Little dogs, tiny dogs no larger than a hamster, dogs weighing less than an ounce fully grown, microscopic canines bedecked with bows and dressed in Burberry or worse, those small, odd things with no fur whatsoever, whose protruding eyes weigh more than the creature itself , do not exist in nature. Not to put too fine a point on it, they aren’t supposed to.

Poodles-Purses-and-Pocketbooks-002I’m pretty sure that the Westminster Kennel Club and Paris Hilton are responsible for these bizarro breeds, and I know for a fact that toy Pugs, Schnoodles, Chihuahuas and the humiliating Labradoodle are un-natural creations. Ancient man sensibly tamed the wild dog for his use by breeding dinosaurs with more benign animals, such as large raccoons and badgers, to create a breed of stable and domesticated, (although dumb) companions to keep him company throughout the cold, boring nights of the Paleozoic era. This resulted in large, normal breeds of dogs, unlike today’s “toy” species. They could be used for a host of things, such as warning of an approaching brontosaurus, sic-ing on that difficult next-door cave dweller or as the original heated blanket on those really cold three mongrel nights.

Nope, the Hunter-Gatherer societies of old had no use for a “toy” species of dog. They weren’t practical … and to be honest they are embarrassing. Imagine Genghis Kahn’s bloodthirsty generals taking him seriously; if while giving orders to burn, rape and pillage, he was seen cuddling a bug-eyed Chihuahua named “Sprinkles”? (And if that weren’t enough of a reason, there weren’t any decent restaurants where Genghis could be seen carrying the asinine thing around.)

So why does modern man now breed these peculiar, purse-loving species? And why do people bestow these insect-sized creatures’ with imbecilic names … such as LoopsiePoo, Bosco, Wookums or the truly ironic moniker of “Killer”? Let’s be serious, these things couldn’t kill a kibble even if it bit him. Creatures that small shouldn’t have names; they should be classified by species and phylum by an entomologist. At best they should come in a baker’s dozen as snack food for real dogs or large cats.

It may be due to an emergence of an evolutionary pecking order. There seems to be a distinct elitism to toy dog owners. Owners of normal sized dogs don’t expect or receive special treatment for themselves or their dogs, owners of the tiny sissy-genus do. I’ll give you an example. True story, the female owner of a large Atlanta newspaper once boarded an Eastern Airlines flight carrying with her a microscopic, fluffy, white dog-thing in her Gucci purse … at the time Eastern’s policy was, in order to have a “dog” on board, the airlines required the use of a closed, pre-approved pet container, in which the tiny dog-creature would remain for the duration of the flight. The dog’s owner self-importantly refused this option. The flight attendant at the time discussed this violation of airline safety protocol with management and was informed that “Any filthy rich female who had a small dog and a controlling interest in a huge Atlanta newspaper can carry her dog on board any Eastern Airlines flight in any damn thing she liked.” Whereas when I stuffed my full-grown German Sheppard into my over the shoulder carry-on and tried to schlep him on board a Delta flight recently, I was rudely rebuffed. Granted this took place a while back and even the social elite may now be subject to some additional restrictions in today’s terrorist climate. Today the “dog” in question may now have to remove its Manola Blahik shoes before boarding. But I imagine the “elite micro-dog owners” among us still get preferential treatment.

Smart? I don’t think so
Anyhoo, dogs are not supposed to be small and cute. That’s the beauty of a dog. They are meant to be large, sloppy, dumb, disgusting things that will alternatively chew up your newspaper and then go back to barking relentlessly at the neighbors until animal control is called. Some things are a given; full-grown dogs should not fit inside a shoe or a purse; dogs should be large and smell bad. Dogs are the mannerless pet species; they leave their business everywhere, and due to a law of nature it always ends up on your shoe. They drool, scratch fleas and spend an inordinate amount of time licking inappropriate areas of their bodies. The average dog is able to deeply offend any house guest by dancing on their leg when least expected or happily shoving their nose into your prudish aunt Florence’s crotch to say “Well! Hello there!” in dog-speak. A dog’s single ability is to look at you, tilt their head, and give you that “Wha’ da hell” look in order to elicit a “you’re such a good doggy” response from even the most ardent pet-hater among us. But I’m sorry; “intelligent” just isn’t within their range.

Proof dogs aren’t smart
Most of us think our kids are smart. This, while hopeful, is rarely accurate; most people’s kids are about as bright as a piece of toast. (Evidence of this: Look at the dull-witted adults around you; a very short time ago they were dull-witted kids) In fact, simply buttering their own toast is beyond most children, which is why you do it for them. So when these same people say their dogs are borderline brilliant, it gives me pause … If I used their “My dog is so smart” criteria for evaluating and raising my offspring, a simple whack on my kids nose with a rolled up newspaper and I would have a houseful of Einsteins.

When it comes to their dogs, people are oblivious to how dumb a four-legged, crotch-licking cur actually is. They expect you to be astounded to find that Rover can pick up a tennis ball covered with a slobbery slime, bring it to you and drop the disgusting mess on your good shoes.  They encourage you to “play fetch” with him. This will go on ad nauseum until you fake a groin pull and beat a hasty retreat. Dog owners imbue their dog’s involuntary actions with non-existent meaning. To a dog lover, Fido’s raised eyebrow indicates “deep contemplation” of his world. This would be incorrect, the dog simply has an itch that it has failed to locate or has a bad case of gas … you will shortly find out which. When your dog can fix the ignition system on my car (which I cannot do), or fill out my insurance forms (which I cannot do), then and only then will I concede that is one f***ing smart dog.

