Image a poodle. How cute. How cuddly. Such a no-no in the old West. According to Anne Seagraves’ Soiled Doves, poodles were the preferred pet of western prostitutes. “The soft, cuddly little dogs were a favorite of the parlor ladies, so no ‘decent’ woman dared to own one,” she wrote.
It’s unclear when the stigma on poodles was lifted, but they not only eventually became popular with everyone–ladies of the night or not–but became a cultural icon, as “poodle skirts” and the such came into popularity. And by the way, if you wanted a “prize” in the old west, you wanted a cat. They were rare but popular “mousers.”