Here's a story that's perfect for Halloween.
For those who aren't into cryptozoology, the chupacabra is a creature seen in parts of the Americas that has a legendary status similar to Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. The name literally means "goat sucker" based on its behavior of drinking the blood of goats and other farm animals. The Wikipedia entry on chupacabras lists the following description:
The most common description of chupacabras is a reptile-like being, appearing to have leathery or scaly greenish-gray skin and sharp spines or quills running down its back.This form stands approximately 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 m) high, and stands and hops in a similar fashion to a kangaroo. In at least one sighting, the creature was reported to hop 20 feet (6 m). This variety is said to have a dog or panther-like nose and face, a forked tongue, and large fangs. It is said to hiss and screech when alarmed, as well as leave behind a sulfuric stench. When it screeches, some reports assert that the chupacabras' eyes glow an unusual red which gives the witnesses nausea.
Here are some images of what the chupacabra is supposed to look like...
There is no scientific proof for this creature, though biologists and other scientists have tried to prove or disprove its existence. As shown in a recent Discovery News article, most mainstream scientists believe that sightings of a chupacabra are actually a case of mistaken identity with the actual creature being an extremely mange-ridden coyote or wild dog. Compare the images above to the pictures and video capture below.
This is actually a not-uncommon external parasite of dogs and can affect pet dogs. In the huge majority of cases the pets see us vets long before they get to the point of complete baldness, as the mite causes intense itching. It's also a mite that is relatively easy to treat through several methods and is not considered a major health concern. Yet in wild animals the mite can lead to severe skin disorders and even death due to weakness and secondary infection.
Does the chupacabra actually exist? My instincts say no, though I'm sure there are cryptozoology aficionados who can argue otherwise. Other cryptids? I think the jury is still out on some of them. And frankly, I like the idea of there still being some mysteries left in the world. It keeps things from being too boring.
(A customer brings her dog to the front desk in a panic.)
Customer: “My dog has fleas, so I need you to help me. I have been using the flea medication you gave me, but I can still see flea eggs.”
Me: “Ma’am, you can see flea eggs?”
Customer: “I have been trying to pick them off, but they seem to be stuck.”
Me: “Ok, can you show me the eggs you have been trying to pick off?”
(Customer lifts up the dog to show me it’s belly.)
Customer: “See! These!”
Me: “Ma’am, those are not flea eggs, they are his nipples.”
Customer: “Nipples? But he’s a male, how does he have nipples? They have to be flea eggs.”
Me: “I assure you, he has no fleas, and the ‘eggs’ you have been trying to pick off are in fact his nipples.”
Customer: “Get the vet, you don’t know what you’re talking about, he’s a male! He can’t have nipples.”
Me: “Ma’am, do human males have nipples?”
Customer: *stares blankly for a moment* “Well s***!” *walks out*