Monday, January 24, 2011

Small but deadly

Regular readers of this blog understand that people who believe dogs are our species' best friend are just not paying attention. You also know better than to let down your guard just because an animal is small and cute.

But perhaps I've been remiss in not pointing out how critical it is to bring those two observations together.

The dangers of small, cute dogs have in fact been scientifically proven. One careful study of canine aggression found that the breeds with the highest percentage of bad behavior toward people were Dachshunds, Chihuahuas and Jack Russell Terriers.

But you need to watch out for other adorable little breeds as well. In England, a family has been threatened with eviction unless they get rid of their dog that's been attacking the mailman, causing delivery to the whole street to be suspended. Is their pet a big muscular Rottweiler or one of those pit bulls with the mythical "locking jaw"?

No: it's a six inch tall Yorkie called Peggy.

And in an even more high-profile case, media personality Martha Stewart was taken to the emergency room to have a gash on her lip sewn up after she was head-butted by one of her adorable French Bulldogs, Francesca.

Of course the PR spin calls it an accident. But after investigation into both Martha and her pet's blogs, our friends over at The Dog Blog on Dogster cast doubt on this explanation:

Earlier this week Francesca wrote about how excited she and Sharkey were about Martha finally coming home from a big trip to Columbia and Florida. “Finally, she’s coming home and told us that she is craving a homemade vegetable soup. We, Frenchies, thought it would be nice if that soup was ready and waiting for her, so we got busy.” Francesca proceeded to show, via photos, how she and Sharkey found all the veggies growing in Martha’s greenhouse-like area. They worked hard, and were proud of their efforts to please Martha.

Next thing you know, Martha is back home (woo hoo!). But according to Martha’s blog, she only had time to unpack, sort her stuff, and play with the dogs before taking off again within hours to beat a snowstorm so she be in NYC for an early appearance on the Today Show and then go off to her own show. So when the “accident” happened, Martha hadn’t even spent one night home after her long trip.

Now Martha will be spending many nights at home. Frenchies are known for their intelligence.

You do the math.

That's Francesca in the photo above. The caption says she loves the jacket. Look at her expression and judge for yourself whethere there might be more than one reason for lingering resentment in this relationship.

(Photo from Stewart's website, where you can also see a slideshow of her cut lip and trip to the doctor, if you're into that sort of thing.)

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