All dogs are created equal

It would be nice if we lived in a color-blind society, wouldn’t it? Not only would people benefit, so wouldBlackdog
certain animals. Apparently there’s something called "black dog syndrome" and it’s affecting an animal shelter in Alberta, Canada.

An inherent bias against dogs that are black makes it much harder to
find them new homes, the executive director of Cold Lake’s humane
society said.

Twenty-two of the 30 dogs at the Lakeland Humane Society are victims of what Angie Feduniak calls "black dog syndrome."

"The way animals are portrayed in movies and TV, and stuff like that, the bad dogs are the black dogs," Feduniak said. [Link]

She’s right — it’s always black dogs that are snarling and leaving teeth marks on someone’s butt. What we need are some positive roles for black dogs. We need to get Hollywood to cast black dogs as guide dogs, sheepdogs and police dogs. We need to get Oprah to kiss black dogs on her show. And we need to get Elmo to say something like, "My best friend is a black dog."

Black dogs are also considered too common, she told CBC News this week. [Link]

Too common? That’s like saying, "I’m not going to marry an Indian man. They’re too common. Nope, I’m going to marry a guy from Greenland. There are only 20,000 of them."

Nor do black dogs take a good picture, she said. To make them look more
appealing, she places them against light-coloured backdrops, or spruces
them up with distinctive blankets or coloured bandanas before
photographing them. [Link]

I’m dark-skinned, so I don’t take a good picture either. In group photos, I’m usually the set of teeth in the back row. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t make a good pet. I would. I can lick your feet as well as anyone.

"I just wish that people would spend more time seeing the personality
because I think if they did, they would realize, many times, black dogs
are amazing animals," Feduniak said. [Link]

Yes, we are. I mean, yes, they are.

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If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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