Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Co-Worker Strikes Again

I spent time this past weekend clearing off some bookshelves, and in the process decided to unload the backlog of Dog Fancy and AKC Gazette magazines that I had been accumulating. A lot of folks here at work will bring in unwanted books, magazines and ephemera to share with others, and that's what I did with the fairly substantial stack I had going.

Now, back in April, I went on a little blog rant about a certain co-worker with whom I have an ongoing failure to communicate. And when I say "failure," I'm talking about Chernobyl levels of failure here. So the following exchange in the ongoing saga should really come as no surprise to me.

Co-worker: "I looked at some of your Dog Fancy magazines."

me: "Oh?"

Co-worker: "What is up with all the giant pitbulls?"

me: "Huh?"

Co-worker: "There were all these ads with really big, mean-looking pitbulls!"

me: setting down my tuna sandwich and taking a swig of my iced tea "Well, first of all, there really isn't any such thing as a "Pitbull" breed. Usually when people refer to Pitbulls, they're talking about American Staffordshire Terriers, or some mix thereof. Good breeders of Am-Staffs have some lovely dogs with beautiful temperaments. Plus, the ads you generally see in the back of Dog Fancy aren't always from the people or kennels you would necessarily want to buy a dog from. It's like with any other advertisement: take it as a jumping off point, but always do your homework to make sure you're working with an ethical, health-and-temperament focused breeder."

Co-worker, all agitated: "I sure wouldn't be buying a dog from Dog Fancy!"

me, eye starting to twitch: "The magazine just sells ad space; anyone with money can take out an ad. It's just like seeing an ad in a newspaper or Uncle Henry's; you're still required to use your brain to figure out if what's being sold is something you would want to buy."

Co-worker: "I got MY dog from an Uncle Henry's ad! Someone in Waterville had a Standard Poodle and a Golden Retriever that they bred together, and my puppy is the best dog in the world." [actual quote; I shit you not]

me: *twitch* "Well, if that's what you wanted then I'm happy it worked out for you."

Co-worker: "She was a good breeder! She even took a puppy back when someone who bought one decided it was too much work with two small children in the house."

me: *twitch twitch* "Actually, any reputable breeder is not only willing to do that, but will require that the puppy be returned to them as opposed to being taken to a shelter or given to any Tom, Dick or Harry in the neighborhood. Although it might not have been the best idea to place a rambuctious puppy into that environment if they weren't equipped to deal with all that a puppy entails."

Co-worker, looking smug: "Oh, she didn't know about the kids."

me: *twitch* *twitch twitch* "I don't suppose she, you know, did any health tests or anything before she decided to breed these two dogs, did she?" (knowing bloody full well what the answer was going to be)

Co-worker: "Oh yeah, she took them to the vet and all their shots were up to date, and the puppies had their shots and got wormed and everything."

me: "That's standard health maintenance for any pet. I'm talking about OFA-ing hips, testing for things like Von Willebrands and other diseases that Poodles and Goldens are predisposed to, CERF-ing the eyes, etc.

Co-worker: *blank stare*

Me: "Yeah, I didn't think so."

Co-worker: "Bad hips and stuff are only in show dogs. Mixed breeds are healthy."

me: "Actually, 'hybrid vigor' is more or less a myth. If you have a Golden with bad hips, or eyes, or any number of genetic disorders, and a Poodle with the same, then the offspring of said Poodle and said Golden have just as much chance of having problems as any other offspring produced by those two dogs."

Co-worker, getting huffy: "Well I'm certainly not going to go out and buy a Pitbull!!"

Me: *twitchtwitchtwitchtwitchtwitch* "Um... good?"

Co-worker, walking off: "And I wouldn't buy a dog from Dog Fancy either!"

Me: *thunks head on desk*

1 comment:

  1. I often have this conversation at the dog park. Too many people don't have a clue about health clearances for the parents of their puppy, if they buy from a breeder or (God Help Us) a pet shop. I bite my lip and try not to cringe; and say "There are breeders and then there are Breeders" and try to discuss some of the signs of a good breeder.

    At least in my part of New England, there don't seem to be as many people getting purebred dogs from irresponsible breeders and pet shops; and many dog owners get their furry friends from shelters and rescue groups. But don't get me started on the Doodles and the Puggles...