From the Editor

Pure Preference

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I often find myself defending the purebred-dog fancy. At times, friends or acquaintances infer (not so subtly) that purebred aficionados are snobs. When I gush about recent trips to dog shows, they ask, “Why do people breed dogs when there are so many in shelters that need homes?” Then they usually launch into the tired “purebred dogs are deformed and inbred” tirade.

Don’t get me wrong. I love mixed-breed dogs. In my eyes, every dog is special, no matter its heritage. I’ve volunteered with rescue groups and steered many people toward shelter dogs. But when I’m ready for my next dog, I will be buying a purebred from a responsible breeder or adopting one from a breed rescue.

Purebred dogs are living, breathing history. Our breeds are works of art, carefully sculpted by the dedication and devotion of breeders over the course of hundreds, or in some cases, even thousands of years.

It’s incredible to think that the breeds that were developed long ago to work in specific ways continue to do these jobs today. Even dogs that live as companions can’t deny that instinct coursing through their veins. When you watch a herding breed encounter a flock of sheep for the first time and see a fire ignite in its eyes, it sends shivers down your spine.

If some people think I’m a snob for adoring purebreds, so be it. I’ll always defend the fancy, and hopefully gain a few converts along the way.

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