Let Us Now Praise Less-Than-Famous Dog Breeders
Is there one more clever, charismatic, productive and—in its purest sense—humanitarian avocation than dog-breeder?
Evidence of arranged canine marriages goes back ten thousand years, making the profession the world's second oldest, just ahead of landlord and publicist.
In this infinitesimal evolutionary moment, these heroes have created—from wolves mind you—everything from the Greenland sled dog to the chipit.
Have we all not heard a child, upon seeing a borzoi or a miniature dachschund, innocently ask, "Mom, is that a dog?"
By having Rex inseminate Fifi only if Fifi has the right-shaped snout, leg-length, leaping ability, bite-strength, and so on, these unheralded geniuses have—before stem cells and CRISPR were a twinkle in our forward-looking eyes—forged a single-species mutant army that shames any Mother Nature ever mustered.
Shaggy ones, bristly ones, shedding ones, ginger ones, white ones, spotted ones, lanky ones, ursine ones, murine ones—today’s canine DNA would give Gregor Mendel wood! (Note to self: find a metaphor with a higher bar, the man was a monk—after all those years of celibacy, the man earned his fame sneaking out back with varietal legumes.)
Not only has canine eugenics defeated the wolves—it has turned their very children to our cause!
They herd our forest-displacing sheep and cattle, they dismember foxes, they retrieve buckshot-filled waterfowl, they dig out and destroy the plague-bearing rat!
Like medieval enemies' heads upon the palisade, we parade the four-footed fruits of our breeders’ brilliant labors around our settlements—even taking them on hiking trails through the heart of Nature's last redoubts—a tactic so mocking and intimidating as to be unrivaled in the history of psychological warfare.
And not only is Canis familiaris 2.0 an unrivaled shock-trooper but we have now successfully conscripted the species to our comfort industries.
We have put them in sweaters, booties, and the most cruelly infantilizing names ever devised—Toby! Daisy! Rover! Bella! Gwyneth! Hunter!—and we have given them to our children, our differently abled, our socially awkward, and generally made them available to all of our lovelorn and lonely masses!
And yet the guild behind all this is so self-effacing! Unless you're a Dog Fancier subscriber and attend the Westminster circuit, you won't know the name of the couple that invented the Golden Doodle, or of the obsessive woman from Altoona who spent her life working on a new line of French bulldog that produces sixty percent less mucus.
Let us finally give recognition!
Which brings us to our proposition. On our thrice-daily walks, we have observed a lot of missing statues, memorials to leaders we now see did not keep humanity's overall well-being in their hearts.
Why not take all those vacant plinths and erect statues of the unassailable heroes who have achieved perhaps the most powerfully symbolic of all pro-human victories? And, at their feet in lifelike bronze—perhaps sometimes conjoined in their famous coital stance—their wondrous creations, our best friends.
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*For each moot, we generate a cover image using DALL·E, an AI art platform that generates images using natural language processing. This image on the right was generated using the title, 'Let Us Now Praise Less-Than-Famous Dog Breeders' in the style of Ernest Lee, Ned's artist of choice.*