Like a lot of people, I’m not watching a whole lot of TV these days. However, I enjoy a good car wreck as much as the next gal, and so when The Celebrity Apprentice debuted last week, I tuned in. At its best, trash tv allows Sherry and I to message back and forth with schoolgirl-like glee. And snark. 🙂

Besides — Gene Simmons? C’mon.

Aaaaanyway, last evening’s episode saw the men’s and women’s teams charged with creating a commercial for Pedigree to encourage the adoption of dogs from shelters. Kudos. (The men won.)

And while I am all about getting pupsters new homes, I got a bit annoyed with both commercials. (Though I must say, you couldn’t get a better voiceover voice for that sort of ad than Trace Adkins — well played, men.)

You see, both teams used dogs in their ads, not surprisingly. But what kinds of dogs did they use? Well, the men had one dog — a female English bulldog. Riiiiiight. You know how many bulldogs end up in shelters? Pretty much zero. Why?

Because they’re ridiculously labour-intensive to breed and rear and they cost THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. People don’t give up that kind of investment, especially since they only live about half as long as a robust mutt, too. The only bulldog I ever knew of that came into the KW HS was one who had a serious heart condition and the owner couldn’t afford the surgery and care. Unbroken bulldogs do not become shelter dogs.

The women used many dogs in their commercial. Want to know what the first three were? A Saint Bernard, a standard poodle, and a pug. Again, all purebred, well-groomed dogs. What. Ever. Yes, later in the ad they flashed a number of pictures of what appeared to be actual shelter dogs, and some were real dogs – mixes and mutts and dogs who needed to lose a few pounds or have a good brushing.

But those were nanosecond flashes, compared with “features” of dogs that, again, would cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. In my years at the HS I saw, to my recollection, one, perhaps two, standard poodles (and I believe one was a cross), and two Saint Bernards. One of them headbutted me in the face. 🙂

I will give the women kudos, though, for how they presented their ad. They used the dogs in “stories” — one dog was in the shelter because his family moved. Another dog was there because her family had a baby who turned out to be allergic, etc. These are real and common reasons dogs end up in shelters. Although I’d love to see an ad with a dog saying, “I don’t really know why I’m in a shelter, but I’m pretty sure my owners were irresponsible assholes”.

The other irony of the whole exercise was that (supposedly) the Pedigree exec featured liked the winning commercial so much they were going to air it publicly… at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Riiiiight. Guess how many of the breeders/owners/handlers/etc. there a) feed their dogs Pedigree foods? Zero. Guess how many of the dogs at that show came from a shelter? Zero.

And yes, I am smart enough to realize that nothing about a TV show featuring The Donald has even a soupçon of “real” anywhere near it.

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