Toy Story

Many years ago I wrote on a defunct version of this poor little blog about toy breeds:

Unlike the calm aloofness of the Sighthound, the massive dignity of the Working dog, the headstrong all-weather exuberance of the Sporting dog (“Great day for hunting! Let’s play two!”), the fierce courage of the Terrier or the intensity of the Herding dog, the typical Toy is a smug little bundle of fur, teeth and attitude, yapping at the world through the undeserved prominence of his mistress’s arms.

Well, perhaps I was a bit harsh on the little dears.  It’s not their fault that they were originally bred to attract fleas from their masters and ease the menstrual cramps of their mistresses.

Let us put the blame instead for what Toys and Toydom are on their two-legged owners.  Whereas owners of other breeds treat their dogs like dogs, Toy owners frequently treat their little charges like decerebrate children or Ming vases, oblivious to the world around them and its dangers.

Case the first.  At most shows it is prominently noted in the premium list and judging program, “no crating or grooming at ringside.”  The typical Toy exibitor somehow thinks this notice doesn’t apply to them.  Go by a ringside where Toys are being shown and the exibitors have wheeled their stacks of crates and set up their little grooming tables right in the walkway.  People complain, stern warnings are announced on the PA system:  nothing changes.

Case the second.  Last Thursday I drove out to Beaumont to set up some equipment for this weekend’s shows.  By the time my lovely bride arrived on Friday afternoon, some Toy exhibitors had set up next to us.  My lovely bride had Knight, in whose prey instinct he is truly his mother’s son, up on the grooming table.  As she was working on him, our Toy fancier was fondling and cooing to her little one as she fluffed up its coat, practially waving it around under our boy’s nose.  As a good sighthound, Knight was salivating and ready to lunge, attached to the grooming table or not.  A request to a Toy owner under these circumstances to kindly watch out and not provoke temptation usually brings some variation of the response, “Well, I hope you’ll keep him under control!”  Yes, if you’re going to do that I can, frequently at the cost of a sprained shoulder.

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