Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Some People Have Too Much Money and Too Much Time on Their Hands

The details of this story from yesterday's Star Tribune (Show Dog Neutered, Sparking Legal Fight) are so stupid, it's hard for me to type them. Let's see if I can put them as neutrally as possible.

A married couple of doctors purchased a bichon frisé dog, nicknamed Beau, from a breeder in 2009.


Beau won several competitions. This meant he would be valued as a stud dog once he retired from competition at age 4, up to the age of 10. (His services cost $2,000-3,000, and he can "work" a couple of times a year for five or six years, so we're talking about maybe $30,000.)

But instead his breeder had him neutered in 2013 without the owners' permission, possibly to get even with them because the couple tried to breed Beau to a dog the breeder hadn't approved.

So far it sounds like a fairly straightforward, if petty, case. The part where I got off the rails was this quote from one half of the owner couple:

“After hearing about the neutering, and I’m not overstating things at all, Mary literally cried and stayed in bed for three weeks,” said John Wangsness, whose wife never fully regained her enjoyment of life before she died this past March. “She never bounced back.”
So basically this guy is blaming the neutering for his wife's death. The breeder, on the other hand, claims Beau was in bad physical condition when she got possession of him in 2013, and he was in no condition to do stud service. Why that meant he should be neutered, she doesn't say, according to the story.

Mary Wangsness, now deceased, got interested in showing dogs relatively recently. Her main interest before 2009 had been riding thoroughbred horses in hunter-jumper shows. So the switch from showing one kind of animal to another wasn't much of a leap (pun intended).

Topping off my inclination to dislike the Wangsnesses and their extravagant lifestyle is the fact that they live in North Oaks, my least favorite Twin Cities suburb.

I know I'm not the biggest animal lover... or at least, I'm not a lover of animals kept as pets in this culture, especially given all the money that's spent on them when many people go without. Add one to the list of things that would not be part of my ideal world: dog shows and dog breeders.

3 comments:

Michael Leddy said...

Any man or woman's death diminishes me, as John Donne almost said, but still, this story sounds like something from Best in Show. Sheesh.

Marsha Micek said...

Think we should take a step back on this one. Yeah, people get too caught up in trivial things but not to the extent of all that crying. Sounds like clinical depression--although I'm not a psychiatrist, nor do I play one on TV. People who suffer from this disease don't have control over their triggers: could be the death of a loved one or too much salt in the soup...just sayin'.

Daughter Number Three said...

You're both right that I am being harsh about this. Depression may well have been part of this woman's inability to bounce back from her preexisting illness. I think it's the husband's lawsuit based on this premise, more than the facts of the case that get me.