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A new breed serving humans

Is it possible for a man to love two women at the same time? To have one’s heart in two places simultaneously? It’s possible, of course, but not easy to live with. To think of making one single person out of two is also a dream.

I love the Labrador just as much as the Mountain Bernese. I have nothing but admiration for both, though what I praise in one is precisely what I hate in the other. One lives unconditionally happy, the other is racked with doubt. The unfaithfulness of the Labrador is in stark contrast with the faithfulness of the shepherd, in the same way the straight-forwardness and stiffness of the latter contrast with the sinuous flexibility of his opposite. Physically, they both look marvellous.

Knowing that I run the risk of offending those who promote pure breeds and want to protect them, I dared mix the two specimens. The experience resulted in an extremely interesting hybrid, as if nature had been waiting to harmonize two breeds into a single one endowed with the best of both. Therefore, we may infer that careful selection of the hybrid capable of reproduction would produce over the course of the next millennium a dog especially designed to serve the handicapped. Let’s remember that the development of the Lab responded to the demands of hunting, as for the shepherd to keep herds. But before running through the list of services that a dog can render, let’s keep in mind the wonders of modern medicine, which can prolong life never before.

With the ageing of the population, this means that people can now expect to live older than ever was previously possible. Macular degeneration alone, a condition found in the elderly, will produce many cases of blindness in the coming years. Our new breed will find its "raison d’être" in this new reality to which we soon must adapt. Forget the idea of the dog as a powerful and brute force of nature that only a small number of people in good shape can handle.

Let’s make room for easily controllable animals, available to most as a palliative measure to a handicap. We need to work from the dog’s very essence, to eliminate the obstacles preventing the combination of all the necessary elements in creating a super-breed. Many experts have been dumbfounded by the secrets of genetics. Health, size, physical looks, personality, all of these components have to be present. The Labernese, as pictured above, is the result of a hybrid mixed with a pure breed. Why Labernese? Because of the combination of Labrador and Mountain Bernese, as you could have guessed.

One could say that the Labernese is still on the testing grounds. We must choose wisely the hybrids that will take the pedigree beyond year 2000. Five generations are required before their off springs get an official standing, plus a minimum of eight perfect couples from lines sufficiently distant from one another. Would you call me presumptuous for fighting against such odds? Let my detractors debate the point, but I give my pledge that the task shall be undertaken in all modesty and with great respect.

Éric St-Pierre


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