It used to be that the majority of champions and title holders were male. There was a title for the females –”foundation bitch”. Today the bitch has been emancipated from whelping box to spotlight, strutting her femininity with a swagger equal to any dog! And though she does eventually end up in a kennel whelping box as a foundation of further great dogs, it is because she has titles that increase her value. It is exciting to note that many of our recent Westminster winners have been ladies! Sadie, the Scottie, has had two litters since we saw her last playing in the BIS ring ,and the Wolfhound was nursing a big litter when the Peke, Malachi, took home the trophy with equal slow dignity. The Best of Opposite Sex title is reserved for the second best of the breed; of late it is the boys who have had to be content with this title. Our girls have come a very long way!
We have to wonder if this trend will affect the number of males neutered? It has always been the female who was spayed, with the male left intact.
Prices reflect this trend. Most bitches command a much higher price than their male litter mates. Even the Humane Society of the United States acknowledges this trend. In honor of Mother’s Day they are offering a reward for closing a puppy mill! Further, the Pennsylvania SPCA is asking for donations targeted to dogs in protective custody. These dogs are involved in court cases due to cruelty and neglect. Many times these dogs must endure long confinement until legal issues are settled. Their need is one not endured by the general population. By the way, PetSmart has a health fund to neuter pets.
MOTHER’S DAY DINNER. Many of you are struggling with what to feed your dogs with so many recalls of tainted food. After the last big recall I turned to my veterinary hospital for my dogs’ ration and have never looked on a shelf since. I don’t buy over the counter. Although not holistic the prescription diets appear to maintain their quality and are not subject to the whims of supply and demand. In today’s market it is wise also to keep an eye on the formulas of both food and pesticides. And, if you want natural, generously supplement with your own table food. It makes switching from brand to brand easier. Yogurt is a good probiotic friend for all stomachs. (Over and Out brand recently changed its pesticide, causing some emergency visits.)
YARD SALES. There should be a pet corner in every yard sale. This could be filled with books for both children and adults, fiction and non-fiction as well as dog magazines. My daughters are always in search of some wonderful books which are hard to find today. Rachel Page Elliot’s Dog Steps, Lad by Albert Payson Terhune, all of the James Herriot series, old copies of Front and Finish and Popular Dogs, etc. I like the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The covers are always worth framing. With AKC Gazette now online one has to wonder if paper copies will increase in value. Figurines are always good–of every breed. Some breeds are especially hard to find and I have a few I wish no one had found–like a Springer playing golf. Then there is art both popular and valuable. Norman Rockwell usually had a dog in his illustrations and if you find an original you might just sell it back to Coca Cola for thousands. Andrew Wyeth’s dogs left their pawprints on the back of some of his most famous paintings. His most famous art with dogs showed the plight of what we would call today “tethered dogs” with no shelter but a porch. It is not for sale. And, of course, Jamie Wyeth, his son, painted all the Bush dogs and the portraits of many other famous people’s pets. I have a color photograph of the first Buddy with owner President Clinton. My favorite is a mixed breed named Jeff who was the first Alzheimer’s dog. Ben chewed on a corner–adding his puppy signature. And, how many dogs have had their pictures taken with the Paterno statue at Beaver Stadium?May 17, 2012 | | Uncategorized