Charlie the Poodle

This is our dog, Charlie.  He’s a nine-year old standard poodle, but he’s no fluffy fashion hound.  He chases the cat, and runs through the woods, and plays fetch, and eats raw bones just like any other canine.  He once got in a fight with an Irish Wolfhound and pinned him to the ground (fear not–no blood was spilled; it was all just posturing and dominance). Poodles come in three sizes, standard, miniature and toy, as do some other breeds like the Schnauzer. Apparently, in the future, pandas do too:

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There are two things that fascinate me about this message. First, that in the future it is apparently ok to keep pandas as pets, but more eyebrow-raising is the idea that there are designer pet pandas.  Modifying companion animals via selective breeding is nothing new, but I wonder what leads us down this particular path. Currently pandas are endangered, protected and rare. What happens to get us to the point where “everyone at school” could have one? Could this be one of the unintended consequences of cloning, or some other future science to replicate these creatures? The designer mutt, the “labradoodle,” was created for a noble reason, but the rush to exploit this designer dog craze led to regrets.

There is no denying that even today, we are facing an extinction crisis. Climate change is going to effect every life, not just the humans. Somehow I doubt there will be designer pet frogs in the future, though.