Pit Bulls and Chihuahuas

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staffordshire bull terriers and chihuahua

Viva, my ass! Sometimes my relentless optimism gets tested, and this past holiday season was a prime example: a few days after Christmas, I had to put my poor dog down. BAH, HUMBUG!

Now, I’m not the type to carry a purebred pup around like a designer accessory – I got my little mutt at the pound, like the hardcore leftist commie bitch that I am. He was a humble stray of awkward pedigree – half Welsh Corgi, half German Shepherd; a goofy, funny-looking little feller that won hearts wherever he went.

Awww! You know how they say pet owners resemble their animals? Well, this was a match made in heaven!

Anyway, he turned out to be a great dog, and I had him for almost 6 years – that little fucker saw me through some very trying times. But just before Christmas, the poor guy swelled up like a zeppelin, from liver cancer…and just 11 days later, I had to take him into the vet and have him euthanized. I went in with him, and pet him while the doctor made the injection. It was horrible!

But like every miserable occasion in my life, I tried to make something fun and funny out of it. My intent in this instance had been to have the dog taxidermied – either stuffed whole, or just his head mounted on a plaque…or at the very least, have his hide tanned and made into a little rug (he had an exceptionally lovely coat of fur). A tribute to his memory…but also a funny conversation piece, ya know?

But that idea turned out to be prohibitively expensive – I called a taxidermy shop in old-town Hendertucky, and they quoted me something like $900 to stuff and mount him! Sorry, little feller… into the crematorium you go.

If you’ve ever had to put a beloved pet down, you understand what I mean when I say that I bawled my eyes out for two days straight. The sight of his leash, his toys, even the hairs he’d shed all over my black pants – it all made me weep. To make matters worse, my damn Aunt Flo chose RIGHT THEN to pay me a visit – more tears!!!

And then it was New Year’s Eve – woo-hoo! For someone like me, who is known as Good-Time Sally and the life of the party, it was a really trying time. I hate letting people down with a mopey face! But thanks to copious amounts of booze and drugs, I was able to get through the holiday with some semblance of fun. But I wasn’t really feeling it, and couldn’t wait for all the bullshit to be over so I could go home and cry some more.

This nonsense must end! I said to myself, looking at my blotchy, weepy reflection in the bathroom mirror. CES is around the corner, and no one wants to hire a crybaby to work their booth! Sack up!!! Life goes on, so get it together – NVEnergy don’t give a fuck if your dog just died!

In my experience, the best way to move on from tragedy is to preoccupy myself with a new project. In this case, I thought it would be therapeutic to channel my energy into adopting a new dog from the pound – if I could save another life, it would not only honor my dead dog’s memory, but would maybe also diminish my sadness.

So, I logged onto the Lied Animal Shelter’s website to check out the current roster of dogs available for adoption. But that was even more depressing: page after page of unwanted strays, runaways and rejects.

Worse, they say not to worry if you don’t see the dog of your dreams on the site – they get an average of 136 new pets every day, so try back tomorrow! There’s always a fresh crop!!!

Still, I am resolved to save a new life, so I made myself look through the photos…and was struck by the preponderance of two breeds: pit bulls and Chihuahuas. Literally, probably 80 percent of the dogs up for adoption at Lied are one breed or the other!

Now, I love all dogs, but it was downright disconcerting to see so many pit bulls and Chihuahuas…neither of which are breeds I am especially fond of. What gives?

Are all animal shelters in America the same way – or is this something particular to Vegas?? Is there something about our municipal character that lends itself to these two breeds?

Indeed, I found the situation weirdly symbolic.

Vegas itself has often been compared to the Island of Misfit Toys – broken souls come here because they can’t fit in/make it anywhere else. We’re a city of strays, runaways and rejects…just like the pound.

And just like the city, the pound is dominated by fierce, muscular bad-asses and girly, yappy little lapdogs. Heavyweight boxers and bikini models…frat mooks and sorority bimbos…mobsters and strippers…moguls and trophy wives.

Sigh.

I guess if I really want to do a good deed, I should adopt one of each… and name them Mayweather and Arianny. Or Bugsy and Holly. Or Steve and Andrea.

Bah, humbug!

SARAH JANE WOODALL is a one-woman culture festival. Read more at her blog, wonderhussy.com.