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News Flash! Dog Praised For Doing Its Job!

BY AMY FERNANDEZ

The big news regarding purebred dogs this week was the video footage of Storm, a six year-old Golden Retriever, intently hauling a hapless fawn out of Long Island Sound. Exactly how it got into this perilous situation remains speculative, but animal lovers being what they are; Bambi was not going down for the count. And what happened next has racked up 5.2 million Facebook hits since Sunday. While frantic 911 calls were underway, Storm snapped into action, and phones in hand, the whole thing was on the record as he plodded in there, got ahold of the thing, and dragged it to shore. His incredulous owner, suddenly experiencing his fifteen minutes of fame, had no explanation for the heroics admitting that the dog normally won’t even retrieve tennis balls. How’s this for a feel good, positive story about a purebred?

There’s two ways of looking at this. In one sense, it’s undeniably discouraging to realize that the dog owning public has lost any grasp of the concept of breed function, especially when it comes to a breed that continually ranks among America’s favorites. On the other hand, it’s very encouraging to see that at least dogs haven’t totally lost the plot. Okay, it wasn’t a 20 pound cod and maybe those ancient water retriever instincts are a bit rusty, but when it mattered those dormant brain cells snapped into action. Once he managed to drag it to shore, the “concerned public” immediately frightened it sufficiently to prompt the fawn’s re-launch into the water. Tired but willing, Storm went after it again. To make a long story short, everyone is fine.

Social media never sleeps and “experts” around the globe are scrutinizing every second of that footage to determine the true motives and intentions for Storm’s unexpected response. This scrutiny has gone overboard to the point where his owner has been put on the defensive while reassuring everyone that he really is a gentle dog and wasn’t looking to make lunch out of Bambi. Come on folks, it’s a dog at the beach, not CSI. But that certainly highlights that generalized anthropomorphism has become the overriding theme guiding public perceptions of the canine species.

We won’t delve into the myriad social and ideological factors at the root of that weirdness, but the resulting groupthink has steadily severed that crucial link between canine form and function. And that, as we know (or should know), is the validating principle of purebred development so there’s a pretty strong case to be made for acknowledging and maintaining those instinctive working drives. Those instincts are also a primary reason for several intractable behavior issues that keep the training business humming. That’s another debate we won’t get into here.

But let’s face it at this point purebreds need all the positive publicity they can get. And it can’t always be about rescuing Timmy from the well. So maybe we should keep this momentum going. Think about it. “Dalmatian Follows Fire Truck”, “Husky Pulls Sled”, “Mastiff Confronts Intruder”, “Pointer Finds Bird Under Bush”. The possibilities are endless.

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=129336

Posted by on Jul 20 2017. Filed under Breaking News, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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