BONZO: Champion Chinese crested starts off on wrong paw

It’s one thing when my human says I’ve done something wrong. I’m secure in my sense of self-worth, and I know I’m just being a dog.

But it’s another thing when a dog tells me off. That I take very seriously, and I make sure I say I’m sorry by taking a deep bow of apology.

The other day, though, I came across a dog that judged me for my looks. Now that’s where I draw the line. I know big dogs may scare some people. But other dogs? That’s nuts. I’m as nice as they come.

So when I got the harshest harangue of my life the other day from this – excuse me – pipsqueak weirdo in the car next to me, I was stupefied.

Now I don’t want to judge another dog for its looks either. But you have to get a visual: this tiny creature was bare naked but for a giant halo of fur around its head, baring its teeth, growling and yapping like she was going to eat me alive.

Do I need to add that she was strapped into a doggie car seat??

Seriously. I had to burst out laughing, and so did my human. Even the dog’s owner was laughing, trying to quiet her down.

Turns out, it was Karen Economou and her new dog Dixie, a hairless Chinese Crested who at the recent dog show in Vero Beach won third place in her class, Small Dogs – though frankly, I’d say she’s in a class by herself.

Karen, who goes by Keko, is an artist at Flametree Clay gallery. You may have seen her paintings of her prior Chinese Crested, Dezi. He was a friend of my pal, Bonzo. Sadly he passed away last year. But the breeder gave Keko and Mike one of Dezi’s cousins, Nugget, whom Karen calls Dixie.

Keko says Dixie’s shy around people, though she goes everywhere with Keko – even sits in the cart when they shop for crafts at Michael’s. But around some dogs, she has what’s called “‘big’ aggression.” Small dogs – no problem. But big dogs? Look out. Keko’s watched her to take out a German shepherd through a chain link fence. That’s why she lost it when she saw little old me.

Taking Dixie to dog shows is helping get used to big dogs, though Keko says sometimes she feels like she’s in an episode of “Toddlers in Tiaras,” especially when Dixie has a meltdown.

Dixie’s earned a pile of ribbons, just for looking like, well, a Chinese Crested. I guess she likes people judging her for her looks. I’ll be curious to hear how it goes the first time one of them growls.

Respectfully submitted,


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