Freedom’s just another word
For nothing left to lose.
Nothing ain’t worth nothing
If it ain’t free.
5th President of the United States
These inspiring words by the great President Jefferson are just one reason he is memorialized on Mount Rushmore in Eastern North Dakota.
Is that information 100% accurate? Maybe not…after all, I got it from social media.
Nowadays there is so much information circulated on social media that is flat out wrong. Falsehoods, errors, lies and deceit started on social media gain traction when recirculated, until they become accepted as true or at least acquire the benefit of the doubt. Hence “viral” propagation.
You know all this already so let’s just start our story.
It was late in the evening and Max and I were sitting in our favorite easy chair enjoying the warmth of rich Corinthian pleather whilst nursing a couple of fingers of Old #7. Mr. Jack Daniels was going down as smooth as the Miles Davis album that Max had selected for our listening enjoyment.
He and I were opining that social media is a cancer on contemporary communications as we scrolled through some of the websites we haunt just so we can stay current with all the acronyms that the cool kids use. Max suggested that “AITA” would be the one most useful to me. I promised to check that out.
We spotted an ad that made this astounding offer:
“Rare Pure-Bred Black Maltese, 1 year old male, must re-home because of daughter’s allergy to pet dander. Re-homing fee of $1,200.”
Uh oh. I could sense that canine outrage was coming and I was not disappointed. Max was incensed. Irate. Totally micturated off.
“This is wrong, DogDad. Lies! All lies! There is no such thing as a Black Maltese! Furthermore, (Max has a formal way of speaking) Maltese have hair, not fur and do not contribute to allergies! I am tired of these social media posts that deceive and confuse.”
He concluded, “Black Maltese Don’t Matter! Because there is no such thing as a Black Maltese!”
We both understood there was no species discrimination in his diatribe. Dog color makes no difference at all except that your common or garden white Maltese is devilishly hard to keep clean.
But…wait a minute. A quick review of websites suggested that there are many offers for “Black Maltese” on social media. Could they all be lies and deceit? We needed to investigate this matter at once.
Maltese dogs (formerly known by the more dramatic name “Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta”) have been around for maybe 8,000 years. This places them in the same gerontological category as cockroaches, Keith Richards and Betty White.
Most people just accept that a Maltese is synonymous with white dog. The American Kennel Club says so and who are we to doubt that mighty fount of doggie knowledge? But it wasn’t always that way.
The controversy about color started in 1877 when a less than pure white Maltese was shown at a dog event in Westminster, England under the fabricated moniker “Maltese Lion Dog” suggesting there are variations among the breed.
That was bad enough but in 1879 a white Maltese with black ears was shown under an equally phony name “Maltese Skye Terrier”. That put the fox among the chickens as my sainted Aunt Wanda would say.
Because of these 19th century shenanigans faux-Maltese of all colors managed to participate in UK dog shows during 1902 to 1913. To add to the horror, the coats of these multi-colored puplets were much coarser than the silky white coats we see today.
Soon, the definition of breed standard for Maltese was a dumpster fire but of course they didn’t have dumpsters so I guess it was just a fire. :snorf:
Fortunately, the British standard (oxymoron alert) or lack thereof for the noble Malt didn’t survive too long and, since the 1950s, Maltese dogs are expected to be pure white bark beasts.
By the way, this probably reflects a growing market demand during the early and mid 20th century for small, white dogs as much as any desire among breeders to establish a definitive breed standard. Money talks, good intentions walk, doncha know. But I digress.
Although pure-bred Maltese are primarily all white, you can find at some dog shows Malts with pale traces of color. For example, the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standard allows pure white, white and tan, and white and lemon doggers provided the faint tan and lemon accent colors are only on the ears.
Outside of Freedom Land, the Federation Cynologique Internationale, also known in a more pronounceable manner as the World Canine Organization, accepts pale ivory or cream Maltese. But, you know, they are French, so make allowances. Hon hon.
Here’s a little known fact to astound your beer drinking buddies: Albino Maltese exist, though they are supremely rare. Albino Maltese have pink-ringed eyes and noses and even blue eyes!
So, what about this balderdash, claptrap and twaddle about Black Maltese? Well, when you cross a Maltese with a dog of another breed, the puppies born are (duh, obviously) a mixed breed and can be brown, black, tan, patchy colors and white.
BUT (and it’s a really big butt like what you find on many of those who visit this blog) there is no such thing as a pure bred Black Maltese. Nope. Nada. Never happen.
C’est absolument impossible, mon potes.
Max was reassured by our research into this thorny issue. Well, he would have been reassured but he had fallen asleep long before. As for the AJF and moi, we don’t care what color or tint the FurButt is; he will always be our gentle little dog.
OK, it’s ‘fess up time:
I need to disclose that nothing that I said about Thomas Jefferson is true. That quote up top came from Kris Kristofferson’s song “Me and Bobby McGee,” Jefferson was the 3rd (not 5th) president of the US, he is not among the faces on Mt. Rushmore and Mt. Rushmore is in western South Dakota. Other than that, it’s all true.
The moral of this story? Aside from explaining that people offering Black Maltese for sale are scamming the public, we must always remember:
“You simply cannot trust social media.”
—-Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, 1925
Categories: The Dog From Rancho Cucaracha