dachshunds with  their long torso and even stubbier legs have to be...*ahem* assisted in breeding. (Please don't make me say that any plainer.) I'm saying that they're built so weird that they can't even fuck on their own.


PLAYIN GOD...UR DOIN IT RONG!
These developments, cute though they may be, should literally be seen as crimes against nature. You've created a breed that can't continue to flourish without you! (Don't even get me started on mules.) I suppose that's sort of the point. We've assumed that if we breed dogs to be completely dependent on us, emotional, physically and even reproductively, then they simply can't tear our throats out. It would be illogical on their part. What we've conveniently ignored, however, is that dogs are carnivores and no amount of docile rearing is gonna change that fact. We've also conveniently ignored the fact that dogs aren't human, regardless of how much they've become accustomed to us and responded to our human needs and demands. Since they're not actually human, they're not bound by logic.


Carnivore + lack of logic or consequence = potential mauling.


Add to that equation the fact that some people make it really really hard to not want to rip their throats out. Every time I see a posh Manhattanite ineptly dragging a stubborn dog on a leash because the dog simply wants to smell things, or see someone taunting a dog with food they're not allowed to have, I think "You are so lucky..." Those dogs are using every ounce of will they have in them.


But one day that will may give out.


So be nice to your dogs.
Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1Ygp5vxLJ

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