Why SadPuppies® Don’t Sell
An analysis of market performance of certain genetically enhanced breeds, presented to the 17th Annual Genetically Engineered Animal Konference, Kouvola, Finland.
(The following is an extract; for the full text, copies may be obtained from the Proceedings of the Recreational Genetic Modification Society)
SadPuppies®, generations I through IV, were originally developed for the High End Prestige market, commonly referred to as Rich-and-Stupid in the trade. Prior research seemed to suggest that a small, neotenous, perpetually depressed – hang-dog-looking product would find great traction within certain demographics.
Despite enormous effort and untold marketing expense (a broad estimate of expenses is provided in Appendix E), reality has not matched with theory. We think this analysis will provide some insight into how and why there was such a disconnect.
First, a description of the breed.
The GBreed is designed to replicate the juvenile appearance of virtually any standard breed. Breeds commonly selected are collie, spaniel, poodle, shepherd and, among the so-called ‘toy’ breeds, chihuahua, pugs, french bulldog and a handful of terrier breeds.
As is typical for GBreeds, SadPuppies® were engineered with MEBs (multiple enlarged bladders), and Cloacal Shunts(TM), which are well-defined and practiced modifications that express as animals that produce only semi-solid/solid wastes on an infrequent basis. In a very high percentage of Sad Puppies however, these modifications have expressed the opposite effect, resulting in a dog that is almost constantly piddling. This was marketed as a feature of the breed, presented as giving owners multiple opportunities to fuss over their pet. Co-branding incorporating purchasing rebates with a variety of pet diaper manufacturers seemed to initially mitigate consumer reluctance The positives of that program quickly wore off, however, largely due to a political campaign (No Pee!) (presumably organized by the anti-GBreed cabal) that effectively highlighted the additional expenses associated with a dog that quite literally peed on everything, all of the time. Counter campaigns developed for the dry cleaning, carpet cleaning and furniture restoration industries proved to be ineffective. (Note: Halliburton Pet Designs is currently in the process of modifying the breed to eliminate this issue.)
SadPuppies® are also enhanced with Impulse Control Reduction (Pre-Frontal Mod AG148793; Reg. Pat. No. 17,867,453) that was intended to increase the animal’s attention-seeking behavior by at least one order of magnitude above that of a standard, run-of-the-mill Canis lupus familiaris. Test breedings initially confirmed the effectiveness of this relatively new modification. Field studies however were tremendously at odds with laboratory findings. A brief selection of field report excerpts is illustrative: (all names have been anonymized to comply with privacy requirements)(1)
S.M.K.: “The second I break eye contact, the damned think begins to whine. I mean, I could be holding it, petting it, giving it a treat, but if I’m not giving it my full, 100 percent undivided attention, it whines. If it’s on the floor it nips my ankles. Don’t get me started on my non-existent sex life!”
J.L. “When I first got Clementine, I started calling her ‘good girl’ whenever she was a good girl. Now, the (expletives deleted) barks like a hell hound the second I stop saying “good girl”. I spend my whole day saying “goodgirlgoodgirlgoodgirlgoodgirl.. I had to record it on an endless loop just to get some sleep!” (interviewers note: the Gbreed subject in question – Clementine – spent the entire interview jumping up and down while piddling, barking and growling incessantly. Interviewee was crying.)
Y. W. “I swear to god! The dog called me on the phone! I don’t know how it figured it out and I’m really scared to death of finding out how it knew what number to dial. It called me five times while I was at work. I answered the phone and it started barking and panting at me! What’s it going to do next? Call a SWAT team on me!?” (Note: this report has not been independently verified. It is included here to give some indication of the level of customer dissatisfaction.)
Like all GBreeds, SadPuppies® are designed to consume nutrients of proprietary design. However,
SadPuppies® are notoriously picky eaters. Even when presented with their specially formulated nutrient, they frequently reject it, often half-way through the consumption of a typical meal. Potential digestive, nutritional and sensory issues have been investigated without revealing any causation. Empirical evidence and customer reports seem to suggest that SadPuppies® gens. I-IV may be reacting to the packaging.
Initial research into this theory, though far from conclusive (only a small sample tested to date) seems to support this contention: During feeding sessions, SadPuppies® exposed to the front of the packaging that presents an image of the SadPuppies® product, ate with relish and consumed their entire meal within the proscribed time frame. SadPuppies® exposed to the back of the packaging that provides important messages about the food and the breed, refused to even investigate the food, let alone eat it. A separate study exposed SadPuppies® to the back of the packaging mid way through the consumption of the meal and the results were explosive, with a high percentage of SadPuppies® projectile vomiting immediately upon exposure to the messages.
Additionally, all food must be prepared within very precise ranges of temperature, size, color, configuration and consistency. This is believed to be an unintended interference between AG148793 Mods and Olfactory Bulb Mod OS7864.
Size and coloration of SadPuppies® was intended to be designer (selected by the customer); however, the vast majority of naturally gestated SadPuppies® pups and virtually 100% of in vitro pups, while born displaying various colorations and patters, mature as albinos.
Finally, SadPuppies® G1 – G4 incorporate highly modified versions of the frontal,parietal, temporal lobes and Wernicke’s Area, the so-called ‘dome head’ mod (BB36952), which, in prior GBreeds has been shown to be a well accommodated modification that greatly enhances the intelligence of the animal, particularly in the area of symbol acquisition and logical reasoning ability (GBreeds are known for understanding a large human language vocabulary, are capable of following a series of basic instructions, such as bring me my gun, then put on the Tutu and dance and exhibit strong problem-solving skills).
An unacceptably large percentage of SadPuppies® however, demonstrate a lack of cognitive abilities that can only be described as “dumb as a rock”(2). This is of especial concern due to the incorporation of the BB36952 mod.
(1) The company responsible for conducting these tests (Zimbardo-Day Animal Psychological Testing Services is currently being investigated by the Society for the Prevention of Pseudo-Cruelty to Genetically Modified So-Called Pets for conducting less than rigorous tests and it is strongly suspected that the results of that investigation may have some bearing on the veracity of test results in this particular case.
(2) Dr. A. Moreau, internal company memo, Lubberly Industries, LLC
*Note: the authors wish to make it clear that SadPuppies® – the brand name for Halliburton Pet Designs’ custom canine – is not associated in any way with science fiction fandom’s political lobby group known colloquially as “Sad Puppies” and point out that the trademark is a single portmanteau word accompanied by the trademark symbol, while the lobby group utilizes two separate words, frequently accompanied by illustrations of cartoon dogs.. Nuance and specificity are important and, at least In this particular case, white space matters.