Sunday, July 04, 2010

Dog Rant

The Lady With the Black Dogs (who happen to be "real" fierce staunch old- fashioned Afghans, rare today) sent me a note and a link, knowing it would provoke me and push all my buttons on genetics, bombast, and bullshit, not to mention on the kind of dog commercialism that makes AR types try to ban "backyard" breeders like me.

She gave me a link and wrote: "This bitch [the hound!- SB] is apparently desert bred - brought back by a GI ... the woman is trying to make a lot of money apparently ... didn't know if you'd seen it or not ..."

I have no intention of giving her a link and further publicity, though I am sure anyone here could use Google and find the site. I just want to present the issues to an intelligent audience, and sad experience has taught me there is no arguing with people who make statements like the ones below. What follows is a mildly edited version of what I sent to TLWTBD:

Re: And Now - Saluki-Doodles .... words fail me.

Well, not really <(;-))

Never mind her tired recycling of romantic (& fictional) Bedouin mythology: "Allah said to the South Wind, “Become solid flesh, for I will make a new creature of thee. I give thee the power of flight without wings.”

Never mind her long- outdated implication that salukis are 6000 years ancient IN ARABIA. They could well be that old but WE know where they come from, "salukis" and "black dogs" both! [Added for the blog post: that is, Asia, whether you favor Persia (Terence) Clark-- or the "Kyrgiz Steppe"-- now part of Kazakhstan- Altai/ Tian Shan-- me and many friends, both via the Silk Road. Everything from genetics and rock art to written accounts shows them very old in Asia, and points to their getting to Arabia about the same time as Islam. There are pix in CHINA older than that.]

(Incidentally if you don't follow it, lately the Arabs are displaying a mixture of conspicuous consumption greed-- Gulf sheikhs bringing in Euro show champs to cross with their desert dogs-- conceivably barring his color Irbis is more like an old Bedouin dog-- and fanaticism, as Salafists in Arabia and, sadly, Arab- influenced Afghans decide tazis are dogs after all and abandon them. I'll take the Asians, thanks).

It is not just this remarkable piece of natural history: "Most of the U.S.A. is not a hot desert and Salukis needs more fur! When temperatures fall to 45 degrees, I put Alice’s sweater on." I live in a near- desert I suppose but it's COLD. December and January days are usually in the teens and twenties, with nights going below zero or at least into single digits. Still, two of my five tazis CHOOSE to sleep outdoors (in good doghouses granted) including thin- coated 8 year old Lashyn who we are trying to persuade in; and another, the male Kyran, prefers his kennel on the unheated porch. ALL but Ataika who will jump the 8 foot fence if she gets bored stay outside all day; all hunt in any weather. (We won't even bring up your black dogs, a “different breed", or the good Af/sal/ taz crosses the kids are making in Texas, or Vladimir's slightly longer coated St Petersburg male, or the patterned "racing Afghan" coat one of my pups grows every winter in snowy N Utah and then sheds...)

It is not even her trashing the English language with such coinages as (ughhh!) "Salukidoodle".

No, it is this amazing statement (I would say "lie" but I don't know how un- knowing she may be): "To my knowledge, there are NO SALUKI PUPPIES for sale in the United States at this time", implying that her bitch, which she is mating to a poodle or labradoodle or something to "improve" it, is the only saluki brood bitch in the USA. (That they won't be "SALUKI PUPPIES" anyway seems almost beside the point).

And are there saluki puppies for sale at this time? Depends on the meaning of "at this time" I suppose, like Clinton's "is". In the last few years? MANY AKC show salukis, the vast majority, even if I have no love for them. Society for the Perpetuation of Desert Bred (SPDBS) salukis, including many of the Country Of Origin (COO) dogs in the country. [Prominent importer breeder's] Kurdish Iranian dogs, admirable dogs and a whole new gene pool. My three litters. Vladimir's first, and the one he is planning...

For the last three at least, and probably for any of the DB lines, demand exceeds supply, too. I guess words really do fail me on this one.

I see she recycles this bull also: "Historically, in the Middle East, one could not purchase a Saluki, because they were too precious. These dogs were gifts given by royal families to favored others.” Where to start? First, they are owned or were by everyone down to the poorest villagers-- certainly are in Kazakhstan & Turkey today-- so what is this “royal”? Second, people WILL give you a dog if they like you-- Atai and Kyran ended up almost free-- but there are always dogs for sale. One of the reasons Kostya Plakhov initially gave us Atai-- pick of the litter at that!-- was that he was offended that commercial tazi and falcon breeder Bulekbaev asked us for $800! By then the Plakhovs had realized we were as poor as they were and had gone into the hole to get to Kazakhstan, so we ended up with a better pup, for shipping & shots.

The Royal Gift thing is just a way of increasing one’s own self- importance. It reminds me of an oilman and his wife who contacted me just before I got Lashyn, explaining how I would never be able to get a tazi because they were, wait for it, “only given away to important people”--!! HE had one, of course. A brindle female. They brought her to the US, where he bragged that she was the only one.

Then, they neutered her.

