Thursday, September 8, 2011

Creature Feature: Kuro's Worst Enemy.

This entry was supposed to be in the next Freak Week. After reading my latest issue of Reptiles, however, I was reminded (by tangential thoughts, not the magazine itself) that perhaps my greatest, fiercest arch-enemy yet should get his own entry sooner rather than later.

No, this is not about the brown recluse spider again. This is about a far, far more intimidating foe...

...the Chihuahua.

For those of you not exposed at all to Western culture, Chihuahuas are the world's smallest breed of dog. The origins of the Chihuahua are blurry, with most believing that they came from Mexico, but several more ancient sources cite very similar dogs from the Mediterranean. The original Chihuahuas were probably larger than the pint-sized pooches in purses seen today. They also probably looked a little less like rats.

No, I am not picking on the Chihuahua because of its looks. I do see the appeal in small dogs. Chihuahuas are particularly strange looking small dogs to the point where I have seen numerous descriptions of them as "mutant rats." I have, however, met some longhair Chihuahuas that barely look like Chihuahuas, so looks are not a factor in my labeling them as my greatest nemesis.

Look! It still has some dignity left!

The Chihuahua breed should not exist. Toy breeds in general have defects, usually hip dysplasia, that make them suffer plenty alongside the treatment that comes from being a small dog (more on that later). Chihuahuas have a laundry list of disorders, including low blood sugar (i.e. born diabetic), collapsed trachea, chronic bronchitis, obesity (largely due to eating people food), hydrocephaly, numerous dental issues, and, unique to Chihuahuas, being born with an incomplete skull. If the defective individuals were culled in Chihuahuas like they would be in most breeds, the breed would go extinct. They should have been Darwinized out of the system ages ago. 

Oh, but things eating the poor, precious Chihuahuas tends to upset people. This sucks when it happens with a wild animal, but when (as an example) your neighbor has a Burmese python and your Chihuahua goes missing, who is the most likely suspect? Sure, it could have been a coyote or a car, but the person with the Burmese python is the bigger, easier target. People worry like crazy for 1. kids and 2. thoroughly domesticated pets whenever someone has a decently-sized exotic animal. Since cats often have their wits about them (and/or claws), small dogs are usually the first target for such predators. Nature is trying to get rid of this monstrosity in any way she can, but exotic pet owners are the first target if a Chihuahua goes missing. If you own any pet aside from a cat or dog, beware the Chihuahuas.

This is a fennec fox - another naturally-small mammal. Go get one instead of a Chihuahua.

Moreover, Chihuahuas are almost exotic pets themselves. Some vets refuse to work on Chihuahuas  because they come with so many defects. They have problems with birthing due to their small size. The veterinary costs alone explain the price tag of the breed, although belonging to high-class bitches contributes as well. When you buy a purebred, you buy a status symbol and an alternate form of self expression. A Chihuahua (especially the shorthair) says that either A) you are from Mexico, or B) you want to be classier than you actually are. Enjoy the guilt trip that comes from not buying a dog with a much milder temperament and fewer health problems. Also enjoy the people who have ferrets, naturally small carnivorids, instead of Chihuahuas.

Chihuahuas should be bred with good temperaments - emphasis on should. They have a more or less justified reputation for being yappy little dogs because either the parents were not selected for docility or the human messed the dog up. It is way too easy for a human to screw up a Chihuahua (or any other small dog) by over-anthropomorphizing it, thereby allowing the dog to express dominant behaviors. The result of this is called Small Dog Syndrome; long story short, the Chihuahua becomes the alpha dog.

EXACTLY like this.

It only gets worse from there. The standard weight for a Chihuahua is 6-8 pounds - that's less than most cats. Breeders may try to sell off their runts as "teacup" Chihuahuas, ultimately leading to smaller and smaller dogs. I do see the appeal of small dogs, but Chihuahuas are small to the point where it is hurting the animal to an insane degree.

Also, comments like this tell us that, just maybe, we should be working on making Chihuahuas illegal before pitbulls:

"chihuahuas aren't dogs. they are fucking science experiments gone wrong. i fucking hate em. they have a piercing bark, they're always hyper active, they can never chill the fuck out, they're always shaking like little bitches, and they are brainless. the next one i see i'm going to grab and fucking punt off the side of a building."

In other words, "Kill it with fire." 

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