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The dogs stormed the golden gates
of the kennel club,
crushed the studbooks
and tore up the dogshow statutes.
They shat on Sewallis’s grave
and pissed on the offices of
the SCC, ENCI, AKC, UKC, and the FCI.
They ripped the words ‘pet’ and ‘owner’
from the dictionary.
They made a heap
of muzzles and leads
as high as a hayrick
then set fire to it.
They accused the Chairman
of the Basset Hound Club
of breeding deformed congenital dwarfs.
They savaged the man who
bred the bulldog so that it could
only give birth through caesarean section.
They watched the boxer have an epileptic fit,
saw ridgeless puppies being culled
and howled in sympathy.
They called Crufts a parade of mutants.
They praised heterosis —
all hail hybrid vigour, they barked,
all hail Rassenschande.
Notes: Hitler wrote Mein Kampf in Landsberg prison in 1924 and studied eugenics; the British politician Sewallis Shirley formed the Kennel Club in 1873; the selective breeding of dogs is a form of dysgenics, a perpetuation of defective genes; “Rassenschande” means “Racial shame”, and was an anti-miscegenation concept in Nazi German racial policy, pertaining to sexual relations between Aryans and non-Aryans.
Michael Stewart is a multiaward-winning writer brought up in Salford, now based in Bradford.
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