Here's a story that will warm the bilious heart of Lou Dobbs: American-born chihuahuas are kicking the ass of their Mexican-born counterparts (easy, Lou, the U.S. bred dogs learn English super-fast). From a Gannett story on this essential battleground in the war against our friendly southern amigo:
Some Mexican pet stores have begun selling U.S.-bred Chihuahuas to well-heeled customers drawn by the cachet of an American pedigree. Celebrity owners such as Paris Hilton have turned the tiny canines into a status symbol, and the "imported" tag heightens the allure, store managers say.
"Sometimes, customers want dogs with American papers and the (implanted) ID chips, and those are hard to get in Mexico," said Mayra Rodriguez, owner of the Mascota Pet Shop in Chihuahua City. "A lot of the time, these are the same bloodlines we sent over the border years ago."
About 30 percent of the Chihuahuas that Rodriguez sells come from breeders in the United States….
Mexico still supplies Chihuahuas to the United States, but many of them are low-quality dogs that are smuggled across the border, said Carol Jeffrey, a spokeswoman for the Chihuahua Club of America. Only 250 Mexican dogs of all breeds were exported legally to the United States last year, according to the Mexican Economy Secretariat.
Meanwhile, the popularity of U.S.-bred dogs is booming. Imports from the United States to Mexico doubled from 2,102 dogs in 2002 to 4,402 in 2006.
The rat-like dog joins other Mexican staples that are now being off-shored from the land of the Aztecs. Mexico's hot peppers mostly come from Asia, says the story, and burros mostly come from Kentucky. The marketing of poinsettias–named after a U.S. ambassador to Mexico who brought them here–is now dominated by the U.S.
Here's a quick question? Will the Taco Bell dog pull a page from the playbook of former Molson pitchman "Joe," who left the country that made him famous for regions south? As you'll recall (especially if you read this story), the actor who played Joe, Jeff Douglas, moved to Hollywood as soon as he could. Perhaps the Taco Bell dog–badly in need of a second act–will hightail it to Mexico City, which is where Europeans first encountered the breed, back when the Aztecs were running the show.