“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
There's a reason my cutie pie dog comes with a quote like that. She's been the unwanted underdog since she was about 5 weeks old when the breeder realized she was going to be short haired havanese (aka shavanese) instead of a long curly haired one. You really don't see many of these pups. When people are out there looking to buy a havanese, they want the quintessential one, not the near-miss. I surfed around on some havanese forums when we first got our pups and it seemed like all the breed purists were complaining about the short haired and how they should not be sold because they aren't breed standard; they shed, they smell, their short hair is a genetic mutation and therefore who knows what else might be genetically wrong them. Seriously? I've been raising two of these dogs side by side, one the breed standard and the other not. Those snobs need to be set straight, and who better than I to do that for them? If they were to ask me (and they wouldn't think of it because their snobbiness has blinded them into thinking that they know better than anyone else, ahem!) I would tell them that the long shaggy breed standard actually smells more because--guess what!!!--poopy bits tend to stick to long fur. When it's been raining outside and they both coming running in from the outside, the short hair is slick and easy to wipe down with a towel, while the long haired one is a little more work and her fur is a magnet for dirt, burrs, twigs, you name it. Long hair needs daily brushing or it will mat. Short hair doesn't really need brushing and is a breeze to take care of in comparison. I'm still waiting for her to shed, but I haven't seen it yet. When/if it happens, I doubt it will be a big issue, after all, how much fur is a 9 pound dog going to shed anyway? Personality-wise, they are both intelligent, fun-loving dogs that love a good snuggle. Need I go on?
As I write this I'm drawing all kinds of parallels in my mind between snobby folks in the dog world and snobby folks in the people world. Why are some people so exclusive? Why so judgemental? Why so insistent on forcing others to fit into some predetermined mold? This little underdog is my reminder that we are born who we are and need to be the best we can be. That is all.