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Saturday, August 12, 2023

pet dogs !! - Maltese ... ‘cynophobia’ !!

Heard of ~ Cynophobia ! 


You see them everywhere, some stray, some highly pampered ! - Dogs  -  one of the most adored pets – the domestic dog in all likelihood is  the first of the animals to be domesticated and used as companion in hunting in earlier days. Dogs are considered man’s best ally and among the most sought after pets ~ to some they bring endless joy and fun. For many, they are too scary…. One shudders to think of walking alone in by-lanes especially in the night time, when suddenly a stray dog starts barking, making a few more join and perhaps giving a chase…..too scary… perhaps there are two types that scare …….. one is the street (stray) mongrels.. then the so called ‘pets’ …. at beach and other public places, people would let loose the big dogs ….to those frightened passer-bys – they would say, their dog is well trained and would do no harm ! – would one fearlessly believe them … menacing to say the least. 

This one seen near Kannagi statue was quite attractive –  its owner gracefully allowed taking photos and the dog too readily obliged.  The coat is dense, glossy, silky and shiny, falling heavily along the body without curls or an undercoat.  The colour is pure white, sometimes  a pale ivory tinge  !  When asked about he type of breed – the owner suggested it was ‘hybrid’ meaning cross of two different breeds. 

Web search indicated them to be Maltese !!   Numerous references to these dogs are found in Ancient Greek and Roman literature.  Ancient writers variously attribute its origin either to the island of Malta in the Mediterranean, called Melita in Latin, – a name which derives from the Carthaginian city of that name on the island, Melite – or to the Adriatic island of Mljet, near Corfu and off the Dalmatian coast of modern Croatia, also called Melita in Latin. The uncertainty continues, but recent scholarship generally supports the identification with Malta.


Maltese dog refers both to an ancient variety of dwarf canine from Italy  and generally associated also with the island of Malta, and to a modern breed of dog in the toy group.  Dog genomic experts state that despite the rich history of the ancient breed, the modern Maltese, like many other breeds, cannot be linked by pedigree to that ancient genealogy, but, rather, emerged in the Victorian era by regulating the crossing of existing varieties of dog to produce a type that could be registered as a distinct breed.   

So much so for this adorable dog  ……….. I am no great fan of dogs ~ do not suffer from ‘cynophobia’ though… Cynophobia is the abnormal fear of dogs.  It is classified as a specific phobia, under the subtype "animal phobias”. Whether you have mortal fear or not, it makes sense to stay away from an angry dog.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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