Let's start with the good news. It seems that:
"The Kennel Club has joined forces with the Bulldog Breed Council to voice its concern over the use of ‘mating cradles’ within the breed. Mating cradles have been cited by their designers as the answer to the alleged problems which some Bulldogs have in mating naturally without assistance.
"The Kennel Club and Bulldog Breed Council share the belief that dogs of all breeds should be able to mate as naturally as possible, and that there should be no place for any mechanical device within this process.
"We are aware of sites selling this commercial product on the Internet, which feature photos which show the bitch effectively strapped down by the device. This cannot ever be seen to be in the positive interest of any dog involved."
Oh good. The Kennel Club noticed, and the Bulldog Breed Council has "voiced concern."
That's a promising start, isn't it?
After calling out Caroline Kisko (the Kennel Club's spokesperson) and Robin Searle (the head of the Bulldog Breed Council) and featuring pictures of dogs put in rape stands, they finally decided to come out of the drinks tent to find out what all the fuss was about.
Right and good. But am I to believe that this was all new information to Robin Searle a man who puts himself out as Mr. Bulldog and Mr. Dog Show?
Really? Hard to believe. But of course anything is possible. Perhaps he is a man too busy to actually dirty himself with dogs. He is a dog show judge you know. Very posh and important. He knows all the right people. Been around forever. He is a Bulldog Man! What does it matter that he does not know a break stick from breakfast? Not a thing!
And, of course, it's not just Robin Searle who seems to have a permanent expression of shock and awe. Apparently it was news to the Kennel Club that Rhodesian Ridgeback owners were killing puppies that did not have ridges. And never mind that this club policy has been written down and published on the breed Club's own web site since the beginning.
And, of course, it is still news to Caroline Kisco that most Bulldogs are born cesarean section. She likewise says of the Saint Bernard that "Of course we as a club see no problem with the St Bernard" even though the Kennel Club itself has it listed as a breed at health risk.
So yes, I suppose these folks might be well and truly surprised at almost anything.
They are like mine inspectors who do not notice when the canaries stop singing, do not notice when they fall off their perch, and do not notice when the men start coughing and running for the exit.
Noxious gas? No, they do not smell a thing.
And why worry even if there is noxious gas? After all, we live in the modern world now. Miners can just strap on air tanks and full diving gear before they enter the mines.
Likewise, Bulldogs can be born cesarean section with veterinary help, brachycephalic dogs can get their cleft palettes fixed, and dogs with dysplasia can get their bones resurfaced. And as for eyes, God made two, so what's to worry about? Stay calm and carry on!
Besides, shouldn't we be ecstatic that the Kennel Club has boldly come out against rape racks?
Never mind that they seem unclear as to why the things were needed in the first place -- that the wheezing, farting, bow-legged, heavy-headed, and ponderously fat dog known as the British Bulldog has been reduced to an animal that cannot run, cannot have sex without assistance, and cannot be born outside of a veterinary office.
By God, is this dog not the very model and symbol of modern England?
But it may very well be the very model and symbol of the British Kennel Club, rape rack and all.