Do I really have to go into more detail?
Okay. I’ll try.
I don’t have anything against poodles, and really, I should probably be mounting a defence of curly hair here (my own hair doubles in length when straightened, it’s only happened a couple of times, and it’s pretty much reasserted the curl within an hour or two, so it’s not really worth the effort) but the fact is that poodles are silly animals.
Let me correct that, poodles have been made into silly animals. Mostly (if not entirely) by silly humans.
The ridiculousness that is poodleness is not going to be solved through MORE hair adaptations. The problem is the haircuts. The problem is that its an animal better known for it’s slightly creepy human modified form than its conventional form, is likely to have a reputation for ridiculousness.
I love dogs, but I don’t for the life of me understand the people who spend their lives dressing up and customising their dogs.
I want to say ‘pimp their dogs’ but really don’t want to go to far in the implications of that.
Anyway, I’ve just had a look at the relevant wikipedia page, and as often happens, research is changing my mind.
For a start, 17th century etchings reveal that actually there did appear to once be a poodle with straight hair.
So that’s my thesis screwed up and the question answered in both directions. Once with evidence, once with prejudice against dog show people.
Seriously though. Poodles unmodified look pretty cool, and are apparently the second cleverest dog breed.
So why is our first instinct when thinking about these smart little furballs to think of primped, sculpted, poofy molecular diagrammatic monstrosities? Balls of fur interconnected by nude doggy flesh.
It does make me a little mad, actually. In case it wasn’t clear.
I’m not quite sure where the lines should be drawn when talking about keeping pets. To be honest, it makes me feel uncomfortable. Adapting an organism to living with you because you’re lonely. Is that okay? My ethics on animal rights are pretty befuddled to be honest.
And I love the dogs I know, and know their owners respect them and treat them well. And y’know, there’s a kind of love (pack instinct) expressed between dog and owner.
I feel much less comfortable about caged animals, and definitely don’t like zoos (though the conservation aims are somewhat noble….unless they are a gross arrogance of trying to interfere with a world that isn’t ours to mess with).
But either way. As soon as an animal becomes a fashion accessory. Something to be styled and trimmed and contorted into a particular conception of beauty, because that’s what some subsection of society says is attractive?
Well. I don’t like the same thing in humans, who are capable of expressing their feelings more accurately (for the most part). Why would I think it’s okay to treat dogs like that?
Illustrated by Rufus.