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Hogarth Pug and Sunfat the Bull Terrier 1700-2000

The 'dreadful topics' of bestiality and sexuality were symptoms associated with Rabies in nineteenth-century bourgeoisie circles; victims raged and attempted to bite others, and they seemed in a constant state of priapic sexual arousal. The disease was thought to have originated in the undisciplined dogs of the undisciplined lower orders with their associated loose moral codes. A British parliamentary act of 1871 gave local authorities power to muzzle dogs, but arguments about the effects of doing so went on into the 1890's; The urban middle-class might hope that their little lap dogs never came into contact with the ravening brutes of the poor.