Today, I heard something about myself. This was news to me, because last time I checked (about five minutes ago) it wasn’t true. This person knew it, though, because three and a half months ago I talked on Facebook about something totally different.
The assumptions involved were TOTALLY WRONG. But, more to the point, it’s an example of how genuinely freakazoid the online dog world has become.
Over the past few months, I’ve watched people be torn to shreds online for 1) using a choke collar, 2) breeding a long-haired variant on a breed, 3) inbreeding, 4) not inbreeding tightly enough, 5) stacking puppies on a piece of wood, and 6) sitting down outside a show ring. That’s the tip of the iceberg. Harmless, normal stuff that posters and bloggers talk about proudly … until they get their arm torn off. It’s gotten out of control and very scary. News or pieces of information, or brags and pictures, or blog posts and stories that we think are joyful announcements of good fortune are seized upon as opportunities to attack, whether directly (you’re doing something I don’t like) or indirectly (in the background of that picture I see that there’s a new car, so now I know you’ve got money – I don’t care how hysterically you protest that it’s not your car; send me a photocopy of your registration so I know you’re not lying). And people actually do that – they are so horrified or shocked or scared that their reputation is at risk that they DO go photocopy the registration, even though the right response would be to tell the bully to go sit down hard on a sharp stick.
I have never seen it this bad, in all my years in the online dog world, and I am honestly super, SUPER creeped out. I want to protect my kids, my friends, and my puppy buyers from something that they’re not prepared for and have no ammunition against.
Until Doug and I have had time to discuss things, any posts mentioning my children have been removed from this blog. I know how much many of you love them, and I hope to release many of the posts back into the wild, but I won’t do it before their father and I have hashed some of these issues out.
I will also (and this is a permanent change) no longer be announcing breedings on this blog or on Facebook. The people who really DO need to know what’s going on and see baby pictures are the puppy buyers, and they will still get plenty. And they’ll be protected from the crap that has nothing to do with them or their beautiful babies.
I am praying this kind of stuff calms down soon. Meanwhile, I’m not going to stop posting the issues-based stuff even if the cute stories may stop for a little while – and I’m going to practice telling people to sit down hard on sharp sticks.
UPDATE January 2013: After much discussion, the posts involving the family and kids are back up. We are going to try to remember that the only people who are being hurt by being mean are those people – not my kids. I am going to continue the policy of not announcing breedings before there are puppies actually here, and for some (most?) litters won’t announce them until all the puppies are gone, giving new owners the privacy and joy they deserve.