Thanks in large part to TV advertising, where they play a major role in selling all sorts of products (not just tacos), Chihuahuas are so popular in Japan that thieves are snatching them from their owners. Chihuahuas go for thousands of dollars at specialty stores. Supply cannot keep up with demand, so a black market is developing. While there are several other kinds of miniature dogs available in Japan, experts say Chihuahuas have more “personality.” Much as the young Los Angeles socialites do here in the U.S., the Japanese see Chihuahuas as both pet and fashion accessory. Many people in the U.S. view them as three-pound, shivering, nervous rat-dogs with annoying yappy barks. But others dress them in pink sweaters and carry them around town.
—Posted by Celeste Ward