I was out walking my dog when I stumbled upon another gentleman walking a dog that was unfamiliar to me. I stopped to chat and he began to relate how he’d purchased his new ‘designer dog’ from a kennel in LA. It was a Cockapoo! I told him that sounded like Glasgow on a Saturday night after too many beers and an Indian curry! He laughed, but insisted that his Cocker Spaniel/Poodle mix, was indeed quite a popular breed of dog and that it’s possible I would be surprised at how many different breeds there are. Hybrids, he called them, using the proper terminology! I came home and went on line, and low and behold, he was 100% correct. There are hundreds of these cross breeds, sorry Hybrids, made all the more popular by Paris Hilton and her cohorts, who have influenced many to go out and buy designer dogs that fit inside shoulder bags. Their names and origins are certainly unusual, made even more so by the continual thirst that we, as human beings, have, to be ever more experimental and our need to be the first and to have the most unusual or the only one of it’s kind. Look at some of the dogs that now claim to be roaming our planet.
Corkie, Cocker Spaniel/ Yorkie
Taco Terrier, and no, that’s not a new dish at the local Mexican take away, it’s a Chihuahua/Toy Fox Terrier
Affenwich, Affenpincher /Norwich Terrier, and no, you can’t have one in a sandwich!
The list is endless and sometimes even funny to the point of being sad and ridiculous. There are over 4 million dogs and cats euthanized every year in the USA, and all for what purpose? To satisfy our obsessions with these designer breeds, and the poor old common and garden mutts, or as we called them in Scotland, Heinz 57’s , because they are made up of so many different varieties, that one has to wonder, why can’t we just give the dogs who need a home, a good home and a home where they will have a chance to live and to grow in peace, instead of creating more and more hybrids just to satisfy out unquenchable appetite for the latest greatest? My friend Janice runs a magazine based in Chicago and her sole purpose for creating this publication was to make people aware of the need to adopt an abandoned dog who really needs a home, and to try and put a halt to these ‘puppy’ farms, which are popping up all over the country, breeding more and more dogs that are either taking the place of dogs thrown out and impounded or indeed, being impounded themselves. We used to have a TV advertising campaign in the UK, it said, “A Dog Is for Life, Not Just For Christmas” and now here in the US, they have this new sing-a-long ad on TV, making people aware of the need to adopt and not to rush to puppy farms when their kids want a dog. Have you ever been in an animal shelter? I have, and I assure you it’s not fun. I wanted to bring them all home, and of course, that wasn’t possible. So instead, I went and wrote a book called Kennel Hill, and decided to donate all the profits to animal shelters all over the USA. I’m afraid, that I haven’t been able to save that many animals yet, but I am trying hard to make people aware of this awful situation that’s surrounding us. Every Saturday at the local Pet store, here in San Jose CA, they have puppies in cages outside the front door, begging for owners to adopt them. These dogs need your help, they need assistance and they need it now. Don’t get me wrong, I am not an animal activist, nor am I trying to preach to the choir, I just get upset with injustice, no matter human, animal or mineral. All animals need love, be they designer or of the mixed breed variety. Please try to help out. Adopt a dog or a cat who needs a home. They really can brighten up your life and they need love just as much as we do. My dog Lola helped me recover fully from an almost impossible situation. She will forever have a place in my heart, as will Jimmy, my wee Dachshund, who unfortunately died prematurely at the age of 4. Why are dogs used in hospitals? Because they are natural healers. Let’s try and do the same for them.