Dogs, wolves and God

While it’s not a disturbing trend, some wolf advocates and supporters aren’t just really secular but also atheistic in the sense of openly doubting God’s existence. I too have my problems with organised religion but regardless if it’s Catholicism or Sunni Islam, people will still flock to churches and temples for whatever reason and sentiment.

Take Sweden for instance, it’s a very secular country that’s home to a growing Muslim population. Someone pointed out that Sweden isn’t entirely secular and some people reverted to heathen or rather shamanic traditions in the 19th century. In fact s/he said that many Swedes are deist instead of atheist.

Sweden isn’t that wolf friendly but like its German and Dutch speaking counterparts, it’s not above its own problems regarding dog poisoning every now and then. Getting back on topic, there is no doubt that the wolf was villainised but similar things can be said of dogs before.

The three most persistent religions in the world are monotheistic and based in the Middle East. They historically don’t like dogs though often soften up if the dogs are useful. In the Bible, dogs are often depicted in a lowly manner and in some lore, dogs are surprisingly associated with treachery.

But when observing and studying stray dogs, that might have a basis in fact. You’d have dogs that wander and behave independently of humans to the detriment of one’s neighbours. Then you have dogs fraternising with wolves, jackals and stray dogs. This still happens today in many countries.

At some point in Rome’s history, invaders attacked the city but the dogs were asleep so they used geese instead. Then the Romans punished the dogs for not doing their job because they’re not as loyal as geese. There are still places, especially in some parts of Brazil and China where they use geese to patrol and guard premises.

The Bible also associated dogs with the enemies of Israel which shouldn’t come as a surprise when it comes to canine predation on both livestock (especially the sheep where people and ancient Israelis were often compared to) and wildlife. Even if modern Israel has softened up to dogs, there are reports about stray dogs attacking other animals and getting shot and poisoned.

It should be noted that wherever dogs go in mythology and folklore, they’re almost always associated with ominous, suspicious or macabre characters. In some cases, they were associated with underworld deities which easily lent itself to an association with fairies and The Devil during Chrisitianisation.

There is a wealth of ominous dog ghosts, dogs as malicious spirits in disguise and vampire dogs. In Ireland, there was a report about vampire dogs though these could easily be stray dogs but the association of vampires with wolves and dogs makes sense.

Wolves and dogs are more likely to bite people than bats and Dracula himself turned into a wolf. Then you have weird superstitions surrounding black dogs, which only compounds their real life ordeal in shelters. That’s something both dog and wolf experts should take note of.

Dog is God in reverse at least in English but it’s a blasphemous one at that. In other languages, God is God and dog remains a hound. The dog and wolf-hating Biblical religions have either minimised, assimilated or displaced the shamanic heath dog and wolf worshiping religions. The former continues to persist to this day.

Shock and Awe

I’m very sure that when it comes to discussions about questionable breeding practises, there’s always the breeder with an opinion of his/her own. To me, that’s more interesting to watch than a breeder who agrees with these people.

At least they know better, working with other breeders and having worked with so many other breeds before. Likewise I can bring myself into the discussion with a rather different experience mostly with stray dogs and mongrels. They’re the norm here but not always for the better.

Thankfully this is not always the case outside of these discussions in other languages even if such problems persist to an extent. In other countries, there are many other problems to deal with in addition to that. France, Italy, Poland, Israel, Russia and Greece have to deal with stray dog predation on both livestock and wildlife.

In The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and Germany there’s the issue with dog poisoning which hits news reports very often and one might wonder if they’re dog unfriendly. Not to mention that a number of German and Dutch language articles also bring up medieval dog culls, which is onto something in hindsight.

What the breeders told me

For every sycophant for dog issues, there’s always be a dissenting voice. In this case it’s dog breeding and for your dog breed activists, there’s going to be a breeder who agrees with them then you have dog owners and dog breeders who don’t.

Not even the rest of the world will agree with their worldview because their experiences are different. For instance, several French farmers who use Pyrenees patou dogs to guard livestock can’t stand stray dogs that will do anything to attack them. Some Israelis, Italians, Poles and Frenchpeople think that stray dogs are much worse than bears and wolves.

