On Chit Bulls And Pihuahuas
If you enjoy surfing the Internet, then I urge you to use your favorite search engine to look up designer dog breeds. The various websites dedicated to the subject will be sure to amaze you.
The creative names you find like Labradoodle (Labrador mixed with poodle) and Brottweiler (Brussels Griffon and Rottweiler) sound like items you might find at a picnic rather than a canine companion.
Poring through the list of more than 500 dog breed combinations, I thought there could be no other possibilities.
That is, until Mr. Chung walked in with his little buddy Frankie the Chihuahua.
“Hey, Doc, long time no see. Buddy just made 3 years old and we’re here for his annual checkup,” stated Mr. Chung.
“Any specific concerns, Mr. Chung? Is Frankie’s appetite OK? How is his stool?” I queried.
“Everything is just fine, Doc. Frankie eats dry dog food mixed with a variety of leftovers. Sometimes he gets beef stew, sometimes rice and vegetables. Only the best for my little buddy,” beamed Mr. Chung.
I conducted my exam and noticed Frankie had not been neutered. I brought this to Mr. Chung’s attention, and his eyes opened wide.
“Actually, Doc, I did want to talk to you about Frankie’s fertility. My wife and I were thinking about breeding our little ‘Casanova.'”
I glanced at Frankie only to see him tilt his head slightly to one side as if he understood.
“We’re debating about mating him with another Chihuahua or maybe go with another breed altogether. Labradoodles and Puggles are really popular these days, so we thought about creating our own designer breed.”
After a pause, Mr. Chung continued, “We thought about mating Frankie with a pit bull.”
I tried to hide my surprise, but I think I failed.
“Doc, I know what you’re thinking. Would we call the pups ‘Chit Bulls’ or ‘Pihuahuas?'”
Actually, that’s not what I was thinking, but I decided to keep my thoughts to myself.
I informed Mr. Chung that there were many healthy dogs ready for adoption at the Hawaiian Humane Society.
I doubt there were any Chit Bulls, but still I assured him that there were a lot of cute mixed breeds to pick from.
He agreed to think about it, but I think he had his heart set on finding Frankie an attractive pit bull.
Whether on purpose or by accident, designer dog breeds are popping up everywhere. They represent a subculture of backyard geneticists eager to stumble upon the next great breed.
My advice is simple: Mosey on down to the nearest animal shelter and adopt a pet designed just for you.
Save a life.
Dr. John Kaya is the director of the Windward Community College veterinary technician program and associate veterinarian for VCA University Animal Hospital.