Saturday, March 22, 2008

Freedom Fries with that?

When the Americans decided they weren't going to like the French any more they renamed French Fries Freedom Fries. Everyone had a good laugh at that. Except the Americans, that is. Some of them clearly think that tactics which worked in Junior High are going to work against sovereign nations. Anyway, amongst those having a good laugh were the British.

So here's a story. Once upon a time, there was a breed of dog called the German Shepherd. It was very popular in Britain – and remains popular to this day. But you won't find many people there who would call one a German Shepherd. In England, the breed was renamed the Alsatian.

The British did not want a dog with the word "German" in its name after World War I.

In 1919, when the English Kennel Club gave the breed a separate register, some 54 animals were included, but by 1926 the ranks had swelled to 8,058, such was the unprecedented success of the dog. At the end of the War it was thought that the breed would not flourish were the word German to appear in its name and it was therefore decided to call the breed the Alsatian Wolf Dog after the German-French border area of Alsace-Lorraine.

Dog breeders seem to have quite a few little peculiarities. The Nazis, for instance, did not like White German Shepherds, and had them removed from the register. The white dogs, they argued, were weaker. The Nazis, including Hitler, saw the white coat as an undesirable trait, and further assumed that the white coated dogs' genes paled the darker coated dogs' colors. With little knowledge of science, they blamed the whites for many diseases as well. Germany soon barred white German Shepherds from the conformation ring and the breeding pool. America, always happy to do a bit of Eugenics whenever they get a chance, followed suit.


Janel said...

Oh funny, I never knew what those dogs were! I've always liked those white classical-shaped dogs but I thought German Shepherds had only brown and tan markings. They have to have brown and tan markings like cop cars have to be black and white.
Now I'm saving all the pictures... how very pretty they are!

Janel said...

Hey baby, it comes full circle. I clicked where you said to and ended up with this:


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