Canine Racism and Filipinos
by Enzo Tacadao
I’ll take a time off from my traditional blog posts (poems and photographs) to give way to this one. Enjoy!
Are you a racist?
This is not about holocaust, racial profiling, or whatever in between; it’s about dogs – man being biased on certain types of dog breeds – mixed breeds and Aspins in particular.
We, Filipinos, love cute and adorable pet dogs, but when it comes to ‘ugly’ and ‘dirty’ dogs or Aspins, we tend to take the neglect-that-dog road. Are we really true-blue dog lovers or just pedigreed dog fanciers? Based on my observation, many Filipinos tend to be the latter – sad but at times true.
Aspin: The Filipino Dog that Filipinos Hate
Unfortunately, many Filipinos tend to give more love and affection to pedigreed dogs as opposed to mixed breeds, mongrels, mutts, or Aspins – people think they belong to the inferior race. In the dog world, I believe that there is no hierarchy (except for fidos who think that they are the alpha dogs, but still, that behavioral trait is associated with its training not because of their breed) – they do not care about their breed, color, size, or looks – all they want is care, love, and food. Simply put, they don’t give a damn: there is no superior or master race in the dog world.
Common expressions of people on pedigreed dogs:
“Wow, ang cute naman, saan mo nabili?”
“Ang cute! Anong breed?”
Common expressions of people on mutts:
“Ang cute (insert sarcastic giggle here)”
Dogs are dogs. They can be our companion, friend, family member, and protector. They do not care about how much money you have in your bank account, the way you dress, the looks of your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse, English accent, skin tone, nationality, etc. In short, as long as you love them, they will love you back – regardless of who you are.
Let’s face it, many pseudo dog lovers own pedigreed dogs just for status symbol’s sake. Some of them buy the most expensive dog ranging from Php 10,000 (approx. $238) up to Php 60,000 (approx. $1,428) just to prove that they can buy such expensive animal. However, some of them may have the time to flaunt their pets on the streets but have no time to take care of them when they get inside their homes – yaya, please clean up the dog shit. You can buy any dog breed you like whatever its price tag, but you should never look down on dogs that do not have clear pedigree.
Aspins for Adoption: Nobody Gives a Sh**
Another issue is about looking down on rescued or for-adoption dogs. Because of the canine racism mentality, many dogs in the shelters cannot find their permanent home and owner – nobody wants to adopt an Aspin. But what if a pure breed Shih Tzu, Labrador Retriever, Lhasa Apso, St. Bernard, Rottweiler, Dachshund, Beagle, Siberian Husky, Akita, or German Shepherd is up for adoption, I am sure that it will take less than a week before it gets adopted.
In the United States, many celebrities go for for-adoption pets. Some just want to build up their reputation (the antithesis of expensive dogs for status symbol purposes), while some genuinely love to help dogs. Regardless, adopting dogs from rescue centers is going into the mainstream in the U.S. because some Americans do not care about dog breeds. In the Philippines, because many of us are stuck in the canine racism mentality zone, we do not give a sh** about rescued animals.
Hate the Irresponsible Breeders, Not the Dogs
Don’t get me wrong, I love pedigreed dogs because of the fact that they were bred hundreds of years ago, that they were bred for specific purposes and of course, that they are cute. What I hate are people who treat ‘other’ dogs badly as if they are inferior to pure breed dogs. I also despise backyard breeders who break the long tradition of pedigreed dog breeding because they pollute the lineages of such canines. These breeders think that they are alchemists who can turn mixed breeds into a lucrative business. They fool people into buying their “pure breed” dogs. Fooling anyone is a universal sin – same in the dog world.
Everyone should love pure breed dogs but must never hate mixed breed canines. What would you feel if you are a Filipino living in another country and you become subjected to racial bias? Will it hurt your emotions? Of course.
So, are you racist? Are you a real dog lover or just a pedigreed dog fancier?
I love pedigreed dogs and I also love mutts. I have a Labrador-Rottweiler mix dog, Franco. He is the best dog, ever. I do not care if he is not a pure breed pooch because he loves me and protects our house.
Franco: I am kind, I can lick your face any given day.