A really “unusually gifted” dog has maybe 3 looks – the “let’s go” look, the “is it food?” look and the standard “huh?” look. But your average dumbass dog has just the one standard “huh?” look … Seriously, is there any room for “Wow, dogs sure are bright” in that repertoire?

Real dogs can’t be trained, and one shouldn’t try. If you have a dog and it does appear to be trained, it’s probably an orangutan. If a dog can wander back into the house when it’s raining, that’s about as much as can be expected. Training is against a dog’s nature (probably due to breeding the dinosaur with badgers, not such a great idea in hindsight.) Hunters and backwoods folk are notorious for trying to defy this rule. They spend years “training” their dogs and then waste all their remaining time boring you in mind numbing detail of how they taught Rin Tin Tin to read road maps and use a cell phone. They will insist their dog can hunt, go on point, track felons and do basic algebra. They will state flat-out that their dog can not only catch a fish and gut it, but cook that fish in a fine wine sauce and then read you to sleep by the light of the campfire they built with their little paws. The following day you will come to find that JimmyDale’s miracle wonder dog has fixed the four-wheel drive ATV that you broke the day before by driving it into the lake. A real dog can’t do that. A dog’s abilities begin and end at rolling over.

My dog friends live in dog delusion land. Man’s best friend? I think not. If “my best friend” chewed up my TV remote, humped my wife’s leg, and made me pick up his excrement on a daily march around the neighborhood I would kill the bastard.

Funny-Dog-001But back to the little sissy dogs that can’t do what even normal dumb dogs can do; they don’t roll in dog cologne or chase skunks (which keeps the tomato juice industry alive, cuz no one really drinks that crap.) Little sissy dogs need baths, expensive perfume, personal massages and weekly dog therapy. They wear sweaters and jackets, people, dogs are born with fur, they don’t need wardrobes. They don’t howl at the moon or snarl, instead they yip or yap, a sparrow provides more protection. Sissy dogs don’t chase cars, for among other reasons the curb is too high to navigate. They can’t bury an old bone because it outweighs them tenfold, and if they ever dug a hole they wouldn’t be able to get out of it. And, of course, they can’t play catch, cuz the tennis ball would dislocate their jaw if they ever managed to get their mouth around the damn thing. These bizarre breeds have genetic ailments out the wazoo. Just what I want in a dog, a genetically substandard animal whose eyes don’t fit in his skull, looks like a cross between Peter Lorre and Steve Buscemi and requires an albuterol inhaler for its asthma. In the case of the hideous looking “Pug” the “exit” looks a lot more inviting  than the “entrance” so to speak, do you teach it to walk backwards so it won’t scare the livin’ bejeezus out of people?…Sissy dogs can’t chase things, like porcupines, as my old neighbor’s dog used to do. Every year that imbecile of a dog would corner one of the local porcupines and do his damnedest to show that prickly, plodding intruder who was boss. And every year the only thing he got for his efforts was a mouthful of incredibly painful quills, deeply imbedded in his mouth and nose that had to be removed with pliers. Stupid never had a better emissary than that dog, but although that dog was dumb as a post, at least you never saw him at a dinner party peering out of someone’s purse wearing designer sunglasses.

When I was a child, you had a mutt dog that was either given to you by a neighbor or it simply “showed up one day” and never left. It had no pedigree and no papers. It followed you to school until you yelled at it, finally throwing rocks at him to make him return home. He would diligently post himself under the table at dinner every evening and eat everything you hated. When your parents yelled at you for seeing what happens when you put your brothers good socks in the garbage disposal, Rover accompanied you and provided moral support while you ran away from home (all the way to the neighbor’s yard.) If the school bullies made fun of you he would bite them for you. He would occasionally wander off now and then for a few days but would always return home with the “You would not f**kin’ believe what I saw” expression on his dumb mug (Well, maybe dogs have four looks … so sue me.)

Now, with the pooch psychiatrists, special diets, and doggy dental care it’s all changed. It’s not just the cute, chic and sophisticated Mz. Hilton displaying these micro hairballs; guys are now carrying these things around in their Man-Purses as well. Men should not carry little dogs in a purse, or have a purse for that matter, if they can stuff their damn dog into a wallet, fine, but no purses. Men are damn near as stupid as dogs and pulling off looking cute, chic and sophisticated will simply never happen…And I know what you’re gonna say, but I have no problem with guys trying to get in touch occasionally with their soft, feminine side…in fact I’ve tried once or twice to do that very thing. Unfortunately my soft feminine side is 245 pounds of butt-ugly with an erratic limp and a hair-trigger temper; and you just don’t want to let that bitch out very often. So if I’m ever caught in public with a purse, with or without 65 pounds of golden retriever in it, please, someone shoot me.

I know as soon as this is read there will be about 500 infuriated dog fanatics telling me how wrong and thoughtless I am. They will hold up their cute, fluffy, heartwarming genius Fidos as proof, claiming these mutts have IQs of 230 or better. They will have endless stories of their dog’s ability to box a compass, save lives and perform open heart surgery. They will regale me and anyone within earshot that their dog not only can turn on the TV, but will watch it intently and explain the more difficult parts to their children …

But I know better.

I will just nod my head, smile knowingly, and then go find my kitty, Mr. Schnookums, who is as smart as smart can be.

Now cats! There’s one smart animal!

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Trevor Stone Irvin

Trevor Stone Irvin

Illustrator and Designer living in the Candler Park area...At one time I worked at the Atlanta Constitution and then for CNN at the startup...it all seemed too much like real work so I went freelance...which my father defined as "being unemployed for a real long time".