NPR has been talking about race and the election with a group of people in York, Pennsylvania. Has anyone been listening to this series? Great stuff.
Today they mentioned Obama’s dog situation, in light of his now-famous mutt like me comment in his first press conference as President-elect. Various voters (of varying racial groups) noted the humor inherent in his calling himself a mutt.
While I appreciate the President-Elect’s sense of humor on the subject, it got me thinking about whether I’d consider the term “mutt” derogatory, especially considering the recent activity on my posting on race. Race is complicated, racial identity even more so, but I have a hard time separating the negative connotation of the word “mutt” from the word itself. I’d have a really hard time hearing it used in the context of my kids. Is it better, somehow, if we’re using the term for ourselves?
Mutts are great. They’re the ones with character, the ones you can’t bear to leave behind in the animal shelter. They’re the pets you remember long after they’re gone, the ones that movies are made about.
My brother just bought a “Puggle”. Super-cute as puppies (aren’t they all?) but less so, IMHO, as dogs. This is his second dog, after a purebred Boxer. My sister has a Cairn terrier (think Toto from the Wizard of Oz) that’s also pedigreed. Both dogs are great, but I’m looking forward to seeing how the Puggle measures up.
Our daycare provided breeds Pomeranians, the kind I’m always afraid I’ll step on and break. She is charging between $2000 and $5000 for hers. For a DOG- something that can be easily vacuumed up if one’s not paying attention.
And how lovely of Peru to offer a hairless one to the Obamas, even if it does look like a Nair commercial gone wrong. Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder…
And to some extent, we’re all mutts. None of us can claim purebred status, except maybe the British royals. Is being purebred a thing of beauty? Perhaps for dogs, though it’s debatable for some.