I enjoy good relations with animal -- respectful, sometimes even affectionate. I remember with great fondness the many purring, playful cats and kittens of my youth. I was once very taken with a calf named September and, I confess, almost in love with the matriarch of a small herd of Morgans, a lovely lady named Gillian. The twin Nigerian dwarf goats, Orville and Wilbur, were, I think, special friends. But for some reason I've never taken to dogs, even though I know the story about dog/human co-evolution. Doggy dogs are moderately acceptable, but the various special breeds of dogs, dog-show dogs, seem to me to be freaks and monstrosities. We should have left them as wolves and not meddled.
Of all the various teratological breeds my least favorites are the ones who have been hybridized into snoutlessness. Dogs deserve and need a snout.
I was once attacked by a snoutless ugly bulldog; its owner, who, incidentally, had quite a snout himself, instead of apologizing profusely, made the utterly unjustified claim that I had provoked the attack. The incident reinforced my prejudice against bulldogs. It's not just that bulldogs are aggressive; let's make no bones about it, it's that for some inexplicable perverse reason they've been bred to be hideous. A travesty of a dog.
Nevertheless, I was startled to read the following paragraph in Richard C. Francis' new book on domestication of animals (Domesticated, Evolution in a Man-Made World, 2015):
The squashed face carries a heavy cost in and of itself. It starts with breathing problems. The shortened snout causes the soft palate to bunch up in front of the trachea in a way that impedes airflow. Since panting is the primary way for dogs to cool, bulldogs are also vulnerable to death by overheating. The mouth of a bulldog is also too small to accommodate its teeth, so they are crowded and grow at odd angles, trapping food debris. Gum disease is rampant. A bulldog's eyes don't seat properly In the skull and can pop out, even from straining at a leash. Often the eyelids cannot close completely, resulting in irritations and infection. The excessive skin folds often become infected. Perhaps most telling, the bulldog's head has become to large to pass through the birth canal; most births require Caesarean section.
Big mistake, the bulldog. We humans should have learned to leave well enough alone.