"Ugly Dogs Are Mistreated and Shunned Because They're Ugly"
Last February, we were scratching our heads at some of the comments of Dr. Edgard Brito, cosmetic surgeon to the dog stars, who lives in São Paulo, Brazil. It was in a story about his work with show dogs and other well-bred pooches, straightening droopy ears. A lot of ears. He uses Botox and Restylane to fix broken cartilage and prop up saggy ears; he's also developed a silicone wedge that he inserts into ears to reshape cartilage.
He has a healthy business. He told Businessweek he's done plastic surgery on thousands of animals, usually costing $500 to $1,000 a pop.
He also said some weird stuff.
“Why not be beautiful? It’s very important," he said. "If the pet is beautiful, the owner is happy and wants to show their pet to their friends.”
If the pet is beautiful, the owner is happy? Ah, no.
Now, in a interview with Vice, Brito doubles-down on the weird, enough for us to label him this week's bonehead.
Here's an excerpt:
Vice: What’s the most common defect you correct?
Brito: Damaged or inappropriately positioned ears.
Vice: Doesn’t that seem a bit shallow?
Brito: 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.
Vice: So you’re saying that this relationship hinges on the owners finding their dogs attractive?
Brito: Certainly. An ugly dog is an unloved dog, left forgotten in the backyard, without a ride, dirty and mistreated. A clean dog, with bright teeth, is loved by his owners.
Wait, what? Brito just took a left into Crazytown. Ugly dogs are unloved, mistreated, dirty, and left forgotten in a backyard "without a ride?" Since when? Where does this happen? We see dogs Brito would label as ugly every day (droopy ears!), and seldom are they "lacking a ride" -- these dogs are always in full possession of their ride (we don't know what "lacking a ride" means, of course, but the dogs are very happy).
Perhaps Brito is speaking from experience with his own dogs?
At this point, Brito could have backed slowly out of Crazytown and been on his way. Instead, he pulls over his camper and starts running for mayor.
Vice: In your professional opinion, does a dog experience a higher quality of life post-surgery?
Brito: Yes, because he will be shown to the public more, go out more with his owner, and be given better products and top food.
We don't even know where to start with this. Post-surgery dogs get better products? Better food? Because of the surgery? Does that mean that dogs with straightened ears get Kongs filled with steak while your average droopy-eared shelter mutts get a crumpled Dixie cup thrown in the dirt to play with?
And then they are left forgotten in the backyard, dirty and mistreated, without their ride?
Some of this odd language might be getting tangled in the English-as-a-second-language grinder. But a lot of it is not. Brito has some strange ideas about dogs, to be sure. But it helps to realize that Brito makes his living doing unnecessary surgeries on perfectly fine, albeit not yet "show quality," dogs. He's just trying to sell this junk to the masses. Don't buy it. Your ugly dog is perfectly happy, even without his ride.