Can the two exist in harmony? Just off the top of my head I’m not sure they can. Each has their own view of the other, but sometimes the under-dog can rise up and find it’s place alongside the hero. Co-exist, yes. Harmony…well, that remains to be seen.
Growing in the 70’s, I look back now and remember that there were two types of dogs: pure-breds and mutts, or more sensitively referred to as mixed breeds. We had a little black dog named Gidget. Nothing fancy, really. Just a cute fur-ball that stole our hearts and found it’s forever home in our family. Gidget was a mutt. No pedigree, no kennel club papers, no on paper value. But value in our family was beyond dollars. We didn’t expect others to understand and frankly, we didn’t need others to understand.
Today, in 2010, I can’t seem to find a mutt. No Heinz 57. No “mixed breed.” Today, they are called Designer Dogs. Apparently the trauma of having a less revered dog became too much to handle for some people and they have joined forces to be consider edequal in the elitist world of dog ownership.
Gone are the days of Black Labs, German Shepherds, Standard Poodles and Huskies. Today sees the rise of Labradoodles, Peka-poos, Bugs, Jack-A-Ranians, Schnoodles and Torkies. There are hundreds of these designer dogs listed online.
Talking with a friend of mine over this long weekend, she told me about a friend of hers who journeyed with their dog to a “hotdog day” event. If you haven’t heard, sometimes elitists will have a celebration of their breed and give some fancy or catchy name to subtly inform those less privileged that there is a formal gathering of the pedigree. (Pugnic for pugs, Hotdog Day for dachshunds, Greyhound Gathering – okay that’s not subtle but you get the point). This friend of a friend attempted to enter her dog into an event at the hotdog day only to be advised, “You can’t enter. Your dog, is a designer dog.”
Yes, a designer dog faced rejection because of it’s heritage. Shameless in our country isn’t it? We “accept” everyone!
The dog in question was a Chihuahua Dachshund cross. Once a mutt, now a designer dog. A Chiweeni. Thirty years ago would anyone have thought to name this, ahem, designer dog anything other than a mutt?
Those once excluded from the mainstream Canadian or American Kennel Club have come together to form the DDKC, the Designer Dog Kennel Club! Now the excluded are the Elitists as well. Elitists and Inclusivity?
All of this seems petty, I know, but is quite symbolic of Canada.
There has been a marked shift in Canadian culture in the past three or four decades. Once a mosaic, where differences existed and that’s just the way it was, Canada is now a fragmented series of land claims and cultural claims waiting to be fought for in the courts over something called rights. “Robert’s religious claims must be accepted as equal to mine” which actually means “If Robert screams loud enough and uses the magic words – oppression or prejudice – his religion is deemed more important that mine and I lose my rights.” This is not equality. Robert has grown tired of his second class religion and has banded together with his fellow rejected. These once “rejected” have taken up force as one to be watched.
We used to be Christian Canadians.
Canada has backed itself into a corner as our backbone has disintegrated. We now tell everyone to embrace their culture, to celebrate their heritage, display your choice, that we have lost sight of our own origins. We celebrate everyone’s nationality, life choice, lifestyle and belief. Except our own.
We have the German-Canadian Club, Greek-Canadian Club, the Irish-Canadian Club (along with St. Patrick’s day when everyone thinks their Irish just to drink green beer), Pride Week, Oktoberfest and a week to celebrate everyone’s career choice. Anyone who has a sincere religious belief is accommodated (except Christians of course). Feel free to take an extra 12 days off from school or work this year, don’t worry about it.
Like the original Kennel Club, Canada has lost it status as a representative body of that which stood true to its roots. Canada is now the Designer Dog Kennel Club of the World! Welcome to Canada, even though you’re a mutt, you’re a part of our elite mutt-club.