I’ve noticed, for a certain type of man and his dog, testicles are a very big issue.
Or, more appropriately, the absence of them is.
Apparently, man is concerned that his best friend will be adversely affected in the desexing process. And not just in the capacity to reproduce way.
But a loving and concerned owner can fill this void with Neuticles – testicular implants for you pets! It would be pretty easy to relegate this into the WTF file of crazy products on the internet. But there is some really interesting stuff at play here in regard to masculinity. First of all, here’s a few take away lines from the manufacturer’s website.
..it has become our ‘culture’ to accept emasculation as being the norm.
That is in relation to the standardisation of neutering of domestic animals, and the following is on the ethicacy of neuticles…
We feel the removal of a God-given body part – leaving a male pet looking unwhole after the traditional form of neutering is not only unethical but unnatural. With Neuticles it’s like nothing ever changed.
And here are some testimonials from the owners of ‘happy’ – neuticle enhanced pets…
He’s a guy and I wanted him to remain looking like one.
Baby Snow has all the benefits of being neutered- Neuticles are just a whole lot nicer.
A dog is like a kid- consideration for his feelings.
I personally wrestled with the idea of having him look altered…Jacob looks Natural. I gladly advertise that he is neutered, but looks intact.
OK. There’s some pretty serious anthropomorphising of pets going on here. Hopefully it’s obvious to readers, but I’ll say it anyway – gender is a socially constructed concept, dogs do not have gender roles. And I find this actual, physical projection of the owners insecurities and concepts of normalcy onto an animal particularly distressing.
It’s not particularly surprising or unusual to assert that some peoples masculinity is (partially at least) constructed through their possessions – but I find it particularly disturbing if a dog, often a valued companion , is seen as a such a clearly superficial marker of identity. I can’t help but wonder how fragile the owners of these neuticle enhanced dogs sense of masculine self must be, that they are concerned about the conspicuous presence (or absence) of their dogs balls.
I’ll end with something a bit happier, still on the topic of men and dogs: This is from the blog Mental Floss. An amazing compilation of returning soldiers being re-united with their dogs. It’s a bit of a segue, but they’re such amazing videos I just had to share them.