The American Kennel Club is Going to the Mutts

As opposed to the "dogs," you see, because the American Kennel Club's notoriously stuffy canine exhibitions are - for the first time in the organization's entire 125-year history of catering to the vicarious dog owners, the obsessive dog owners, and the casually amused - they're finally allowed dogs other than purebreds into their competitions. Canine sufferage! Pooch equality!

Unfortunately, via the Washington Post, there's a catch:

Not in the "beauty contests," says Mattaponi Kennel Club show chair Katie Knepley, as she briskly walks around the grassy competition rings, partitioned off by white fences. In those "conformation" events, judges evaluate how precisely a dog conforms to its breed's standards, which mutts do not have. But the skill-based contests -- Agility, Rally and Obedience -- were officially opened to mixed breeds last month. This weekend, Mattaponi held its first event in which mixed breeds, euphemistically referred to at the show as "All Americans," have been allowed. Otis is one of two competing today, in an event that includes around 40 entries.

Okay, so they might not get to go by looks, but really pups, who needs to? Don't just a book by its dog-ears, or something, as the answer to a question they've been debating for eight or so years is finally answered. Naturally, there are naysayers to this kind of thing, as progress always has its enemies.

On message boards where dog fanciers gossip, some worried that their own dogs' status might be diminished. "You wouldn't enter your old beater in with a completely restored '69 fastback Mustang," writes one commenter on Dogster.com. " . . . All dogs are not equal and it shows."

Bitches! Literally. Especially since we all know how many pets - many of whom are mutts - need homes in New York City alone, forgetting all the homeless dogs across this great country who should be considered equals. What did they do to deserve being unequal? Nothing, except be bred into a world of assholes. That's okay: always better to be the underdog - in this case, literally - and show people up when they least expect it. Because let's face it, Miffy the Purebred Teacup Poodle: you ain't got shit on some "real" dogs. You were made to be something. That's creepy! But okay, because your inbred inadequacies are about to shine through at dog shows around the country everywhere. Bitches.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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