On One Hand

October 18, 2007

Top Ten: Dogs

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:59 pm

Whenver I see a shih tzu, it breaks my heart. It’s not that I like or do not like shih tsus, or have any notions about the type of people who get them, (ok, maybe I have a few notions about people who would own a shih tzu). But when I see a shih tsu, no matter how lively, perky or yip-yappy it is, all I’m thinking is aww, who the fuck bred you to look like THAT!?

Shih Tzus are victims. The decendants of hunting wolves were never meant to resemble long-haired rabbits, prissy and overgroomed, with gunky eyes bulging. A true dog has its own kind of spirit, a Platonistic perfect-form that hides behind the exterior, an altruistic man’s-best-friend aura that is noble, humble and dignified. Not shih tzus. I can’t see any of them as belonging to the same species that can run and fetch. The class of breeds it belogs to is called toy breeds, and its a wonder, then, how with such a bizarre melding of concepts between living beings and inanimate objects, that more animal-rights advocates aren’t up in arms that we allow such creatures to even continue to reproduce.

Shih tzus aren’t the only bizarre form of dog, though; there are pugs and bulldogs and afghans and all sorts of mixed-up misconceptions of the original wolf with pinched-up faces, dwarfed legs, or painfully crinked tails. They all exist at varying degrees of man’s inhumanity to pets, so here are my Top Ten Most Fucked Up/Horrifying “Dog” Breeds:

10. Puli. Is this a dog, or some failed gene-splicing lab experiment in which pieces of a mop got mixed with the DNA sample? I can’t imagine that this poor creature gets pleasure from not being able to see or from getting its fur caught on anything that sticks up more than half an inch above the ground. At least your kitchen floor would be clean all the time if you got one of these. The upside? If you worked it right, you could get a Rastafarian out of this sad befuddlement, which, in that case, would be pretty damn cool. Or a Muppet; those are cool too. In the end, I guess this dog is alright, which is why it’s only the tenth worst breed I’m listing.

9. Cocker Spaniel. Cocker spaniels are popular, but they’re the bitches of the dog world. If I met a cocker spaniel that didn’t look like it it wanted to rip my leg off, maybe I’d feel a little better about the most personality-defunct member of the kanine family. Then again, I would be pretty pissed off too if I’d been bred with nearly guaranteed obesity, awful teeth and eyes so weird and buggy that it’s impossible to blink.

8. Shar Pei. They’re not the most pathetic looking dogs, but it still seems it would be painful to be one. There’s always some part of a shar pei that is rotting or falling off, probably because even in healthy form their skin is as krinkly and folded as Barbara Bush’s 91-year-old vagina.

7. Scottish Terrier. Speaking of the Bush family, its littlest member Barney is apparently listed under the second-to-last tier in the ranking of dog intelligence, organized by psychologists in a British Columbia university before 1994. Scottish terriers remind me of burritos, except that they’re black. Maybe blue-corn tamales are better to fit the part, but in any case, these dogs are some kind of mexican food, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find terrier chunks in whatever makes up the meat foods at Taco Bell.

6. Sealyham Terrier. Is that a living thing or a statue? Just follow the link and look at Wikipedia’s picture for this poor guy. It’s E.T. meets the Trojan Horse. Just add the wheels and send it to Canada.

5. Yorkshire Terrier. This wraps up my series on terriers, with the most bizarre (yet common) of them all. Yorkshires are almost certainly the most likely breed of dog to be fitted with buttons, berets, or miniature sweaters. With heads bubbling up through a winding bed of fur, they look like feminine sea nymphs emerging from an underwater forest.

4. Poodle. Poodles are mankind’s cruel joke on the animal kingdom. If it’s not enough bad enough to give you an unkeepable dog-‘fro and pose like a coffeetable ornament, we’ll also make you into moving topiaries by shaving your calves and midsection. Poodles are the virtual bonzai-dog, not to be confused with the more controversial Bonzai Kitten.

3. Maltese. Follow the link and see – oh! – such an adorable puppy! Actually these teddy-bear dogs are a little less than cute when you consider that an actual living creature is trapped within that diminuitive (4 to six pound) frame. Meanwhile, teeth that start falling out at about halfway through the dog’s lifespan. The main reason I picked this breed is for how ridiculous a maltese looks when its fur is allowed to grow into its fuller Cher-meets-Santa Claus glory, trailing behind like the train of a gawdy wedding gown.

2. Pekingese. I think the conspiracy here is that Pekingese are actually bred from guinea pigs, not wolves like other dogs are. More yappy and agressive than any other breed I’ve encountered, I’ll say that they still aren’t very terrifying when the highest they can reach on your body is a big toe, not even an ankle. They were developed as companions for concubines in ancient Chinese courts, and forbidden for anyone else to own until the empire collapsed in 1860.

1. Shih Tzu. Shih tzus are the reincarnated souls of discheveled children. Once I passed a futon where an elderly shih tzu was sleeping, wondering, who left that ugly jacket lying on the couch. As I drew near, the “jacket” suddenly lifted its head, showing two beady eyes beneath a concealing lock of matted fur. I have to admit that somehow, on some level, it was cute, like one of the Lost Boys from a Peter Pan movie. But there’s something about these dogs that makes them so damn creepy at the same time. Rumor has it, the Ewoks from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi are modeled after shih tsus, which might explain how the fictional puppet-creatures so wholisticly resemble the shih tzu character: cuddly, small, and strikingly bitchy.

The Wikipedia entry for shih tzus says it all. The main photo is a black and white bundle of fur, face tilted gracefully to the left, long hair waving downward in luxurious arcs, tied up above the head with a rubber band. Wait, WHAT!? A plea to all dog owners: don’t give your dog a ponytail. Never give your dog a ponytail! It isn’t “cute.” It’s humiliating, not only for the dog (since who knows what the dog is thinking), but even for me, looking at it, as a human being who has human empathy for things that are alive. It isn’t your first-grade stepdaughter or little sister who has been begging to try on makeup, isn’t a barbie doll or project, it’s a dog. A goddamned DOG!

Seriously, just don’t.



  1. if I ever get a dog, it will be a mutt from the pound. They say that the more “purebred blood” a dog has, the worse its temper and succeptibility to health problems get.

    Comment by arazel — October 18, 2007 @ 9:52 pm | Reply

  2. Aw. But I sure loved my Shar-Pei. They’re so ugly they’re cute!

    Comment by forsberg21 — October 19, 2007 @ 9:14 am | Reply

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