What Brand is Your Dog?

Paperanian (Papillon X Pomeranian mix)

There is always some fad that is going around that everyone wants to be a part of or get involved in somehow. These fads can be anything from the clothes you wear to the things you eat. In the past few years, a new fad has come about, what dogs people get. Designer dogs have gotten extremely popular among the pet owning and pet breeding community. Designer dogs are dogs that are mixes between two well known breeds and given a new fancy name, such as yorkiepoo, chusky, and puggle. They are basically fancy mutts.

Sadly, people may be getting these designer dogs because they are just that, designer dogs. It’s in the name. It’s almost the same as getting a designer purse or designer shoes to some people. The public doesn’t always watch what matters, like global warming and the current political problems. They will pay more attention to which politician cheated on his wife or who was caught in an embarrassing situation. One thing most of the general public pays close attention to is celebrities. Celebrities can easily be considered tastemakers. The media always gives new information on the shining stars, but what the audiences take in from the information they get varies. Since even celebrities now own these mixes, the fad just expands. Jack Lule says,

” Historically, popular culture has been closely associated with mass media that introduce and encourage the adoption of certain trends. We can see these media as “tastemakers”—people or institutions that shape the way others think, eat, listen, drink, dress and more”.

Some people may decide to get a designer dog just because a celebrity has one. They may not consider the responsibility that having that dog would bring. Someone looking for a dog may think, ‘Oh, this so and so actor has a labradoodle; they must be a great dog. I’m going to get one of those.’ They may not look into the fact that labradoodles can be large and need plenty of exercise and space.  This tells you that the people, who get these dogs just to follow a trend, just want to fit in. They will even take such a responsibility in order to join or stay in the ‘In Crowd’.

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal and his Puggle

While the public is spending hundreds of dollars on designer dogs, there are dogs available for adoption who remain homeless.  An Article by Amanda Onion says,

“The problem with designer dogs is people might think they’re trendy — and that’s not a good reason to buy a dog,” said Susan Smith, community relations manager for the Franklin County Animal Shelter in Columbus, Ohio. “And before they put down, say $1,200 for a labradoodle or puggle, they should look first in a shelter because they can probably find the same type of dog here.” Smith says her shelter often houses mixes such as puggles, labradoodles and other unique blends of dogs. They may not carry the designer dog label, but she says the mutts are just as cute as any pooch that has been featured lately in the media.”

What she says is completely true. There is no difference between a dog at the shelter and designer dogs except that designer dogs cost hundreds more. There is nothing wrong with designer dogs, but the fact that they are requested so much that shelter dogs are rotting in shelters is true. If the public just look at shelter dogs as well when looking for a dog, or do their research about a breed so the dog they buy doesn’t end up in a shelter, there can be a difference.

Adoptable dogs lined up in cages in a shelter

Overall, designer dogs are just a fad. People want them because other people and celebrities want them. I believe the fad will last for a while, but eventually they will be seen as just another version of a dog. Sadly, this may result in many of these designer dogs being sent to shelters because their fad following owner is on to the next thing. Because of this I hope the fad lasts for a long time; at least for the sake of the designer dogs.

A yorkiepoo puppy

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Proud to Love Horror

horror monsters

Horror movies are something we all know about. Most of us have seen them, whether we wanted to or not. Horror movies are movies that deal with bringing the viewers’ nightmares and hidden fears to life. Horror movies have settled into their place in American culture, but also added a new innovation into pop culture: Horror movie fans and fanatics. They are people who have horror movies imbedded into their lives. The victims and the survivors of these films are usually very well known, but they are rarely better known then the true main character of these films; the monster. Throughout the decades one thing has never changed regarding these monsters, other then their “hobbies”. That is the fact that they all have, and always will have, a fan base. From Dracula and his fangs to Jason and his machete, there is a group of fans who love them. The main difference between these fans is the various levels in which they love their movie monster. They can range from the typical fan to a true horror movie fanatic.

Wes Craven on his film Scream and Horror movies

There is almost always a horror film playing at the local movie theater. Even if there is not, Netflix and other websites allow horror fans to watch horror films whenever they please. There is something very unique about horror movie fans. While there are people who are very passionate about things like war, gun violence, and other scary common world issues, horror movie fans are passionate about these films that are fiction created for the purpose of scaring you. This is a prime example of the public paying more attention to a topic that really has no true relevance, but is an ultimately more talked about subject. Linda Holmes mentions in her article:

 “The big picture, always, is just that: it’s a big picture. To get perspective on a huge,  world-shaking issue like climate change or war often requires a view from the sky…Writing about popular culture is more the view from the ground. It’s looking around at the people you both live with and walk past, looking at what they’re listening to and reading and thinking about, whether it’s what they ought to be thinking about or not.”

I believe this is also how people add these seemingly meaningless topics into their reservoir of conversation. It’s a good example, as Linda Holmes also talks about, of monkeys ‘eating’ something else instead of what they are supposed to be ‘eating’. This is how horror movie fans join their fandoms. We have the freedom to choose what we pick up on. Horror fans choose to watch horror films. They choose to hear others talking about horror films. Many even dress as movie monsters on Halloween. Horror movies are so well known it is impossible not to hear any mention of anything in the horror genre. Some just become good fans of horror movies, while others can even become fanatics. There are horror fanatics out there with tattoos of Freddy Krueger’s face, Jason Voorhees hockey mask, and Michael Myers action figures.

horror dolls

Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, and Freddy Krueger plush dolls

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A collection of Horror movies and merchandise.

Now, there are those who can’t see why anyone can like these ‘ghastly’ films. They can’t see how anyone who’s not crazy can enjoy so much terror. These people have chosen ‘eat’ something completely different, and that’s ok. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. In an article called “What’s wrong with horror fans”, the author says something that I believe to be an excellent statement from a true horror fan about the way they are looked at by people who may not understand, a statement I personally agree with. They say,

     “Stand up and be proud, as I know you are, that you have been able to see the merit in             Inside, the craft of Martyrs and the historical value of Dawn of the Dead (1978). Obscenity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. As long as you can reconcile the two, you’ll be on top of things. The next time someone asks you, with a conceited sneer, why you’d bother wasting your money on a DVD of The Devil’s Rejects, just remind them that you didn’t ask why they bothered to buy Fool’s Gold.”

Since we are free to choose what we all personally pick up on, there will always be someone who won’t agree. The fact that people like different things should just be accepted, and horror movie fans shouldn’t be seen as any different from someone who enjoys comedies.

Paranormal-Activity-3-Audience

A shot of the audience’s reaction during the supernatural movie “Paranormal Activity”

I don’t see horror movies coming to an abrupt end anytime soon. It is an ever growing market with plenty of loyal viewers waiting for the next addition to their collection to be released. Even if through some unseen tragedy, horror films stopped being released, Horror fans would still live on with the movies and fandoms they already have. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” came out decades ago, but there are still loyal fans that spread the world and keep it well known. The same applies for other horror franchises like “Halloween”, “Friday the 13th”, and others. Horror movies are not going anywhere. The same applies to the horror movie fans. We are not going anywhere.