I don’t know if I need any new wars at the moment but this pushes all my buttons.

Seems obvious she is trying to make big $$ from the ignorant or is clueless herself, the two not being mutually contradictory. Ironically they will probably be fine pups, even if "technically" MUTTS not an exotic breed-- remember that accidental poodle- Afghan cross my friend got, black, that looks like a taigan (I blogged here)? Great dog, but from a shelter for the price of shots!

In addition to my sheer distaste for dishonesty and my dislike of the perpetuation of disproved myths, let me give TLWTBD's the last word on why this crass commercialization is wrong:

"We've just had a horrible trauma of abused and starving Afs in a "show kennel" ... apparently intentional starvation if you can imagine .... and I am just in no damned mood for anyone who abuses these dogs for the sake of money or ego, or a scrap of cheap-assed ribbon to feed their self-absorbed egos.

"Anyway - I've tossed you the ball ... run with it - I wish there was some way to disabuse the general public of the idea that these dogs are "rare and unobtainable" or worse, that there is zillions of dollars to be made in breeding them ..."


Heather Houlahan said...

Well it didn't take but a moment on teh googles to find this one.


Her sickly-looking poodle-with-testicles is an "International Champion" with a bogus puppymill registry. And his hips are "OFA-PennHIP 100%." Which is entirely meaningless.

Per OFA database, the dog has never been OFA evaluated, but got a PennHIP score at 5 months of age. It's a good DI, but not low enough to put the dog into the 99th percentile. Oh, going by the birthdates for the dog and one of his offspring in the dB, he was first employed as sperm-daddy at the age of six months.

She's got these pups listed under just "saluki" on a puppymill internet retailing site:

There are apparently purebred saluki pups listed for sale on some of the same sites where she is advertising her ill-advised mutts. I easily picked out her pups from the thumbnail photos as *clearly not a saluki.*

I can think of few breed crosses in which temperaments are more poorly-matched and non-complementary than this one.

The real reason for this mating is that she had a saluki bitch in heat, and a poodle with cojones on-hand, and saw dollar signs.

She does not seem to be moving these pups real fast. So that bodes well for the future, poorly for the pups.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I would never equate you, or anyone who breeds for the reasons you practice with a backyard breeder ... there are those of us who do breed to preserve the bloodlines, the type and the dogs of true temperament, and most of us are "dog-poor" because of it ... wry smile. I think of all the people I've known here in the US who did live for their dogs - not even having children - and my heart grows weary with trepidation about the future where nothing has value unless there is "profit" involved.

We don't need to romanticize our dogs or fill up web pages with romanticized pap in order to place weeks old puppies in guardian homes with the promise of "puppies in a year." I notice too that this lady (who presents herself as a Ph.D) represents these puppies as phenotypical Salukis - technically true, but I certainly do hope prospective buyers use the Merriam-Webster if they're not already familiar with that term.

You have no idea how much I envy those of you who are able to move off-grid (more or less) and live with and for the dogs .. folks like you give me hope - that and the fact that our dogs still know what they are.


Anonymous said...

@Heather - take a real close look at her Int Ch miniature poodle ... apricot color, no less. Something tells me he's either a golden or lab cross ... it has been a long time since I've seen a Poodle that far from conforming to the standard.

Poodle folks, Golden Folks, Lab Folks, and even Cock-a-poo folks should be outraged.


Anonymous said...

The hype she posts reminds me of the crap put out by the first and worst of the fly-by-night breeders who 'discovered' Leonbergers about a decade ago (even though a small breed club and registry had been active in the US for over 25 years then).

Because they were still relatively rare in the US and the breed club had strict, extensive health and temperament requirements (based loosely on the German breed warden program) Leonberger puppies were expensive and fairly hard to find.

So of course a group of amoral profit-hungry bastards came along and bought (mostly) crap dogs, did no health testing and marketed their puppies as the "Mercedes" of dog breeds to clueless yuppie dimwits looking for status dogs.

They banded with a very small group of ribbon-hungry conformation addicts and whored themselves to AKC.

For what they did to this breed I will forever hate these people with a white-hot passion.

Kamie said...

Above was right, these types of breeders insult ME as a poodle person. I have almost gotten used to it, but I can understand how you, with a breed not used to such ridiculous breeding practies, could be shocked. Poodle bastards, the whole lot of them.

Jess said...

Market research fail.

Anonymous said...

I have always found great humor in the term "backyard breeders", which is used as such a despairing insult by the conformation show people, and always had me wondering--where exactly is the "proper" place to breed one's dogs? The front yard? One's bathroom, perhaps? Or maybe in the garage? Whenever I am looking for a dog for a specific purpose, like a hunting dog, it is ironic(and kinda sad, really), but I steer as clear from conformation show people and their "champions" as possible, and PURPOSEFULLY seek out the backyard breeders!!! Now it is true that some in this category are terrible and ignorant and irresponsible, but others who breed dogs for a REAL PURPOSE, and put health and temperment above conformation, produce the REAL superior dogs. An added bonus, if they are not show worthy, is that they are often a heckuva lot cheaper!.....L.B.