Ruff! Ruff! These Dogs Can Dish It Out

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To the Esteemed (and probably quite tasty) Members of the American Veterinary Medical Association:

It has come to our attention that we, the rottweilers of America, have been named by your organization as the country's deadliest breed. This painful allegation, we are ashamed to say, seems to stand up to scrutiny. Your numbers alone point to 33 rottweiler-related fatalities between 1993 and 1998 — and many among us, including Pinky, our founding member, and Gash, another notorious, old-time biter, think that count might be a bit low.

The hard fact must be faced, and we are prepared to do just that: Provoked, we can metamorphose from cuddly old softies into giant balls of flesh-tearing muscle. We're not proud that we've surpassed every other breed in this particular arena (except that it does mean those idiotic pit bulls will be forced to stop their ridiculous "Ooh, we're so tough and deadly" song and dance). But, as you point out, some of the blame must be placed on our owners, some of whom are too busy teaching us to bare our teeth at the right moment to show us a few manners. Sure, we don't behave well sometimes. But you wouldn't either if every human in your life expected you to be a killing machine — except when it was their neck on the line.

But enough about us and our "most deadly" status. The purpose of this communication is not to belabor our sad accomplishment, but rather to spread the, ahem, acclaim by shining the bright light of truth on other corners of the dog world, where we're confident you'll find substantial (and overlooked) pockets of hyperbole. We've taken the liberty of preparing a few examples for your edification:

Breed Most Embarrassing to Other Dogs: The Miniature Poodle. Add extra points for little bows jauntily affixed to recently blown-dry fur. When we see these suckers waltzing around in their hand-knit slippers and sweaters, it makes us want to eat grass and vomit.

Breed Most Likely to Take Over the World: West Highland White Terriers. This is a strange case; these guys are little, but they've got this weird, big-dog psychology. One of our colleagues, a Chow named Bambi, encountered a Westie on his walk a few weeks ago, and let's just say Bambi ran away from that meeting with the distinct impression he'd just tangled with the canine equivalent of the Incredible Hulk

Breed Most Capable of Turning Otherwise Intelligent Humans Into Helpless Mush: Labrador Retriever puppies. Much as it pains us, we've got to hand it to these cuddly critters. If a dog needs something, say, an extra bone, a stray slipper, a nice piece of filet mignon, all he has to do is ask the local Lab family, and 30 minutes later, the guardian of said treat is cooing inanely over the puppy while another dog makes off with the prize.

Runner-up: The Basset Hound. We just don't get it — I mean, these guys are slobbery and stinky, and their ears are totally ridiculous, but humans seem to love them.

Breed Most Likely to Meet an Abrupt Darwinian End: The Chihuahua. Can someone please explain to us how this creature has survived for so long? What purpose, exactly, does it serve? Other than its obvious talent for shilling sub-par Mexican fast food, this breed has reached a sort of usefulness dead end.

And, finally...

Breed Least Likely to Learn That a Glass Door Is Not, in Fact, an Open Door: The Cocker Spaniel. Don't get us wrong; we like these dogs. Some of us have even had a few of them for dinner. But there's not a whole lot going on between those giant ears, if you know what we mean. Need proof? Call a spaniel from across a varnished wood floor and as he skids towards you, out of control, step aside. Gonk! Right into the wall. Now do it again. See? Not a steep learning curve.

Well, that's it for the moment. We'll try to come up with a few other suggestions for your next report, and in the meantime, we'll do our best to clean up our collective act. We have just one request: If you see one of us, for Pete's sake cover your delectable ankles. Because, sometimes, you know, try as we might to banish carnivorous thoughts from our minds — we just can't help ourselves.


The Rotties