Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dogs' Best Friends Step Up for Equality

Just One More Reason to Love Boxers?
Uncle P's Mother is a fan of televised dog shows. Personally, I cannot watch them without thinking about Christopher Guest's hilarious, ad-libbed spoof Best in Show. Guest and company's followup to Waiting for Guffman (probably the funniest movie about Community Theatre ever made) is exactly how I always pictured the folks who enter, judge and attend such events. It's also the first time I really took notice of then up and coming lesbian star Jane Lynch.

Now don't me wrong. I may hate dog shows, but I love dogs! My last dog, a Golden Retriever/Cocker Spaniel mix named Brandy (I gave in on that argument) was a fiercely loyal and protective dog who passed away the night before she was scheduled to be put down (all this while I was unemployed and had to inform my friends I wouldn't be participating in Christmas that year). I found her at the foot of the stairs to my bedroom, her chin and one paw on the bottom step. That's completely true and I'm crying again just thinking about, so don't worry if you're crying, too.

My first dog was an AKC Registered Schnauzer bitch, officially named "Brian's Heidi." My maternal grandmother bought her for me and my father hated her and she spent her entire life chained to the kitchen table or on a short leash in the side yard (the dog, not my grandmother). No dog should have lived that kind of life and I feel guilty that Heidi didn't have the life Brandy had (and before you ask, yes I'll talk about the cats someday, too - just not tonight).

Anyway... what this is all leading up to is an official letter from the AKC (American Kennel Club) to the FCI (aka World Canine Federation), urging them to move the 2016 World Dog Show from Russia in light of recent anti-LGBT laws and events there. The letter is below (Via):

Dear Rafael,

One of the most compelling aspects of the human-canine bond – cherished internationally more than ever before – is the fact that our dogs love us unconditionally. Dogs do not discriminate. Gender, race, sexual orientation and other status do not enter the equation of responsible pet ownership.  That is why the American Kennel Club and our constituency are puzzled and disappointed by the decision to allow Russia to host the 2016 World Dog Show.  The proliferation of anti-gay and lesbian laws in Russia today is both disturbing and shocking to our community.  The choice of this country as a venue for such a prestigious dog show flies in the face of the ideals of the human-canine bond.

On behalf of the American Kennel Club, our member clubs, and the American purebred dog fancy, we urge you to move the 2016 World Dog Show from Russia to a nation that respects and upholds human rights for all its citizens.  The international dog community deserves to enjoy the World Dog Show in a place that stands for freedom and equal rights for all.  AKC cannot and will not support participation in the 2016 World Dog Show if it is held in Russia.

As exhibitors, breeders, handlers and trainers, we teach our dogs many things.  But there is no denying, they teach us too.  Our bond with dogs is not defined by the type of person who holds the leash.  We cannot support competition in an environment where tolerance does not exist.

Yours respectfully,

 It was signed by the AKC's Chairman of the Board, Alan T. Kalter and the President & CEO, Dennis B. Sprung. 

 Can there be any better proof that animal lovers are better Human Beings? I think not! Here's to the AKC for stepping up!

If I ever get another dog, it will be a boxer named "Tyson." Why? So when people say "Really? A boxer named after Mike Tyson?" I can say "No. He's named after Tyson Beckford, a-hole!"

More, anon.


Anonymous said...

I think you just inspired my saturday post. Thanks!

Prospero said...

You're very welcome!