This pic has been posted on the pro-show Best in Show Daily Facebook page
today promoting the television coverage of the Philadelphia National Dog show - which airs on NBC in two days' time. The rather random reference is to The Weekend's big hit
of that name this summer.
This Neapolitan Mastiff male is Ch Ironwood's Paparazzi - call name "Poppy" - co-owned by a chap called Jim Deppen. He sounds thrilled.
Here's another picture of this dog - butchered ears set upon a gross head of excess skin, entropion and stenotic nostrils. But no matter. He went Best of Breed at the National last weekend - and was also the Westminster BOB in 2013
Here's what Mr Deppen feels about owning a Neapolitan Mastiff.
Nope; nothing to do with God. This is one of man's best examples of qualzucht (torture breeding) as they call it in Austria.
And of course's the breed history stuff is just all so much bollocks anyway. The breed is a 20th century recreation - and a terrible one at that - as documented succinctly on the Terrierman blog here
Then there's the fact that this breed looked nothing like this historically. Nothing. The wrinkling, the acres of excess flesh.. all a totally modern conceit.
In fact, Neapolitan Mastiffs remained fairly moderate - and certainly physically very able - right up until the 1970s.
And now this - Deppen's dog winning Best of Breed at Westminster in 2013.
Like all Neapolitan Mastiffs, the sagging increases with age. This is the same dog this week winning Best of Breed at the National. It almost looks like lymphedema on those hocks - something that blights Shar-pei.
On Deppen's Facebook, someone has commented on this pic: "Magnificent, such an expressive face."
As for Deppen's claims that this breed has "fought in battles against man and beast" and "been starved" - now might be a good time to mention that, in 2010, Deppen and co-breeder Mimi Winkler were charged with 60 counts of cruelty, kennel violations and operating an unlicensed kennel.
They denied the charges of cruelty detailed in this report
The visit turned up 18 bichon frise dogs that were "living in unsanitary conditions and had heavily matted coats, long nails and open tumors on some of the dogs that were untreated," police said.
On April 28, Aguirre returned to the kennel, where Winkler relinquished "an emaciated and sickly border collie," police said.
The three dog wardens then returned June 4 to the kennel and discovered three Neapolitan Mastiff dogs "in health conditions that indicate that necessary vet care had not been provided."
The wardens returned June 7 to find "two of the Neapolitan mastiffs were deceased, one of which was disposed of outside of the kennel in a wheelbarrow," police said.
According to another report
, Deppen's criminal record was subsequently wiped clean:
A district judge found Deppen and Winkler guilty of four counts of animal cruelty and a count of running an unlicensed kennel, and acquitted them of the rest. The pair appealed the verdicts to Common Pleas Court, and were allowed to enter Accelerative Rehabilitative Disposition, a program for first-time offenders that includes expunging any criminal record. According to Deppen, the outcome only required him to admit running an unlicensed kennel and pay a fine. Court documents on the case have since been destroyed.
Deppen and Winkler's breeding license was revoked by the Department of Agriculture, but the AKC appears to have take no action. Deppen is still listed
as an AKC judge.
Perhaps it all was a case of falsified evidence - as claimed by Deppen's attorney who said his clients were being punished for their dogs simply "having a bad hair day". The court also heard from the defence that there was nothing wrong with the Neapolitan Mastiffs' eyes, as claimed, because "exposed haw" is entirely normal for the breed.
But simply breeding modern show-bred Neapolitan Mastiffs (typically dead by five years old such is the effort to stay alive in that body) is an act of cruelty.
"I like things that look like they were hit by a car," said Deppen in 2005 (source here
For dog show people to make a joke
about those welfare-limiting folds is just disgusting.
It's like showing a picture of a gasping pug with the tagline: "All I need is the air that I breathe".
Or a Basset with his penis dragging on the ground with the line: "No scraping the barrel here!"
Has Purina seen this, I wonder?
You can let Purina know what you think by leaving a comment on their Facebook page here.
Please chip in on the thread on the Best in Show's page here.