Yeah, I know what you're thinking: This is one terrifying and ugly hound, who actually looks a lot like a canine version of Hannibal Lecter. But, as they say, appearances can be deceiving. That's not a muzzle around the snout of Chops, a 2 1/2 year old terrier/mastiff mix who lives near a small market in Bangkok's Din Daeng district -- it's actually an orthodontic harness that works in conjunction with dental braces to straighten his teeth.
Yes, you heard that right: Chops wears braces. Because for most of his life, Chops has sported a smile that could best be compared to that of a smashed Halloween jack-o-lantern, with gnarled, twisted teeth going every which way, giving him a rather frightening and vicious appearance.
As a result of his scary grill, Chops hasn't exactly been popular with the female dogs. In fact, he can't even get a phone number when he goes out to clubs. And that's a shame, because Chops is actually quite a kind, gentle dog who just wants to be appreciated by the opposite sex.
So badly does the romance-minded Chops desire a beautiful smile with straight, pearly white teeth that he's willing to not only endure the physical discomfort of the braces and the harness, but also the ridicule that is rained down on him by many other (heartless) members of the Bangkok street dog community. These mangy hounds may think it's funny that Chops is trying to improve his looks, but they probably won't be laughing when the braces come off and he is transformed into the most handsome dog in Bangkok (except for me, of course).