Some of the things I've posted have put me in some peoples' minds as an apologist for BYBs, which isn't really my position. Thinking about it has reminded me of some images I've grown up with and lived with, though, and I wonder about the effect of the media on how people feel about breeding their pets.
Once in awhile on the Vet Emergency or Animal Cops shows it doesn’t end happily for the dogs, but it usually seems to even there, after some requisite suspense.
How many movie and TV litters are in our minds when we decide for the first time whether to spay or breed? Lady and the Tramp had puppies, so did Beethoven’s girlfriend. Lassie had a litter from time to time. So did Barbara Bush’s spaniel Millie. In Babe, when Fly and Rex’s litter was old enough (why didn’t they find a stud from another breeder?) they put out a “Puppies For Sale” sign out in front of the house and sold out quickly. A litter that included a strong-minded yellow puppy was the upbeat ending in “Ol’ Yeller.” Jed Clampett’s hound sired a litter of mixes on the poodle next door. Turner and Hooch…didn’t Hooch impregnate his vet’s collie? Notions that would follow from this are not idiocy; they’re a legacy of popular culture. When people see footage on “60 Minutes” of conditions at puppy mills, the scenes mentioned above would seem to portray a sane, humane, entirely positive alternative.
Treating would-be breeders like lower forms of life that need their spelling and grammar mocked, that blows off some steam but I’m not sure it does much else. It’s slower, and maybe frustrating, to just deal with people like fellow human beings who presumably love their pets, want what’s best for them, and don’t have all the information they need. Most owners will never feel like stakeholders in the welfare of the breed itself, but are fierce champions for their own dogs. When I talk to someone in face-to-face life, I totally sidestep any “your pet would be laughed out of a dog show” angle and stick to “here’s what the hazards are, and here’s what it might end up costing you.” When people do that here online, it might not go over so well with the person they’re posting to, but it can be helpful for other people to read who are on the fence and haven’t thought it through.
***Edited By: JoanEK on 12/21/2006 1:23:13 PM*** Reason: add
Thanks Wallysworld. I guess there was that one episode on The Simpsons where they were overwhelmed by their huge litter of puppies and Marge asked Homer something like, "Are you just putting more newspaper on top of the dirty newspaper?"
But most of the plot was trying to rescue the puppies after they'd been stolen by evil Mr. Burns for their fur. They all grow up to be champion racing dogs and make millions (for Burns!), which doesn't exactly make breeding look like a terrible idea.
***Edited By: JoanEK on 12/20/2006 3:54:53 PM*** Reason: changed sentence
The only movie I can think of that showed some of the heart ache of having a litter would be The Retrievers.
In the movie this family finds a golden and she has puppies. The father makes the kids give the pups away, but then say the can have the pups. So the they go to all the people they gave a pup to to get it back. But one had been run over, by a careless owner, and another almost died.
For the most part movie are to make you feel better, so it will alway have some type of happy ending
The Retrievers sounds like an interesting movie. It's hard to imagine Spielberg killing off a canine heroine due to whelping complications, to be sure. But if someone did, it wouldn't have to be the movie's ending, it could be a subplot in a movie that was basically about something else. Women in childbirth get killed off all the time in movies, but somehow never dogs...
There was a movie i saw called Mircle Dogs. well the kid finds a dog that there dad acidently hit. he found out she had puppies and then found the pups. he had to find all the puppies homes before the pound put them to sleep. that would make me not want to breed it shows the truth.
Wow, Air Bud. There's so much better drama in the things actual dogs go through. Wouldn't a puppy broker be an excellent creepy character -- a Steve Buscemi part maybe -- for the hero to overcome. Maybe he could also be trafficking in black-market human organs.
The thing that got me in turner and hooch is that all the pups but one are purebred collies and one is a dogue puppy, like yep that is how the cross would happen. Homeward Bound 2 also shows a bunch of homeless dogs living on the street. The two irish setters in big red that run off and have pups in a cave made me want to have puppies when I was a kids though. Thankfully my parents had the sence to not allow that to happen. the only litter we had was from a stray that adopted us and was pregnant at the time. My mom was going to take her in to be spayed, but the vet didnt come to town that week, and she was too far along to have it done the next time he came to town...and one of the pups from that litter was still born.
Oh and how could we forget 101 dalmations, Disney couldnt be more deluded about breeding.
***Edited By: ruffian on 12/20/2006 10:49:02 PM*** Reason: add
Not a movie, but a little over a year ago I adopted three mutt sisters and joined this site quickly afterwards.
Ar first I got a LOT of rude comments and grilled by the 20-questioners but I didn't leave and instead asked real questions, got real answers and lived to tell the tale of crate/puppy training three 8 week old pup sisters.
I think some people on here are more afraid of multiple pups/litters because it often ends badly, pups on the street and in the shelter. Also, sometimes people project their fears and shortcomings onto other's.....one person in particular really gave me her opinion up and down from here till tuesday, but in the end she was just worried that I'd be overwhelmed and give up. Sometimes I think that opposition partly helped be get through their obnoxious stages!! =]
If breeding...raising pups...and animal care was easy everyone would be doing it. Then we'd have no dog walkers, vets, breeders, shelters...etc
I honestly haven't watched any of these movies in a real long time, and some I've never seen or heard of. But, if I recall, Beethoven's second did not seem like all fun and games for the owners. What'd they have? Like 14 HUGE puppies terrorizing their home?
Turner & Hooch? Same thing. Did you see what just one dog that size did to his car seat? His shoes? His entire house?
Oh, and by the way, that's HOLLYWOOD! Not the real world!
<<Oh, and by the way, that's HOLLYWOOD! Not the real world!>>
Good point Heather. It's easy to get swept up by drama, but I don't see that anyone here was confused by the difference. In fact, posters are pointing out how ridiculous some of the plotlines are. The part of Turner and Hooch that had me sputtering was the feel-good ending of the mixed-breed litter. Like a vet wouldn't have had her own large pet dog spayed, and like the puppies would come out looking like purebred collies and dogue. The movies go for the easy comedy of seeing the dogs wreck the house, then turn around for the suspense of rescuing the litter from whatever villain has made off with it. In Holly-world, litter snatching is apparently a major hazard. They never go for the drama of the whelping itself ending tragically.
There's something about movies though. They can insinuate themselves into my dream life, for example, in a way that even really vivid books hardly ever do. Movies can associate stuff with happiness and resolution, and if that weren't the case, movie product placement wouldn't be the industry that it is. As if they can bypass the brain and go directly for the gut. And it all goes triple for influencing kids. Some disturbing little remnant from my kid years is still hoping to run into the leprechauns from Darby O'Gill and the Little People.
When I started the thread, I was concerned people would think I was saying we're not responsible for the choices we make. Of course we are, but I for one can also be jerked around by image-makers. And if I watch a movie all tensed up and on guard against being emotionally manipulated, that's just no fun at all.
***Edited By: JoanEK on 12/21/2006 1:38:45 PM*** Reason: add
Heather, thanks for rereading. I do get wordy sometimes, but you hung in there to get the point.
Michelle, what darling little sisters you took on! Maybe with smaller dogs it's not as much of a risk to raise more than one at a time. Can you walk all three at once? I've walked two Labs at once, but it wasn't pretty.