Looks don’t matter; being man’s best friend does

By Mariah Bennett | Staff Writer

Gremlin, rat, abominable snowman from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” crusty white dog. These are the names my dog, Pepsi, has been called in the past. Are they wrong? No. She really does look like all of those things. But while Pepsi might not match everyone’s taste, she’s still a beloved family member. That goes for all dogs in general. What matters about a dog isn’t their look. What matters is that they are the right fit for you and that they are ultimately your best friend.

“Choosing a pet based on how popular or cute it is is probably one of the worst decisions people make,” Victoria Heuer said in a PetMD post.

In the post, Heuer said what matters when adopting a pet is if it fits your lifestyle, which can be found out through further research.

For context, my Maltipoo gets taken to the groomer and gets baths at home. She just happens to look like that. She’s also a cuddle monster, best friend to my other canine and protective of her home. These are the traits that make her “Pepsi” and the perfect fit for my family. In agreement with a Mashable article by Laura Vitto, looks aren’t everything when it comes to owning a dog.

“We all have different ideas of what beauty is, but we have to get beyond that and really learn more about the breeds to appreciate them,” Gail Miller Bisher, director of communications for the Westminster Kennel Club, said in the Mashable article.

Bisher isn’t the only person with this take. The Blue Ridge Humane Society has a similar statement in a post on its website. It said people must evaluate dogs on their behavior instead of assumptions and stereotypes based on its breed or looks.

“Looks alone do not determine behavior,” the website said.

In fact, both the Blue Ridge Humane Society post and a blog post by Kyle Johansen said dogs are influenced by multiple factors besides breed.

“The way that dog is treated and trained is going to go a long way toward shaping the dog’s behavior as an adult,” Johansen said in the blog post.

Pepsi may look like a muppet, but she is loyal. She is smart, she loves her family and she can even do a ‘paw’ shake. And we love her too. Ugly dogs, pretty dogs — it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are the right fit for your home and that at the end of the day, they are loved and looked after.