Peace, Love and Afghan Hounds
Our newest book release, “The Best of Babbie,” is a collection of essays by Afghan Hound doyenne Babbie Tongren. She was writing at the zenith of the breed, when it was not uncommon to see a hundred dogs turn out at a dog show, with a breed-wide depth of quality that produced icons that are still talked about today, at least among the cognoscenti.
Few people realize it, but the Afghan Hound was the “it” dog of the 1970s. Much as the Borzoi epitomized the swellegant refinement of the Roaring Twenties, or the rescued Pitbull embodies the vigorously curated, self-conscious casualness of today’s hipsters, the Afghan Hound was the ultimate hippie hound. From the breed’s long, flowing locks to its exotic “eastern” expression, the King of Dogs was just too perfect a match for the incense-burning crowd. (There are even some Afghan Hounds, though they are admittedly rare, that are said to be “scented,” giving off a musky, not unpleasant scent that for some evokes sandalwood.)
Alas, today the breed’s numbers are drastically curtailed, with barely a hundred dogs turning out for the Afghan Hound Club of America national specialty this October in Atlanta. The kind of grooming that an Afghan Hound requires just to remain presentable is more than most modern, time-strapped owners are willing to indulge. But the silver lining is that today there are far fewer Afghan Hounds is rescue, and the homes that acquire them, with great planning and forethought, are often for life.