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Flawed Dogs: The Novel: The Shocking Raid on Westminster, Flawed Dogs for short, is a children's novel and the first illustrated novel by Bloom County author Berkeley Breathed. It was published on September 17, 2009.

The novel stars a dachshund named Sam the Lion, who was specifically bred to be a show dog. He is adopted by a girl named Heidy, who is going to live with her uncle Hamish. Hamish owns a poodle named Cassius, who was also bred for dog shows. Cassius is enraged with jealousy over Sam, and plots to ruin his life. To this end, he frames Sam for various crimes, tricking his owners into thinking he's a mad dog, and casting him out. This marks the beginning of Sam's adventure, which eventually leads to him ending up in a dog pound, where he meets other dogs cast out by society for their abnormalities. Sam teams up with them in a revenge plan against Cassius and all the other show dogs.

An animated movie adaptation is in the works. It will be directed by Noah Baumbach and produced by Dreamworks Animation. There isn't a set release date yet.


Flawed Dogs contains examples of:

  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: One of the dogs at the pound is described as being naturally blue and purple.
  • Animated Adaptation: The upcoming movie adaptation will be fully animated, most likely CGI.
  • A Cat in a Gang of Dogs: One of the characters is a cat in a dog disguise.
  • Bear Trap: Sam loses his leg after stepping on one.
  • Big Bad: Cassius is single-handedly responsible for getting Sam disowned and kicked out of the house, starting the conflict.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: It's Cassius' jealousy of Sam that drives him to ruin Sam's life.
  • Handicapped Badass: Sam becomes one of these after he loses one of his back legs in a bear trap.
  • Happy Ending: Sam and Heidy are reunited again and all of the flawed dogs from the pound end up finding their forever homes.
  • If I Can't Have You: After being heartbroken that Heidy no longer will ever love him after discovering he tricked Sam, he simply can't stand the sight of Sam experiencing all of Heidy's love and, as a last desperate attempt, tries to outright kill Sam right then and there at the dog show.
  • Jealous Pet: Played for Drama. The showdog Cassius becomes deeply envious when his owners adopt the protagonist, a dachshund named Sam, and Cassius frames Sam for various horrifying events to get Sam kicked out, kickstarting the story.
  • Meaningful Name: Sam the Lion; he endures a lot of hardships throughout the book after Cassius frames him, and comes out on top. He also becomes a strong leader for the dogs at the pound.
  • Moment Of Awesome: When Sam and his flawed commandos raid the Westminster Dog Show.
  • Pounds Are Animal Prisons: For the flawed dogs with imperfections, that is.
  • Precious Puppy: Sam. He is a lovable little dachshund who cherishes his girl Heidy very much.
  • Psycho Poodle: The Big Bad is Cassius, a poodle. When his owners adopt the protagonist, a dachshund named Sam, Cassius is enraged, and his jealousy drives him to frame Sam for brutal crimes and ruin his life.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Sam befriends and teams up with the dogs at the pound, all of which have some sort of deformity. One of them, Madam, is actually a cat disguised as a dog!
  • Shout-Out: While sabotaging a dog show, an illustration reveals one of Sam's pack shaved the image of Bill the Cat on the back of one of the contestants.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Sam gets back at Cassius by raiding the dog show and getting his revenge. Rightfully so, especially after everything Cassius did to him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Heidy gives a big one to Cassius when she realizes that he was the one who set Sam up and fooled her and her family into thinking Sam was the culprit. This actually breaks Cassius' heart, since now that Heidy knew the truth, he felt she truly loathed him for what he did to Sam.
  • Troublemaking New Pet: In this case,Troublemaking Old Pet. Cassius does this to Sam by framing him and getting him in trouble with the family.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Seems to play a major role in this story in that the humans never adopted the dogs at the pound because they didn't fit in with their expectations, looking more at their outer flaws rather than their inner beauty and personalities, and that therefore, it's okay to dispose of them at the pound since they aren't as valuable as what their perception of what a "perfect" and "beautiful" dog is to them. At the end of the book, they all eventually get adopted.
  • The Woobie: Sam. He has it all until Cassius tricks him, making the family think he went mad and send him to the pound. Then things get bad to worse for him. So much that it'll make readers want to reach into the pages and hug him.
  • Tuft of Head Fur: Sam has one and it plays a large part of his beauty, as the tuft of head hair is from a valuable bloodline and one of the reasons why he gets destined to be a show dog.

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