"A puppy boom is on its way," the Wall Street Journal reports: U.S. breeders of Barbets (impossibly adorable and plush-looking French water dogs) are trying to get their dogs to have more puppies so that the Barbet can be included as a breed in the prestigious American Kennel Club and thus get a chance to win an esteemed Westminster Kennel Club dog show title. But since there are only 88 Barbets in the United States — and only 61 with pedigrees going back three generations — it could take five years just to reach the "miscellaneous" category and then even more time to get into one of the club's seven groups. And that simply will not do for the somewhat snooty Barbet proponents.
"People come up to my dog and say, 'Oh, is that a doodle?' And I just want to die," Dr. Newkirk, the owner of two "wickedly smart" Barbets and president of the United Barbet Club, told the paper. Mmm, yes, I think everyone here can definitely relate to that not-at-all dramatic sentiment.
The breeding process seems complicated, expensive, and kind of creepy:
Claire's owner, Judy Descutner of Hickory, Pa., had thoughts of flying her prized two-year-old canine to Switzerland for a tryst with a potential paterfamilias. But she decided against doing so after sniffing out the logistics.
It seemed like a very difficult way to get a dog pregnant," Mrs. Descutner said. "So I decided to pursue frozen semen."
She said dogmatic European breeders are "very leery" of artificial insemination for dogs. While common to horse breeding, it is still unusual for canines. She finally convinced her Swiss counterparts to do it-at an estimated cost of $5,500 for the semen, transportation, a five-minute insemination procedure, veterinary care for mother and puppies and a fee per puppy for the stud's owner.
"Breeding dogs is not a moneymaking thing," Mrs. Descutner said.
No, one does not breed Barbets for the money. One breeds them for the honor. But everyone who's seen Best in Show already knows these people are kind of crazy, so who cares: Barbets are sooooo cute. They're like Portuguese water dogs mixed with teddy bears mixed with dhakjdhjsakdhakldhsa. (That's the sound I make when I look at photos of cute animals, especially on Friday afternoons).
So even though their human parents sound super obnoxious ("Oh my gosh no, no, no," said Mrs. Descutner when asked if she wanted the Barbet to be America's next "it" dog), a world with more Barbets sounds like a world I want to be a part of.