Mind you there is a problem among some dogs in shelters called Black Dog Syndrome where they’re almost always ignored and culled for various reasons and factors like looking inconspicuous and odd superstitions associating them with malignant spirits.

You’ll still have breeders who fight back against such problems every now and then. Some of them actually adopt dogs from shelters. Other breeders also don’t want their dogs to be sick and will do anything to lessen it.

Then you’ll have dog owners who’ll always take care of sick, ugly dogs. It’s the same reason and sentiment that most of these activists don’t get because as what others pointed out, they have fairly limited experiences with dogs and don’t do the research extensively.

Not all breeders and dog owners are this careless. Some of them aren’t that stupid to know what they’re doing. Also if dogs were allowed to breed freely with one another, it could lead to another problem. In places where you have stray dogs, there’s the fear of getting bitten by one.

Then there’s the fear of them stealing food, killing other animals and spreading diseases as well as attempts to cull them. This has happened before in Medieval Europe in addition to weird canine superstitions and folklore. Even dog breeders and dog owners would have to keep an eye on their dog killing other animals.

I have a dog that killed frogs and skinks in the frontyard so we keep him in the back with wires. My father was worried about the latter going extinct so keeping him in the back is the way to do it. I won’t be surprised if there are dog owners and dog breeders who have dogs that can hunt on their own.

In fairness, the activists meant well but don’t have much extensive experiences with dogs other than their own and much less shown any real interest beyond poor inbred dogs and dogs in their own country. I might be in a better position because I live in a country where you have lots of mongrels and stray dogs.

Sometimes not for the better when you live in fear of diseases and getting attacked by one. Germany and the Netherlands aren’t much better either but that’s because dog poisoning is commonly reported. So you’d have to deal with that kind of animal cruelty because it’s unpredictable and commonplace.

Inevitably it’s a matter of learning anything else before jumping to conclusions and stuff.

Even mutants have a right to live

Having been influenced by breeders who dare to speak their minds out against Pedigree Dogs Exposed, I wouldn’t be surprised that there are several of them working against inbreeding and actually breeding their own dogs to dogs of other breeds. The thing is that taking care of a pet is a big responsibility even though the pet is not always outrightly unhealthy and vice versa.

Even mongrels can get sick despite not being that selectively bred for something. You’d have to take diseases like hydatidosis, toxocariasis and the like into account. They’re milder than rabies but can be critical and infectious to other animals. Likewise you have relatively healthy purebred dogs and owners who do a lot to care of them while they’re sick.

Deformed Mastiffs and sick pugs have a right to live and be taken care of. While it might sometimes be the breeders’ fault for breeding an ugly dog, some owners will still take care of it. Same thing goes for really sick dogs. True not all purebred dogs have bad conformation elsewhere and same thing goes for having a relatively larger gene pool but taking care of them is still a big responsibility.

I wouldn’t be surprised by the fact that you have breeders who do know better and will do anything to take care of their dogs, maintaining the line whilst doing something about the inbreeding. It’s not surprising that they’re the ones who’d call out the stupid activists for not knowing any better.

For instance, a Dalmatian dog is sickly and weak at times but his/her breeder and/or owner will do anything to take care of him/her. Similar things can be said of adopted stray dogs and mongrels. Not all purebred owners and breeders are irresponsible. Several of them are careful with what they’re doing.

Beware the sycophant

I can understand why nobody wants to get criticised, called out or deal with a different opinion because I’ve been through that myself though with consequences when I tried to force my perspective.

Being wiser and more willing to do research, I can say that there is still a lot of information about things even a lot of other well-intentioned people don’t know about. Sometimes that information itself isn’t in a language they can easily understand and machine translations can be faulty.

There’s a thread on Kiwifar.ms called SJW Art and Extremes which has a lot of dissenting opinions objecting to politically correct fan art gone wrong. I get why people get riled up over female objectification and stuff as well as needing diversification though it’s often done awkwardly.

They also point out that these same people do an awful lot of nitpicking though I’m guilty of the same thing too. Funny enough from my experience on Tumblr, a lot of superhero fans pick on Greg Horn, Greg Land, Igor Cordey, Michael Turner (briefly) and Rob Liefeld for crap comics art.

It’s not surprising but what could be said about JG Campbell, Jim Lee, Francis Manapul and Marcus To who too make mistakes. The latter two even worked for a cheesecake publishing house that Turner founded called Aspen Comics. They also do an awful lot of same faced characters.

