Imagine a show based on ruthless competition in which entirely unnatural physical features were prized above all else and incestuous relationships, allegations of poisoning rivals, and other unscrupulous behaviour abound. It sounds like a salacious soap opera, right? Except it's not. All of these things are part of the saddest reality show on TV: Crufts.
It is completely bizarre - and quite ominous - to prize particular animals higher than others based on such arbitrary factors as the exact length of their legs, their numbers of face folds or the precise flatness of their heads. All dogs are deserving of loving homes, even if they don't conform to such ridiculous standards.
When my dog sidles up to another dog and sniffs its rear end I have to admit I'm kind of jealous. Not that I want to sniff dogs' bottoms but because of the ease of that social interaction. I wonder if dogs get other things right that we humans get wrong. Are dogs the alter egos of their human owners?
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Chicken soup cures everything. You should feed a cold and starve a fever. Every culture and every family has their 'old wives tales' - different quirks and shortcuts, tricks and tips that are mainly supposed to help treat and cure a wide variety of health problems.
The pet retailer analysed the weights of 508,909 dogs across the country and found that Swinton in Yorkshire had the heaviest canines, with the average dog weighing 48 per cent more than it ought to. These results mean that dogs in these areas are more than twice as likely to have an issue with their weight, as the national average is still a startling 22 per cent.