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Five Lies You’ve Been Told About Dogs

Does anyone know who let them out? Are those adorable wrinkles on pugs really, actually adorable? Let’s find out the truth.

The world is full of lies, and it’s hard to get through life without taking a few on board. Luckily, we’re here to sort the fact from the fiction, and find the plankton of truth in the ocean of bullshit. This week: Dogs! How cute are they, really? And what is Goofy’s fucking deal? Read on — it’s the leash you can do (AHAHA! AHAHAHAHA!).

Lie #1: One Human Year Is Seven Dog Years

Dogs don’t live as long as people, and the idea that they age at seven times the rate of humans has come about over the years, presumably to make people feel less sad when a 12-year-old hound has to be put to sleep. Anthropomorphizing them to see them as grizzled elderly people longing for the hand of winter makes it all a bit easier.

Or it would if it made any doggone sense. (Doggone, yes, because we’re talking about canine death, thanks.) Different breeds have different lifespans — large dogs get old faster than smaller ones, so while a chihuahua can be expected to live to between 14 and 20, a French Mastiff probably won’t see its ninth birthday. Using the seven-year rule makes both ends of the scale absurd: Nobody goes, “Well, Doug was 56, he had a good long life,” just as, “Grandma’s 140, her time has come” is ridiculous — if grandma is 140, she’s probably been begging for death for three decades. Everyone she knows is dead and the world makes no sense! 

The younger years similarly aren’t analogous to human life. Chihuahuas are ready to breed at two years old, while a human having a child at 14 means a crime has taken place. Some dogs go into heat for the first time at six months old, while not even the most mature of three-and-a-half-year-old kids is thinking about settling down and starting a family (and if they are, they should really be encouraged to wait — imagine juggling raising a family with learning to read). 

There’s another, slightly more complex way of calculating a dog’s equivalent stage of life, in which its first two years count as 12 each, and each year afterwards count as four. If a dog is d years old, that makes it something like:

4(d-2) + 24 = the age of a person of about the same oldness as the dog in question

It still doesn’t quite work (a mastiff is dead at 52, which is a tragically young age for a person to die), but it’s a bit less silly than the seven-times rule.

Math: It’s more fun than grieving the death of a beloved family pet.

Lie #2: Goofy and Pluto Are Both Dogs

If Goofy and Pluto are the same species, life sucks for Pluto. While Goofy lives the life of a suburban single father, Pluto sleeps in a kennel and is dragged around on a leash. Put in live-action terms, one lives like Mitch Buchannon from Baywatch, one lives like the Gimp from Pulp Fiction

The answer is that Pluto is the only one that’s actually a dog. None of the rest of the Disney animals are animals, but humans that look a bit like them. That’s why their storylines involve things like cooking a big meal, getting a job or going to a party, rather than things animals actually do.

Mickey Mouse (who sucks) gets in very few of the situations an actual mouse would. There’s never been an episode where he eats his young, for instance, or chews through an electrical cable and dies. His relationship with Minnie involves a lot more elaborate courtship rituals and romantic gestures than actual mice tend to go for — in the real mouse world, the hot urine of the male features pretty heavily.

(One Australian mouse-like mammal, the antechinus, loves banging so much that it bangs and bangs and bangs until it develops internal bleeding and gangrene and dies. In any given cartoon, Mickey Mouse is much more likely to present Minnie with a bunch of flowers than spend 14 hours fucking her before moving immediately on to the next nearest female, carrying on as long as he can and stopping only when his sex organs “disintegrate.” It’s Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse, not Mickey Mouse’s Bleeding Penis Stump Death Fuck House.)

Hang on, what the hell was this one about? Ah, yeah, Goofy. He’s a person who is represented as a dog because it makes for a more interesting cartoon, while Pluto is actually a dog. Simple!

Lie #3: “I Know All The Words to ‘Who Let The Dogs Out?’”

Nobody knows all the words to “Who Let The Dogs Out?,” not even the members of Baha Men, the band who released “Who Let The Dogs Out?.” Marvin Prosper Knowles, who performs the rap part on the single, is no longer in the band, and didn’t tell the other members exactly what the words were. In 2015, band founder Isaiah Taylor said, “Leroy Butler sings the rap part in the song now, and no matter how much I hear him sing that part, I can’t sing it. Marvin, the ex-member with blond hair, originally wrote the rap, so he’s the only one who knows what the words are. Leroy sings what he thinks it is, but I know that what he’s singing doesn’t make sense.”