The sycophants who eat it the SJW’s critiques of Rob Liefeld and Greg Land are going to be blind towards many other cartoonists who do similar things. Even Escher Girls is well-aware of it.

Sometimes you shouldn’t always agree with the yespeople on important issues, especially if you might either know better than them or have a willingness to learn something else. Perhaps that’s the problem with SJW critiques of such designs.

They meant well but don’t seem to bother learning anything else to add depth to their critiques. Sometimes they don’t bother to learn anything new at all.

I’m not a scientist nor a breeder but even I think this is bullshit

Having been to the website Ruffly Speaking, we have a breeder who disagrees a lot with the crazy activists who don’t know a lot about what they’re saying. She goes on saying that when it comes to mutant dogs, a Terrier is about as a mutant as a Bulldog is.

A Philippine mongrel is about as a mutant as a Golden Retriever is in that both of them are based on Chinese wolves. Even if the former is more wolflike, it could still be a mutant in the sense that you have an abundance of coat colours that would’ve been absent in the much older population.

One can say that a person with blonde hair, pale skin and blue eyes is a mutant because the mutation is related to albinism in that there isn’t much pigment being produced in the body and one genetic study linked blue eyes to a mild form of albinism.

Someone with red hair is a mutant due to a certain gene (usually MC1R but sometimes OCA3) that controls pigmentation and the production of the ruddy phaeomelanin. Almost all humans are mutants albeit ones without special powers and stuff.

One can get the feeling that these people aren’t around with different kinds of animals, much less do any extensive research like say German language websites on canine tapeworms and roundworms or French language websites on stray dog predation.

Ironically it’s the activists who should know better and should do more extensive research. To some sensible breeders, these people are just jumping to conclusions because they only know a few dogs from experience.

To me, they don’t even bother to actually learn something else like hydatidosis, why it’s spread from dogs and foxes and how it can pose health problems like asthma.

Sometimes they even don’t really know what’s going on in other countries. It’s not just that they haven’t been there but also didn’t do any further research which is going to turn up in languages they don’t understand.

Machine translations are the lesser sin since despite how badly translated the article is it can still give insight to such ignored subject matters and illuminate what’s really going on out there.

Know-it-alls taking the glory

Having been to dog breeder blogs before, one wouldn’t be surprised that even before the documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed showed up, there were already many breeders trying to learn from their mistakes and improving on their dogs at least in some countries.

It’s not that big of an issue elsewhere where you have lots of stray dogs but that too poses problems like predation on wild animals and livestock, infectious diseases and stuff. Having been to the Ruffly Speaking blog, the breeder herself has had bad experiences with people who raise awareness about dog welfare but surprisingly know little about dogs.

Or rather have any real experience with dogs other than their own and do the research extensively. Perhaps not all dog breeds are this endangered and stray dogs and mongrels are actually the norm. I still do have my problems with such practises but upon opening myself up to breeders that might not entirely be the case.

These activists are well-meaning but as what some breeders say, have little to no understanding of how breeding works. Sometimes I feel as if they have little knowledge of what’s going on with dogs outside of the world they’re used to.

Just as dog poisoning is a big deal in German, Swedish and Dutch speaking countries, stray dogs are a big deal in many European countries as well. Stray dogs are a big deal all around the world. It wouldn’t come as a surprise when it comes to studies done on places where dogs are first domesticated in, you’re bound to have lots of feral and stray dogs.

I’ve seen stray dogs here in the Philippines and some of my dogs are either ex-strays or descended from them. I do a lot of research on stray dog predation on livestock and wildlife every now and then though that’s more likely to come from Polish, Hebrew, French, Japanese and Italian sources from my experience.

So I find myself feeling where the breeders are even if the sentiment and experience is different. Just as breeders are frustrated over their lack of actual knowledge of dog breeds, I feel frustrated over their lack of research done on dogs not coming from Anglophone sources, much less finding out a lot of other things that have little to do with dog breeding practises.

Regardless if it’s a stray, mixed breed or purebred anything can have its ups and downs and it’s not the end of the world if you research a lot more on it and take good care of them. Even the sickest pug has the right to live.