Friday, April 15, 2011

Le Grand Coeur Galoot

There is, as you may know, a lot of chatter about pitbulls:  how they are dangerous, how they make great family pets, how there no such breed as pitbull, how they are a clearly identifiable set of physical characteristics linked to aggressive behavior, how long do I need to keep this up before you get the picture. 

I am rather ambivalent on the whole thing.  I know lots of lovely pitbulls (there, I said it) & for each one I have met one whose owner got it BECAUSE he/she hoped it would be aggressive.  I think maybe it is just possible that all this profiling has made pitbulls (said it again) ATTRACTIVE to people who want to look badass.  The upshot is that the laws that are passed are challenged left & right (that's your tax money defending it people) & heartbreaking &/or unenforceable even where they are not challenged.

So I have decide to take another road, not a higher road, but certainly one less traveled.  When asked if my flat-headed, under-slung-jawed spaz is a pitbull, I react with horror.  No of course not, he is a Grand Coeur Galoot. I have even toyed with the idea of doctoring papers (from L'Académie de Chien?  The Óstlann Gadhar-dhiúité? The sky is the limit, really).  The reactions are mixed:  "Oh, he looks like a pitbull, but he's so friendly" is the most frequent,  my vet & his tech laughed out loud, & my personal favorite "what's wrong with a good old american dog?  Why do you people always get some fancy french thing?"  Actually that last one was paraphrased; I took out at least one Gawd dammmm.  

As it happens our boy did not get as big as we thought he would & when standing next to a male *ahem* pitbull of the same age he looks kind of puny.  So we have revised it:  Petit Grand Coeur Galoot.

This breed renaming thing did not start here for us: this little girl on the right (your right, my left) is not a dachshund mix (dachshunds being the biting-est breed there is, just look at that other killer in the picture,  No, not me, although I was quite the biter as a child) or even a chihuahua mix.  She is Schnitzel de Hua Hua (prounonced Vah Vah).  & my brother has a Wall-eyed Dingo...OKay, it's not his dog it's just visiting...for two years & counting.

While I didn't tell you that bit to tell you this one, it seems like as good a time as any.  You know the show The Big Bang Theory?  I L*O*V*E it.  Love it love it love it.  The first time A saw it he was irritated.  Why do people make fun of physicists, why is it OKay to make fun of physicists, there has never been a more stereotyped group than physicists.  He said this to me, his wife, an actual natural born blonde.  I pointed out all the implied dumb blonde jokes in the same episode & oh by the way, get over yourself, which to his credit he did.

My final point is to all the people wringing their hands over unfair canine stereotypes, there is a small ungenerous part of me that wants to say "tell it to a french poodle".  Yea, I know there are no laws saying poodles must be shot on sight, but when you start tracking the breeds of the dogs coming into vet clinics because some one kicked them, threw them out a window, tried to microwave them, etc. miniature poodles are winning.  Or losing.


  1. We have a pale gold dog which we refer to as our generic dog. When we walk her with the Poodles everyone asks us what kind of dog she is. When we say "mutt" they are so disappointed. So we say Miniature Albanian Wolfhound and they are so happy to have seen a rare dog.

  2. My neighbor has a pair of dogs of a breed I had never heard before. Now I am wondering if he made it up.