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I love this ad for Spratt's Dog Cakes (the beginning of modern dog food and the product sold by Charles Cruft), not for the picture but for the dog-dealer text:
"I enclose for you a photo of 'STIPENDIARY," the King of Terriers, whom I feed entirely on your biscuits. When I tell you he has sired upwards of £20,000 worth of Terriers, you may understand that he is quite the father of his people."
For the record, S.J. Stephens was one of those people who figured he could buy his way to a good kennel.
Work a dog? Know what he was buying or why? There was none of that with Stephens. He simply bought what was winning at the shows, and at one point sent a blank check (by messenger) with the instruction: "Fill in any amount, and it will be fine."
And what did Stephens get out of it?
The same thing people get today for doing exactly the same thing: quick and ready fame, on the cheap, and without any real work or expertise.
For the cost of a decent sailboat, a complete ignorant and fool can buy a kennel of top dogs, and for a few score thousand dollars more he can have a paid handler trot those dogs around the ring while he takes a bow in the press.
Is this done? All the time!
- Related Links:
** A Brief History of Dog Food
** Dog Food Secrets "They" Don't Want You To Know
** Murder by Can Opener: How Pet Owners Kill Dogs
** Cruft: The Man That Never Owned a Dog
** Treat Me Like a Human
** Feed Me Like a Wolf
** No Evidence One Dog Food Is Better Than Another
** Dog Food: Let's Try Science!