My friend Bob Frost sent me this picture after my temper tantrum about the costume class at horse shows last month. This picture, and maybe twenty others of the same stripe, not one of which assured me that pet ownership is headed in a good direction.
According to the breed standards for beagles from the AKC, beagles are trailing hounds whose purpose is to find game. "All phases of work should be approached eagerly, with a display of determination that indicates willingness to stay with any problem encountered until successful. Actions should appear deliberate and efficient, rather than haphazard or impulsive."
Maybe we need breed standards for humans--this certainly qualifies as haphazard and impulsive, although the expense and obsessiveness required to do this does indicate a certain willingness to see a project through to the bitter end.
I resent and dislike the PETA people--it's clear from what they say and do that most of them have had no direct experience with handling, training, or communicating with animals. Worse, most can't tell the practical or moral difference between a wild animal and a domesticated one. I can, and this is unethical.