Hey there fellow Dogsters! Jake here. I convinced Maria to let me take the keyboard for a bit today, because I am rather horrified by an event that happened yesterday at the beach. A rather plump but handsome Bernese mountain dog came up to me and started trying to – well, to put it politely – trying to make babies with me. I hate it when that happens.
As I was standing there thinking about how to get out of this embarrassing situation, the dog’s man ran up and was calling for his dog to stop. He also asked Maria the following question. “Is your dog de-sexed?”
She said, “Not at the moment, apparently,” as she tried to entice me to move away from my suitor. The guy replied, in an unusual accent, “Once de-sexed, always de-sexed, I always thought!” and laughed. He sounded like the guy from the movie Crocodile Dundee, which my younger girl had watched recently with a friend.
He pried his dog off of me, and said his dog seems to like to do this with de-sexed Labs. I could tell by Maria’s expression that she had to think about what he meant. She smiled politely and moved on.
As she was hunting around for posts for the blog last night, she found an article entitled, Swamped SPCA urges more action on de-sexing dogs. She said, “What a coincidence,” and went on to tell Craig about the beach incident.
It turns out that “de-sexed” is just another way of saying your pet has been neutered or spayed. It’s used mostly in Australia and New Zealand. Our wonderful Dogster friends down there already know this very well. I suppose it’s a one-size-fits-all approach. You can use it for male or female pets. It’s kind of like when people say “Is your dog fixed?” But that term is also a bit strange, since most of us were never broken in the first place. And don’t even get me started about the term “sterilized.” Please! I am not an autoclave.
When you really look at the words we use in most other English-speaking parts of the world, the terms “spay” and “neuter” are also kind of weird.
“Spay”? What kind of word is that? An online dictionary says it’s originally from the Anglo-French word meaning “to cut with a sword.” Oh boy, that’s a great image. How on earth did it come to mean “to take out the ovaries of a dog or cat”? I don’t really want to think about it.
And “neuter”? That means neither masculine nor feminine. And just because I have had certain parts surgically removed does not mean I am not masculine! I am by no means neutral. I may wear collars with a flowery design, but it’s no fault of my own. I am about as “boy” as it gets. Most people see me and say “What a cute boy!” The 20 percent who say, “She’s so pretty!” are not worth mentioning
Dogsters, I am curious what you think of these terms. Should there be a better word? I’m sure your dogs think so. (If you want to let your dog have a go at the keyboard, you might learn something.)