Nearing the end of 2007, the world population of badogedowns stands at approximately 30 animals. The species was believed to have gone extinct in 2005. However, under condition of anonymity, it has been revealed to me that two private collectors have managed to preserve several animals, and are quietly pursuing a breeding program.
The Badogedown is a rubbery, blubbery, gelatinous sort of puppy dog. It is not the result of natural selection, but rather a failed attempt at genetic engineering undertaken during the early 2000s by corporate interests.
Two companies, one in Japan and one in the USA, are responsible for producing the new species. Their intent, it seems, was to capitalize upon the designer toys/urban vinyl movement by producing a living pet whose flesh emulates the texture of shiny rubber toys. They hoped to appeal to the aesthetics of parents who grew up in the 1970s, who would then purchase the pups for their target market: young girls, ages 10-12.
In most respects, the companies' scientists were eminently successful. The Pekinese-sized pooch both looks and feels like a living toy. Furthermore, the Badogedown's character is ideally suited for family environments: its enthusiastic affection and loyalty toward children is truly unparalleled. When the dog is brought home, it bonds to its young new owner almost instantaneously, and the two become immediately inseparable. It follows the child around wherever they go, relentlessly leaping up and happily licking the youngster's face.
Unfortunately, there are two tragic flaws in the animal's make up, which genetic engineers were never fully able to eliminate...
The dog has no ears. As it affectionately assaults its human master, there is simply no way to call it off.
Worse yet, the Badogedown possesses two very sharp fangs. Consequently, in the several test groups of young girls that it was exposed to, the animal's paroxysms of love invariably resulted in serious injury. (Quite unintentionally, on the part of the dog.)
Even after these tragic incidents, it was several years more before the "vinyl love dog" project was finally brought to a halt and the animal population destroyed. It seems that this delay resulted from a peculiar communications breakdown during the international collaboration.
Product testing for the pups was done in the USA; the Japanese project leaders were only able to listen in via teleconferencing. The young girls' screams of terror were misinterpreted as shrieks of pleasure. In Japan, "bad dog, get down!" was believed to be an unknown English colloquialism of affection... Which resulted in the Badogedown's name: a Japanese transliteration of the exclamation that that each and every test subject was heard shouting.
Attempts to file down or mechanically remove the teeth have all been unsuccessful. Likely due to the addition of rodent DNA, the teeth regenerate and continue to grow quickly during the animal's entire life-span. Corporate interests finally were forced to admit failure.
However, ego and soft-heartedness are stubborn traits. There is reason to suspect that the two individuals who have preserved the Badogedown species were in fact scientists who worked on the original "vinyl love dog" project. Facing the prospect of their creations being exterminated and all records erased, I believe that they smuggled out a handful of pups -- and have since continued on with their "labor of love."
My contacts have not been forthcoming with details about where the dogs are currently being kept -- but they assure me that all necessary precautions have been taken to keep the animals safely contained in captivity.