Among the many great Groucho Marx quotes: "I don't want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member." It may be a stretch, but that quote came to mind as I read about the Big News out of N.Y.C. recently: That after 140 years of sticking their purebred snouts in the air, the Westminster Kennel Club finally allowed mutts (more politically correct, mixed breed dogs) into the show.
Now before you get too excited, this is not open arms embrace of those poor, unfortunate little beasts whose mother and father are sadly also not first cousins. Rather, it's a crack in the door which allowed Heinz 57s into the agility competitions only. Best in Show is still a snoot fest.
But let's give credit where credit is due, since this is a step in the right direction. Although to be clear, it's impossible for some of us to imagine one truly Best Dog, since we all know that the Best Dog is the dog currently sleeping by the foot of each and every one of us. The gold goes to my Archie and Frieda, as it does to your Bella, Max, Lucy, Charlie, Daisy, Buddy, Lily, Jack, Molly and Cooper (according to Rover.com, btw, those are the top ten dog names for 2013).
Here's another suggestion to the Show impresarios. How about letting spayed and neutered dogs into the ring, which is currently prohibited? Let's be honest. If you want to see a group of dogs who really need the surgery but aren't getting it, just look at some of those purebreds so manipulated by selective breeding that females can't even give birth, and pups need to be taken by caesarian.
(P.S. My all-time favorite Grouch Marx quote, unrelated to any of the above but always worth sharing: "Outside a dog, man's best friend is a book. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read.")