Dogs Love Eating Human Faces
"Post-Mortem Decapitation by Domestic Dogs," a 2011 research paper written by a team of Germans, is pretty fucking heavy reading. At one point, it recounts what happened when the cops showed up at a Berlin apartment after the neighbors complained about a barking dog and the stench of rotting meat:
“A 54-year-old man was found dead in his apartment. The body was decapitated and putreﬁed… Also, the man’s well-fed four-year-old German Shepherd dog was present at the death scene, and the entire apartment was soiled by animal feces and urine… dog food was readily accessible… the evidence included typical dog bite marks with decapitation and complete loss of the skull base… Toxicological analysis revealed the cause of death to be fatal intoxication from combined methadone and cocaine.”
That’s not an unusual passage, either.
The English Way – Photos by Martin Parr, Text by Kate Fox
A Nation of Closet Patriots
Looking at these patriotic images, what strikes me immediately is how unusual they are. To capture them, Martin must have waited patiently—like a wildlife photographer hoping for some shy nocturnal creature to emerge—as patriotic displays like this are a rare sight among the English. Only a tiny minority of us ever indulge in such public displays of national pride, and even this minority only do so on very special occasions.
In fact, it is often said that the English suffer from a lack of patriotic feeling. And there is some evidence to support this claim: English people, on average, rate their degree of patriotism at just 5.8 out of 10, according to a European survey, far below the self-rated patriotism of the Scots, Welsh, and Irish, and the lowest of all the European nations. Our national day, Saint George’s Day, is on April 23, but surveys regularly show that at least two-thirds of us are completely unaware of this occasion. Can you imagine a similar number of Americans being oblivious to the Fourth of July, or Irish people ignoring St. Patrick’s Day?
Based on my ethnographic research, however, I had a hunch that our reluctance to engage in public patriotic displays may be related to what I would call “hidden rules of Englishness,” rather than an absence of national pride. So I conducted my own national survey, just before Saint George’s Day, asking what I felt were more subtle questions about patriotic feelings. The results confirmed my impression that we are actually a nation of “closet patriots.”
My findings showed that the vast majority (83 percent) of English people feel at least some sense of patriotic pride: 22 percent “always,” 23 percent “often,” and 38 percent at least “sometimes” feel proud to be English.
Is Your Dog a Butterface? This Guy Can Help
Just about everyone loves dogs, and if you don’t, you’re one of those “cats only” people who has trouble connecting with the human race. So it’s no surprise that dog owners around the world spend bazillions to ensure that their butt-sniffing buddies are happy, healthy, and looking good—including paying plastic surgeons to achieve their ideas of pooch perfection.
Brazilian veterinarian Edgard M. Brito is one of the world’s leading plastic surgeons for animals. He and his clients believe loving your pet means helping it look its best, and if that means surgically straightening ears, performing eye-widening lifts, replacing testicles, or smoothing out wrinkles, so be it. I wanted to know exactly what he does—and why—so I asked him.
VICE: What are the criteria for a dog to be considered good-looking?
Edgard M. Brito: Firstly, in my opinion, the attraction that humans have for dogs is natural. The beauty, symmetry, and hygiene [of the dogs] help make this relationship a perfect one.
If it’s such a perfect relationship, why do you think some dogs need cosmetic surgery?
For reconstruction and sometimes for corrections of anatomic defects and physical or functional abnormalities that can appear during an animal’s life.
What’s the most common defect you correct?
Damaged or inappropriately positioned ears.
Doesn’t that seem a bit shallow?
We aren’t painting dogs pink to match their owners’ nail polish. Our focus is on improving the animal’s quality of life and helping to achieve a perfect relationship between animal and owner.
Celebrity Dogs of America
Last weekend, I attended America’s Family Pet Expo in Costa Mesa, California, which attracts thousands of people for a host of reasons: they love pets, they volunteer with rescue organizations, or they’re interested in buying their cats some quality business cards. One of the biggest draws, though, was the celebrity pet event—a showcase of trained dogs and cats who act in popular TV shows.
Like normal, non-dog-dominated events, the expo had its own black market: shortly after I stepped into the long admission line with the rest of the non-celebrity pets and humans, I got approached by a sketchy, nervous-looking guy who mumbled at me, “You guys want to buy some passes?” Yes, this man was a Pet Expo scalper. I bought a pass.
Although I was primarily there for the celebrity pets, there was no shortage of other entertainment. While walking through the expo, I watched several rounds of dachshund racing, pet an 18-pound rabbit, and spotted more than a few dogs who were better dressed than I was.
The Vet Who Wants to Legalize Medical Marijuana for Dogs
Now that it’s possible to legally buy and smoke marijuana in many parts of the US, it’s safe to say that weed and its by-products will be ingested freely throughout the country in the next decade. But have you ever shotgunned a blunt into your dog’s face? If you have, you’re an asshole and should never do it again. But that doesn’t mean your pooch doesn’t like to get high, especially if it’s sick. Veterinarian Doug Kramer is among a small number of experts who believe THC could help canines cope with debilitating and chronic conditions just like it helps humans. I called Dr. Kramer to see how his crusade was going.
VICE: How did you first think to treat sick pups with pot?
Dr. Kramer: A client first brought it to my attention. She was a bit eccentric, but she was a very intelligent woman. She had a pet that was not responding well to any of the pain medications or the steroids that we were giving it, and she wanted to talk about getting medical marijuana. The other vets at the practice were pretty dismissive, but she saw that I was willing to listen.
I read somewhere that at some point your dog, Nikita, was diagnosed with untreatable cancer. You had tried pretty much everything, right?
She had gone through all of the traditional pain medications, even steroids. When it became clear that she was nearing the end, that’s when she had nothing to lose, as long as it didn’t hurt her. At the first dosage, she was up and around. I didn’t cure her. It was just a question of increasing her quality of life and putting off inevitably euthanizing her.
BEASTS OF BURDEN - PART 1
Searching for Illicit Animal-Fighting Rings in Kabul
VICE correspondent Gelareh Kiazand travels to Kabul in search of illicit gambling rings where men bet on quail fights, buzkashi (it’s like polo, but with a headless goat), and dog fights. But first she has to find Dardar, the only figure in Kabul’s gambling world who can get our crew into the betting circle.
Inside the Abandoned Radioactive Towns of Japan - Photos by Toshiya Watanabe