At Slate, John Swansburg admires the "accidental poetry" of the American Kennel Club's breed standards:

"The dachsund's supporters seem...eager to dispel the notion that the low-slung dogs are merely accessories of Park Avenue doyennes. The ideal dachshund, we're told, is "courageous to the point of rashness." Judges are also given this stern reminder: "Inasmuch as the Dachshund is a hunting dog, scars from honorable wounds shall not be considered a fault." Scars acquired while trying to shimmy out of a hot-dog costume are not considered honorable."

Funny. As Mr Swansburg points out, there must be a certain amount of politics in the process, and I wonder how this trickles down to affect the average dog owner. It's fine to be euphemistic about a Jack Russell terrier--"Their intensity for life is one of their most endearing traits"--but it seems a little disingenuous not to mention that those things yap like news anchors.

On another level, though, this is a testament to the fact that the creative instinct is irrepressible. This reminds me of Nora Ephron's 1976 essay on Gourmet magazine:

"I look at [the "You Asked For It" section] for two reasons: first, on the chance that someone has written in for the recipe for the tarte Tatin at Maxwell's Plum in New York, which I would like to know how to make, and second, for the puns. "Here is the scoop du jour," goes the introduction to peach ice cream Jordan Pond House. "We'd be berry happy," Gourmet writes in the course of delivering a recipe for blueberry blintzes. ""Rather than waffling about, here is a recipe for chocolate waffles." "To satisfy your yen for tempura, here is Hibachi's shrimp tempura." I could go on, but I won't; I do want to mention, though, that the person who writes these also seems to write the headlines on the "Sugar adn Spice" column--at least I think I detect the same fine hand in such headlines as "Curry Favor," "The Berry Best," and "Something Fishy.""

It's like Dr Malcolm says: life finds a way. For more on dachsunds, see The Economist.
 



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