Lie #4: Look At This Pug! It’s So Cute!

You know what isn’t cute? Cleaning yeast infections out of wrinkles caused by inbreeding. A lot of the features that make certain breeds of dog particularly photogenic, or give them that kind of adorably pathetic vibe that for some reason we really respond to, create endless problems for the dogs themselves.

Pugs, bulldogs, Boston terriers and shih tzus are classed as brachycephalic, meaning “short-faced” — their lower jaws are disproportionately longer than their upper ones, giving them that oh-so-cute squished appearance. High-profile dogs like Doug The Pug (4 million Instagram followers) and Lady Gaga’s three French bulldogs are almost certainly responsible for some of it, making a squishy-faced hound seem like Insta-gold.

Ha ha ha, they’re so cute! They can’t breathe properly! Breeding these features into them has led to deformed windpipes, narrow nostrils and inefficient panting, all of which are a massive nightmare. Airways that don’t open enough means they struggle to get enough oxygen into their bloodstreams, which places massive pressure on their hearts, leading to heart problems. Their bulging eyes are incredibly susceptible to infection, as are those cute-as-a-button wrinkles, which frequently sport yeast infections and smell like diseased penises. 

Brachycephalic dogs also frequently can’t give birth naturally, due to being bred into having big-ass heads and small bodies, so over 90 percent of bulldog births are by C-section — a big operation to recover from even if you don’t also have a tiny deformed windpipe, a strained heart and a bunch of ulcers growing on your eyeballs. They’re also incredibly prone to skin cancer, heatstroke, hypothermia and obesity. 

These dogs are shit at being dogs, but they’re really popular, with ownership increasing massively over the last 15 years. A whole load of the fuckups we’ve built into them have become normalized to the extent that YouTube is full of videos of “adorably” snoring pugs, their inbred deformities treated as badges of pride rather than relics of cruelty

We’ve broken dogs. Fuck! We’re assholes!

Lie #5: A Dog Is A Man’s Best Friend

Not if that man is… Adolf Hitler. Hitler had a German Shepherd named Blondi, who he apparently really loved. Blondi even slept in bed with him and Eva Braun, along with Braun’s Scottish terriers, Negus and Stasi.

However, on April 29, 1945, when Hitler heard that Mussolini had been killed, he panicked. He was determined that he and Braun were better off killing themselves than being captured and facing justice, so was in possession of cyanide capsules acquired for him by Heinrich Himmler. In his panicked state, he worried that they wouldn’t work, as he had decided Himmler was a traitor, so decided to test one. He got his personal physician, Werner Haase, to feed a capsule to Blondi, who died. Hitler was then “inconsolable.”

Oh, Hitler, you daft prick. Poisoning a dog then being sad when it dies is monumentally fucking unintelligent. It’s like deliberately pissing your pants then getting upset that your pants have piss in them. Generally when discussing Hitler, people focus on his evil deeds, which is fair enough, but his shit-dumbness should also get a mention now and then. Being a stupid moron is obviously far from the worst thing about that dickweed, but Jesus Christ, what a dung-for-brains assclown. “I poisoned my dog, and now it’s dead so I am sad.” That’ll happen, Hitler, you nitwit! 

Hitler and Braun killed themselves the next morning. Hitler didn’t even use the capsules in the end, making the entire episode even dumber, opting to shoot himself in the head instead. As he pressed the gun to his temple — the cleverest thing he ever did, BTW — he probably thought something like, “Gosh, what a smelly idiot I am,” before pulling the trigger, sending a bullet through where his brain would have been if he fucking had one, the knucklehead.

Hitler’s dog handler then shot Braun’s dogs, Blondi’s four puppies, Hitler’s secretary’s dogs and his own dachshund — what a shitty dog handler! Shooting nine dogs in one morning is 100 percent the opposite of what a good dog handler does. Zero stars for Fritz Tornow.

Dogs certainly weren’t those men’s best friends! If you’ll test a poison on someone you’d describe as your friend, or shoot them for no reason (what the fuck were they worried would happen? Did they think the dogs would tell the Allies their secrets?), you don’t understand friendship, you Nazi idiot! You amoral human toilet! Eat shit, you nothing!