I ran into an old friend recently, and as always the conversation quickly turned to animals. She was concerned about the prevalence of “all these designer breeds.”
Her neighborhood, it seems, has been inundated with all sorts of “doodles,” a common name for multiple breeds mixed with poodles. The most common are the labradoodles and the cockapoos, which have been around since the 1950s and 1960s but have become extremely popular over the past few decades. Now we have maltipoos, schnoodles, yorkipoos, pomapoos, bernadoodles and bassetoodles ... just to name a few.
Last week, an animal control officer from Salem County brought in a dog we call “Rosie” that is known as a “toadline bulldog.”
Rosie has been overbred; it is obvious that she has had many litters. She came in emaciated and in heat. She was suffering earmites, entropion, conjunctivitis, ocular and nasal discharge as well as poor mobility. We had her treated by the vet, cleaned up and placed into a foster home within a few hours of her arrival where she can be tended to and loved until she can move on.
I will be the first one to admit that I love the diversity and the beauty of purebred dogs. I am fascinated by the particular talents and character traits specific to certain breeds. I love the richness of a full coat, the muscular magnificence of the working and sporting dogs, the keen intelligence of some dogs and the adorable goofiness of others. People will always want dogs. Right, wrong or indifferent, there will always be a market for them.
The question is, where do we draw the line at what we think is aesthetically pleasing and what happens when that desire flies in the face of the health and well-being of the breed? In the case of Rosie and the rest of the “toadline,” there oughta be a law.